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New beginnings…RCL2 Spring 2016

January 19, 2016 by Olivia Kathleen Richards   

As we begin our second chapter of Rhetoric and Civic Life, I look forward to new experiences with Dr. O’Hara and all of the Millennium Scholars in Cohort 3. I am also looking forward to writing a brand new passion blog throughout this spring semester. Last semester, I documented and described all of the cupcake places that I have ventured to throughout the country in my cupcake quest. But, since I have spent so much time at Penn State, this quest has been put on hold since I don’t leave State College very much.

Now, I am faced with the difficult task of thinking of two new possibilities that I will have as my passion blog for the spring.

After some deep thought, I realized that I want my passion blog to be considered to be useful for someone, somewhere in this world. I realized that a good idea would be to make a freshman survival guide for females in Happy Valley. I figured that girls might actually see some good ideas as they prepare to begin the best four years of their early life. So, one idea that I have come up with for my new passion blog is to document the trials and tribulations of a freshman at penn state. I might call it ‘Freshie’ or even ‘Confessions of a Penn State Freshman.’ I would love to help girls out and share my experiences by talking about a number of surprises to me this year. Some topic areas may include research, the dorm life, bad roommates, unwritten dorm rules, making friends, surviving large classes, greek life, time management, exercise, going out, and the dining hall, among others. I think it could be a fantastic blog. Potentially, I would like to make a list of the things I’ve learned and suggest better choices that someone else could make if they were in a similar situation. If I could go back in time, it is not as if I would honestly change anything at all. I have learned so much from all of my experiences and I wouldn’t trade this life for anything. I love this school, my friends and my experience but I feel as though I could have been better prepared for the major changes that I experienced once I arrived. On another, completely opposite spectrum, I have a passion for politics, United States foreign policy and that of other foreign countries. I am interested in the actions that the United States federal government takes in hot spots of the world such as the Middle East and Europe. I would also love looking into Pennsylvania politics as our state government is extremely inefficient and uncompromising. Advocating for the rights of women and other underrepresented groups is also a passion of mine. For my Civic Issues Blog, I might steal my second passion blog idea, look into the 2016 Presidential Election in regards to Party Politics or analyze United States foreign policy by asking the question How is U.S. diplomacy doing across the world?

After listening to numerous “This I Believe”  podcasts, I think I want to write a podcast on why I believe high school students working is important.


  1. Andrea Margarete Gade says:

    I definitely believe a survival guide for female freshies would be much needed!! And there is no one else I would choose to write it! With the stories you have, this blog will be humorous, informative, and entertaining. You always have great ideas! I can’t wait to hear your This I Believe!!

  2. Sarea Recalde Phillips says:

    A whole blog about surviving freshman year:wow! I’m looking forward to what tips you dispel throughout this semester!

  3. amc6837 says:

    I love the idea of the penn state girl survival guide! It’s something that all of us can relate to and can help us gain advice from our various experiences. It will be extremely hilarious and helpful. I can’t wait to read it!

  4. rmh5551 says:

    Your motto reminds me of that cheating website motto.. “Life is short, have an affair..” I like your motto better

  5. Talayah Johnson says:

    I Love it live! I would read the freshman guide faithfully. I feel like college is a big change and this would help a lot to incoming freshman and even me 🙂 . iI too had the idea to talk about woman’s rights. I feel as if that always a relevant topic.

  6. Sarah Magee says:

    I would love to read about your survival guide for females at PSU because I know a lot of us came in not knowing what to expect and it can really be overwhelming with the transition of coming into college straight out of high school. I really look forward to your passion blog!

  7. mjs6721 says:

    Awesome first article! I really like the idea of a “Confessions of a Penn State Freshman”. This has the potential to be really entertaining and I think it’s a brilliant idea. Everyone has stories from their first year that could really help someone else, and I think it would super interesting if you documented some of these stories and writing it as sort of a guide to freshman year. I also think your ideas for civic issues blog and the “This I Believe” assignment are good. I really agree with the idea that it is important for high schoolers to work, so I think that your essay will come out very well. Good job, and I really look forward to reading your passion blog.

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