Ever since she was a child, Chelsea Kun has loved writing. When she was in high school, she took a journalism class and knew it was what she wanted to do as a profession.
Now, at age 21, Chelsea is graduating from Penn State with a Journalism degree, and she is leaving behind the seat of editor-in-chief at Her Campus at Penn State.
I had the chance to talk to Chelsea about her journey at Penn State— and Her Campus— as her graduation approaches and she reflected back on her time in the Happy Valley.
Chelsea first got involved with Her Campus in her sophomore year. Her friend Allie Bausinger (our campus correspondent, who is also graduating this semester) had just gotten the campus correspondent position, and she told Chelsea to apply for a writer position with Her Campus. Kun didn't know much about the position and about Her Campus back then, but she applied anyway— and she said it was the best decision she's made in college.
Kun got to write many articles during her time with Her Campus. She also served as merch director, an editor, and editor-in-chief. But beyond the professional experience, being part of Her Campus allowed Kun to meet people who would later become some of her closest friends, and allowed her to make memories that she will never forget.
When I asked her about her favorite memory of Her Campus, Kun told me about the time when the team went to Penn State's Arboretum before the COVID-19 pandemic hit, in Fall 2019.
It was during that visit to the Arboretum that many of the girls got to know each other better and bond outside the professional atmosphere of Her Campus.
When it comes to her time at Penn State overall, Kun mentions her first White Out game in her junior year as her favorite memory. For those of you who are not familiar with it, Penn State's White Out game gathers more than 100,000 screaming fans in Beaver Stadium to cheer for the school's football team, all dressed in white. It's considered the best atmosphere in college football, and Kun's experience lived up to her expectations.
"(The White Out game) is something I want every Penn State student to experience," Kun said, "my friends who were in the press box reporting on the game said they could feel the press box shaking because we were so loud. It's something I will never forget, ever" (back then, Kun wrote an article about her experience at the game— you can read it here).
Nothing represents the Penn State atmosphere better than the White Out game, and Kun mentioned this atmosphere as one of the things she will miss the most about college once she graduates; "there's something about the college feel that makes you feel at home," Kun said.
In addition, Kun said she's going to miss being a bus ride away from her best friends. However, she has faith that she will have the friends she made in college forever.
Unfortunately, this famous Penn State atmosphere wasn't something that Kun got to fully experience during her last year at school, as the last college year was anything but usual.
"I didn't get to experience a lot of lasts," Kun said when I asked her about the worst part of graduating during a pandemic, "it makes graduation feel surreal because I feel like I'm not even graduating, I feel like I only had three years of school." Kun spent her last school year watching online classes and doing everything from home instead of meeting her friends to study, or going to in-person classes.
When it comes to graduation, Kun told me it's a bittersweet feeling. During her life, whenever she was going onto the next phase of her life she knew what was going to happen, but she doesn't have a plan as of right now, which can be scary. In her own words, "it's the biggest feeling of unknown that I've ever had in my life."
Even if it can be scary, Kun also said she's excited to be done with school— even if she finds it hard to be excited right now when she has so many assignments to work on before the semester ends.
Beyond her professional and academic achievements, and the friends she made along the way, these four years of college represented years of personal growth as well. Reflecting back on these four years, Kun said "you're gonna learn stuff about yourself that you didn't realize before. You gotta make the best out of what college throws at you."
The ages of 18 to 23 are when most people learn new things about themselves, thus it's no surprise that it happened to Chelsea as well. This shows that from freshmen to seniors, all college students are constantly finding out new things about themselves.
She ended our talk by saying how much it meant to her to be a part of Her Campus' history: "it's been an honor being part of Her Campus," Kun said, "it's been the honor of my life serving as the editor-in-chief. I will never forget this organization and what it taught me."
Chelsea has been with Her Campus since her sophomore year. She got to be our merch director, our editor, and now she's graduating as our editor-in-chief— it's safe to say she's left her mark on our chapter's history.
The Her Campus at Penn State team wishes her good luck on her next journey, and we know she will be brilliant at whatever career path she chooses to follow. We will all miss her dearly.