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April, 2016

  1. Incredible Opportunities at PSU

    April 12, 2016 by Olivia Kathleen Richards

    In my last post, I talked a lot about things that your parents have often done for you throughout your childhood and now you’re responsible to take the lead. Honestly, you will most likely make mistakes. We all do. The most important part is learning from your mistakes without your parents having to yell or teach you the valuable life lessons, over the phone. Try to get to the point where you are deciding what’s best for yourself. You are the one who decided on Penn State or your selected University anyway!

    So, I’d like to highlight a few incredible opportunities for Penn State freshmen specifically.

    Each college of Penn State, as well as most other Universities, has some type of mentorship program to personally connect with a member of the Alumni base of the specific college. People in the Office of Alumni Engagement for that specific area of the university then match you with an alumni in your desired field. I was personally matched with someone who currently works here at Penn State but used to work in Actuarial Science. While, that is no longer my career destination, my mentor offers to meet with me anytime. Honestly, I loved meeting him. He is an outsider looking in and gave me a lot of great feedback in regards to where I am going and how he can help. He emails me frequently and is a great contact.

    Also, for freshmen going into the STEM field, entering one of the five STEM colleges (IST, Engineering, Science, Agricultural Sciences, or Earth and Mineral Sciences) and also hope to pursue research and graduate studies in the field, the Millennium Scholars Program is a fantastic, life-changing opportunity. Beyond the generous financial assistance that the program provides, Millennium is an experience. The program helps to put you on the Ph.D. track while giving you access to resources that you never thought were possible. From personal academic counseling to eating ice cream with the President to assistance when applying to summer research experiences, hard work pays off.

    All high-achieving freshmen applying to Penn State should also apply to be in the Schreyer Honors College. Being a part of the honors college not only grants you an academic award before coming to college, but it grants you unbelievable opportunities. Premier housing and priority scheduling (before the rest of the university) are hard to come by. Scholars can apply for summer research grants and go on particular study abroad trips with other scholars. They can take embedded classes  with a study abroad portion too! Some of my friends are spending a week in places like Tanzania, China and Europe at the end of the semester. In addition, the Presidential Leadership Academy provides the opportunity for students to develop leadership fundamentals to thrive in an environment of exploration, diversity, and respect, which lead to action.

    The Paterno Fellows Program is an innovative program offered jointly by the College of the Liberal Arts and the Schreyer Honors College that encourages students to challenge themselves academically and find an education in leadership.

    There’s so much opportunity for success. Take advantage and enjoy.

  2. Plan for the things your parents did for you.

    April 5, 2016 by Olivia Kathleen Richards

    I can bet that most people aren’t like me. I am probably just weird but I would just prefer to call myself “unique.” I oddly starting saving money when I was little. I enjoyed cleaning my house and would voluntarily clean my friends rooms…I began cooking when I was nine. I folded my underwear, did my own laundry and went to bed without my parents telling me to do so. I did all of those things because I had so much satisfaction in knowing that I was somewhat self-sufficient. I loved and still do love not having to ask for money because I have saved for so long and feeling like I don’t have to depend on anyone at all.

    Your parents/guardians did these things for you and now they are “shifting” the responsibility to you.

    1. Laundry
    2. Food
    3. Chores
    4. Sleep
    5. Money/Budgeting

    1) First of all, laundry. laundry. laundry. At Penn State, you can either do your laundry like most humans do, or take the cop out option by paying for a service to pick up, wash, dry and fold your laundry. Lazy Lion is a laundry service that is available in State College. You will often see the van outside of East Halls, picking up the laundry of freshmen who are lazy, spoiled or just fortunate. But, since laundry only costs $1.50 per wash and $0.50 per dry, I feel as though you should do your own laundry to be economic, since you probably won’t be working and it is good practice for the rest of your life. Hopefully, you’ll be able to afford a laundry service once you graduate, but with the mounting costs of college, probably not.

    2) Food. Enjoy your parents cooking until you come to Penn State or whatever other institution you plan to attend. Also, enjoy the food for the first few weeks of college when it’s “good.” Soon enough, it will get old, literally and physically, and you will be tired of eating the same thing every week.

    3) You should probably clean your room. Otherwise, it will get to the point where your parents come for a surprise visit and you can’t let them into your room. Also, I got sick from dust in my room and mold that my roommate was growing under her wet shower caddy. Clean your room. You won’t regret it.

    4) Sleep. If you are an over-achiever, you will probably fight every day to get six hours of sleep. But, in order to not be falling asleep in any of your classes, find your ideal amount of sleep. For me, it is seven to eight hours. During every semester, you begin by sleeping one to two hours extra per night but (if you are busy) by Spring Break, and post mid-terms, you’ll barely get five hours, if you’re lucky.

    5) Last but certainly not least, budget your money. Tons of my friends feel guilty when they ask their parents for $100 every other week. Money doesn’t grow on trees. Try to work or save a lot before you come to college to avoid this and make up for not working here.

    Remember to be your own parent once in a while. Until next time…

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