When I first submitted my deposit to come to Penn State a year ago, I could already imagine a few of the things that had happened this year. There would be tons of football, plenty of schoolwork and nights where literally all I wanted to do was stay in and eat pizza. Now, at the end of my first year of college, I realize that college is a little more than just school.
In my first year, I discovered the reality of college; how hard it really can be. Coming in, I was expecting to pull the same grades I always did, but after a while it turned into actually having to really try for my grade. Now, I have a whole new appreciation for the word “work,” because I know I didn’t fully understand it before.
But football isn’t just a sport, it’s almost like a religion here. It’s where we come together, all as one, no matter who we are or what place we may come from, and unite under one purpose: to watch our team kick Ohio State into next week.
When football happens on those fateful Saturdays, the whole Penn State community combines into one — and we realize how amazingly lucky we are to be at a school like this.
I’ve discovered a new meaning to the word love. Penn State has over 40,000 students. Each one has different story that one would never expect to hear. But it’s these different types of stories that I’ve come to love more than anything else. I have met so many different people, from some of the best friends in the world, to a man that I never thought I would even come close to dating. The word “love” is everything to me now, because really, that’s what you need at this kind of college.
Freshmen here are the babies of the group. We need guidance and friendship and those types of things to keep us going during the hard times here. If we didn’t have that, how else would we survive on a huge campus all alone? Not that it’s not okay to have those days where no one wants to talk to anyone, but everyone needs a friend.
Being here gave me a whole new meaning of companionship, of finding best friends and of having tailgate buddies. From people who I can talk about anything with to the people who I can just complain about my day for hours with. That’s what college is to me.
My first year at Penn State has been a whirlwind. I’ve met some amazing people, done some interesting things with friends and made memories that will last a lifetime. But in reality, this is only the beginning.
I’m sure a lot of people will look at this article and laugh, thinking what on earth do I have to reflect on. But there is so much. This is the first time I have been away from my parents for an extended period of time, and when that happens, a lot can change in a girl. When I look at the seniors lining up at the Lion Shrine for graduations pictures, I think “wow, these years really can go by fast.”
Because one day, that’s going to be me. I’m going to be graduating from this place that I’ve come so close to and have started calling home because that’s how it makes me feel.
I still have three years to go. It sounds like a lot of time, but really, it’s not. I’ve learned this year to cherish every single memory I can make, the good ones and the bad, because time can go by so quick. So, to Penn State, I thank you for an amazing first year, full of football games, fun times and plenty of Berkey Creamery ice cream to go around.
Here’s to you, Dear Old State. And here’s to the next three years.
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