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Life at Penn State – Going from a Gael to a Nittany Lion

October 19, 2010

Melyssa Lloyd (right side) and Friends enjoy Penn State Football

by Melyssa Lloyd (Dublin High Class of 2010, Penn State Freshman)

I’m going to be totally honest, leaving Dublin was undoubtedly the scariest thing I’ve ever had to go through. Although I’m now attending the school I have wanted to attend ever since I was 7 years old, hopping on an 8-hour plane ride across the country was a little more nerve-racking than I had expected. Here I am now, at The Pennsylvania State University (Penn State) almost completely settled in.

The Penn State school system is a little different than California State and UC systems. Here, there are 26 different campuses; they are all Penn State but different campuses offer different majors. I am at the branch campus in Erie, Pennsylvania where I’m hoping to major in Marketing with a minor in International Business. I chose to come to this specific campus because it’s not too big and I get more personalized learning with smaller class sizes before I move to the main campus which holds over 40,000 students. I feel like I really get the most out of my education by being at this campus because I already have established relationships with my professors. My biggest class is 150 students and my smallest is 10.  Honestly, I get the best of both worlds. I still go to all of the football games (we have the second largest college football stadium in the country, not trying to brag or anything 🙂 and experience the perks of going to a big school, but with less overwhelming class sizes.

I was pretty involved in high school, so I knew I wanted to be just as involved here in college. I have joined the Student Government Association as well as the sorority of Alpha Sigma Alpha. Keeping busy is pretty important in college because you have so much more free time and a lot of people don’t really know what to do with the extra time. Just through these past 2 months I have learned that organizing my time is truly key. I write a daily to-do list in order of when things need to be completed and times that I have meetings. This really helps out a lot and even just crossing off things on my list when I finish them makes me feel accomplished.

College so far is everything that I had expected, which is definitely a good thing. Professors aren’t as mean as our high school teachers say they’re going to be, and even though it doesn’t matter to their paycheck whether you bomb their class or not, they really do want you to succeed. Because college professors are experts in their field, they are extremely passionate about what they are teaching to you, which keeps you attentive and for the most part, really interested in what they have to say. I’ve already gotten into some really good discussions in some of my classes and it’s so inspiring to know that all of the other students feel the same way about their education as you do.

I do miss Dublin, and of course the weather. I miss how open and diverse the people in our town are. It is hard that I only get to come home twice a year, but I would completely recommend going out of state to everyone. I don’t have to worry about not getting enough credits to graduate on time like I would have if I went to a state school, and we never have furlough days to get behind in. Because 1 in 8 people with a college degree are Penn State alums, I’m confident knowing that I’m getting some of the best education in the country and that by attending a big school, my degree will be looked at very highly. Yes, going out of state can be really scary, and the weather may be harsh, but looking ahead to my future, I know that choosing Penn State was a decision I will not regret.

[For those curious about the Nittany Lion reference it is Penn State’s mascot: read more…]

At the Dublin High School 2010 Senior Awards Night Melyssa was recognized as the Lions Student of the Month for January 2010.

Other articles in the Life in College series:

First football game of the season, stadium holds over 100,000 fans