This is by far my toughest blog to write this semester. This is my last blog post as I am graduating next Saturday. The past four years have been absolutely amazing and the fact that my time is almost up at Penn State is mind-blowing. Four years sounds like a long time and sometimes it may feel like it, but to be honest the four years flew by.
It seems like only yesterday that my parents and siblings were dropping me off at my residence hall in Penn State Mont Alto. I was so excited, but nervous at the same time because it was college! It’s completely different from high school and I didn’t know what to expect.
Anyone who reads my blog posts can see how much I love Penn State and that I’m going to miss it. One might think that it was my dream to attend the best university in the world. You’ll be surprised to know that I really didn’t want to go to Penn State.
Let me clarify that it was nothing against Penn State, but the fact that both of my uncles attended Penn State and loved it, so my family thought it was a good idea for me to attend Penn State too. My uncles come back every year for football games with their best friends and have really great jobs because of their education at Penn State. My family knew the kind of education I could get at Penn State and really wanted me to come here.
However, in an act of rebellion, I wanted to leave Pennsylvania altogether and not come to Penn State. I wanted to create my own memories and create my own legacy that was separate from my uncles. As a back-up I did apply to Penn State.
I received acceptance letters from a couple of out-of-state schools and was on my way to Rhode Island (which is about six hours away from home) to attend Johnson and Wales University as a Fashion Merchandising and Retail Marketing student.
However, financially it wasn’t possible for my mom to send me to a university six hours away. Spring forward to April of my senior year of high school and I receive a giant packet in the mail from Penn State, offering me admission to the university as a 2+2 student.
I accepted, because if this was what my mother could afford then I was going to go. In August 2011, I started my college career at Penn State Mont Alto, meeting my roommate Lauren freshman year and some of my closest friends.
I joined Lion Ambassadors at Mont Alto and instantly became great friends with some pretty phenomenal people and I realized that I made the right choice. I was doing pretty well at the time and we even traveled to University Park to tour Beaver Stadium.
Then November 5, 2011 happened and the university I had come to love was in the middle of a national scandal. All of a sudden I wasn’t just a student at Penn State and even though I wasn’t at University Park, I was still interviewed at Mont Alto. The turmoil that followed the scandal meant that I was defending myself against people on Facebook as to why I was still at Penn State and defending the school that I was growing to love.
I went to my first Penn State football game freshman year in October and before I even entered Beaver Stadium, I could feel the pride and unity that current students and alumni possessed. Even though it was before that fateful day in November, I remembered what it felt like to be a part of something as big as a football Saturday in Happy Valley. That was when I realized that there is no way I would ever leave this university, despite what others may say and think.
In the year that followed, I continued to defend the university that really became the best decision I’ve ever made, while also forming bonds and relationships with my friends at Mont Alto.
Then I transitioned to University Park and loved it from the minute I got here. I was lucky enough to meet some pretty amazing people and gained hands-on experience in my major.
I joined the College of Communications Student Council (CommStuCo) and continued with my involvement with THON, becoming the co-chair for CommStuCo THON organization this year with my fellow co-chair, Hannah.
I was happy to discover my passion for college recruiting while I was here through the opportunities the university had to offer me.
It has been a rewarding experience being here for four years and I would come back in a heartbeat just to do it all over again. I can’t wait to come back here (hopefully next year) as an alumnae of Penn State to see the university from a different perspective.
I know my four years here have not always been easy, both personally and through the adversity the university had to overcome.
But when I walk across the stage in the Bryce Jordan Center next Saturday, I know that everything I went through will be worth it because I attended the best university in the world and had the time of my life.
I encourage all future Penn Staters to embrace and enjoy the four years that you have here, meet lifelong friends and create your own memories.
I know I did.
For the Glory…