When you graduate from high school, and all of your family members tell you that college will be the fastest four years of your life, believe them. As cliché as it may sound, I really feel like it was only a year ago that I moved into Porter Hall in Pollock, ready to take on Penn State for my freshman year. It’s almost scary how much growth can happen in only 4 years.
Looking back, as a freshman, I didn’t really know who I was as a person. I was shy, unconfident, and only knew what I had learned from my experiences from the less-than-diverse community I grew up in. Coming to Penn State, I have had many highs and lows. However, those moments have challenged me to introspect and find who I really am. Now, I don’t bite my tongue when I need to stand up for something. I embrace my own identity, and don’t compare myself to others. I have a genuine desire to make meaningful connections and learn who people are at their core.
State has challenged me to always reach for my highest academic potential, as well as pursuing things that truly mean something to me. I have learned what it means to be a part of a community, to be a mentor, and allow myself to be helped by others when I need it. When I leave State College, I will be taking with me the lessons of perseverance, self-love, and unity that I have experienced here.
I am, We Are, and will always be Penn State!