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I Pride Therefore I Act by Ben Morgan

There are always reasons not to do. Doing is inconvenient. It’s stressful and sweaty, time-consuming and hunger-inducing. Choosing to do is the truest test of what we value - what we take pride in.

I was given the opportunity to travel with a group of teachers and students to Peru during the 2011 spring break. Over those nine days I flew more than seven thousand miles on seven different flights. I faced a language barrier and the risk of sickness. I waged war against my body through high-altitude hiking, sleepless nights, and strange foods.

And none of that was on my mind. I was three worlds away in a land flowing with honey and llama leche. I was bartering with street vendors and playing futbol with children. I was exploring Machu Picchu and sampling Peruvian foods. I was exhausted and energized by the beauty around me. I was humbled by the rich tradition and proud to be a part of our group of twenty adventurers.

That’s what college is about; plugging into something larger than you - a place to expand, to test convention and push boundaries. I expanded in Peru (not just from the delicious Cuy) and in the doing discovered things about myself. I’m left with a sense of fulfillment, of knowing that I’ve come away from the experience stronger and better prepared to use the tools Penn State York has provided me.

A psychologist might argue that you can’t truly take pride in something until you develop a sense of who you are. Well, I am Penn State. We are Penn State - present tense, a continuous movement involving students from around the world determined to learn and united by our sense of pride. To be is not the question in York, Pennsylvania, or University Park, or Denmark; it’s the answer, the rising action.