What It Means to Say “We Are…”

When I started out as a student blogger for the World Campus, I had no idea it would take me on such a journey. Being an active participant of the World Campus community through Facebook and Twitter has allowed me to feel even more connected to Penn State than I ever thought possible. Being a lifelong Penn State fan, it was always my dream to call myself a student and future alumni of Penn State.

Now that I am about to accomplish that dream, I began to think about what it really means to be a Penn Stater. I am going to share with you my thoughts on what it means to me to say “We Are….”

It is about challenging and finding yourself while getting a world-class education.

In every course that I have taken, I have learned more than the course itself taught. Through my Psychology courses, I was able to apply the concepts and methods to my own life and those around me. Gaining a better understanding of your behaviors will allow you to gain a better understanding of who you are. In the various electives that I have taken, I was able to break away from my normal area of studies and gain even a greater look at the bigger picture.

Everything, in some form or fashion, is all connected. What I learned in HPA 101 with Dr. Mike (read my previous blog post about his influence on my education), I was able to implement those lessons into my Econ and Accounting courses. I was also able to become a better paper writer (those APA formats!!!) because Dr. Mike instilled in me the skills and knowledge of writing APA-formatted papers.

It is about gaining confidence in your learning abilities.

We all learn at a different pace, but Penn State helps you become a better learner. They do not just “lecture” you on the subject, they make you think about that subject in a way you never thought before. In my METEO course, that was just the lesson learned. Not only was I able to learn about how the weather forms, and what causes the different weather patterns, I also developed a new method of learning. I was able to take that method and use it in various other courses, such as EGEE (environmental sciences).

To take it one step further, it allowed me to gain an appreciation for the subject as well. At the beginning of a new course, such as this semester in Sociology, I thought to myself “Why am I taking this course?” However, when I apply the methods of studying and learning that I learned in other courses, it allowed me to view it in a more appreciative manner. And we know that when we appreciate something, we want more of it.

It is about connecting with others.

At some universities, you may be just a number. At Penn State, you are part of a family, the world’s largest dues paying alumni base. With that alone, chances are that you are going to find someone in any company that has ties to Penn State. I am actually looking forward to the day that I get to work alongside with another Penn Stater.

We are all connected to the traditions, the history, and to Old Main, whether it is with the World Campus, or on any of Penn State’s physical campuses. Chances are, you are going to know someone who had a family member that went to Penn State. That is how big our connections are simply by being a Penn Stater.

Today, as a senior at Penn State, I feel the same way that I felt when I got my acceptance letter. Proud, excited, and blessed. For me, I am following in my father’s steps (Class of 88), and my uncle’s steps as well. (There is that connection point.) I am living out a dream that I had as a child in being a Penn State student, and soon to be alumni. When I graduate, I am not going to walk away from Penn State and never look back. I am going to carry with me everything that I learned, gained, and accomplished and I am going to be proud to say “We Are…”