Welcome! – I’m Victor, a Penn State student from Brazil, currently living in State College during the COVID-19 pandemic.
I find myself stranded – unable to return to Brazil and pretty bored
I wanted to share photos and videos during this unique time to show some State College sights after thousands of students deserted the popularly crowded and busy campus. This is an unique moment in history that I wanted to capture and share with others who have a connection to Penn State – students, faculty, alumni, donors and more.
PENN STATE COVID-19 TIMELINE
If you are interested in a timeline of COVID-19 related events and university decisions, CLICK HERE to view the page.
My name is Victor Oliveira and I’m currently a rising Junior majoring in Marketing at Penn State University. I was born in the US to Brazilian parents who were living and working in the US, so I have dual citizenship – I’m both American and Brazilian.
We moved back to Brazil when I was 15 months old and I lived both in São Paulo and Porto Alegre growing up. These are major metropolitan areas in Brazil, with very large populations. I adore Brazilian culture and try to come back and visit every other Christmas to spend it with my family. New Year’s Eve is one of the largest parties we have all year! Everyone dresses in white and goes out to the shore to watch the fireworks spectacle.
When I was 16, I went on a much dreamed about study abroad trip to Utah. I still remember stepping out of the airport in Salt Lake City and feeling the January winter breeze on my face! Quite the change from Brazilian weather, for sure! I loved it so much that I prolonged my original stay from 5 months to 1 year and a half! I graduated High School in Utah and chose to go to Penn State for college due to its close proximity to the East coast, the excellent Smeal College of Business and Penn State’s vast Alumni network!
The only time that I visited State College before applying to Penn State was coincidentally the first day of classes in August 2017. I remember driving around campus in the midst of this everlasting swarm of college students and I will always remember picturing how magical it would be to become a Penn State student one day! Fortunately, that day came quickly.
Within 1 year of my visit, I started my Freshman year at the Abington campus for Fall 2018 and have since moved to University Park for my Sophomore year. I have worked three different jobs through college so far to help cover my costs. Due to the pandemic, I’m currently unsure about which opportunities will be available in the upcoming months to help me stay afloat, and that’s one of the reasons why I’m starting this blog!
As you can imagine, it has been quite the challenging time since campus closed. If you have the interest and ability to help – any donations are greatly appreciated! – https://www.paypal.me/victordmo
How I Stay Involved:
I joined Penn State Abington’s Cross Country Team on New Student Orientation, with zero running experience. Oh, I had no idea what I was signing up for. Running between 20 and 40 miles a week without counting the competitive races we had on weekends during my first semester in college with little athletic experience was very challenging! I woke up and went to bed every day feeling pain on my hips, legs, knees and feet. After struggling over 11 weeks to adapt my body into running long distances, everything finally came together! I finished the season strong, with major improvements in my personal records! Even though I don’t run quite as much as I did back when I was on a Division III team, I still try and go for an occasional run around Penn State’s golf course, which has beautiful sights!
The Summer after my Freshman year I had the opportunity of working at the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at Penn State Abington. It was an amazing experience that enabled me to collaborate within a diverse group of student-workers in coming up with programs for incoming students. My favorite part about this job was getting to welcome first year students and their parents at New Student Orientation!
After moving to University Park, I kept pursuing diverse involvement on campus. I started working in the University Park Allocation Committee which allocates the Student Activity Fee to clubs and student organizations going on trips or hosting programming for students, I joined the Blue & White Society’s Programming Board as a THON chair in the Philanthropy pride, I got to perform at the THON 2020 Showcase with my friend Shakay(we played ‘I Have Nothing’ by Whitney Houston, I played the piano and she sung). I also started volunteering at a non-profit downtown called Meals on Wheels, which prepares and delivers meals to the elderly who can’t cook or go grocery shopping by themselves.
All in all Penn State has done an outstanding job in providing me with diverse involvement opportunities while granting me the chance to develop academically. I declared my major in Marketing last Spring, and after taking my first in-major class, I’m pretty sure I have made the right decision! I dream of making a positive impact through business and I think a Penn State degree can go a long way in providing me with the tools to achieve that dream. Having said that, I’m currently unsure about how I will be able to further cover my college expenses(including my out-of-state tuition) for the remainder of my time in PA, so if you have the interest and the means, I will kindly ask you to consider donating! It will most definitely be put to good use 🙂
Thank you for visiting my page and I hope you find the content enjoyable!