It's my Penn State by Joyce Chuinkan
I do not bleed blue and white; I have never been to a football game. I did not get any college gear, till my sophomore year. I am not following my parents’ footsteps, or anyone else’s for that matter. I never was a “student for a day” or attended an open house, and neither did I know anyone here or who had been here before I came here myself. It was neither my first nor second or even third choice. It was over 10 hours away from my home, yet it became my home away from home. Penn state; the place where the faculty are my parents, and the students are siblings. It is my big family away from home and everything from the building structures on the campuses, to the logo; the Nittany Lion, makes me proud and honored to be a part of this family of thousands.
Despite what campus grounds I am on, and despite the occasion, there has never been a time since I joined the Penn State family that I have not been Penn State proud, yet it was while attending the leadership conference this summer at Penn State Berks, that it dawned on me; It’s my Penn State. It was then that the real doors opened. Not the admission doors, but the doors to my own eyes, to be able to see all the opportunities Penn State had to offer. The doors to my own heart to let the people help me, to love them genuinely, and to leap into the family with both feet. There was no other way for things to be done; no turning back, no partially proud, same way there is no “partially” pregnant. It was an entire commitment to indulge into the love, the pride, responsibilities and especially the fun knit into the name Penn State. It was at this very conference that I purchased my first Penn state item, to attend a Penn State pride dinner. During the dinner, as we played games in the tent, questions were asked about the school’s history and I watched in amazement as students jumped up and ran to the front of the tent with their answers. Answers I thought were only found in research papers and History books. As I glanced around the room, I noticed the people painted in blue and white, hair dyed in blue and white, one girl even had a Penn State tongue ring, and all I had was a t-shirt and some beads I had just purchased at the bookstore off the clearance rack. I began to wonder where my pride was, and to see all I had to be proud of.
Besides the football team Penn State is known for, I have a lot more reason to stick my nose to the sky when mentioning my university. It has a low crime rate, a low death rate, Student Governments that in fact listen to the students and strive for a change and as students, are given the power to make a difference on campus. It is amazing how much Penn State has to offer, as soon as a person gets involved and opens the set of doors after admissions. I have learned so much about myself so fast, thanks to the various, clubs, motivational speakers, comedians, and workshops Penn state has offered on campus and coming from someone on a campus without housing, I must go on to add that PSU can make it fun either way; with or without campus and I remain proud, because "We Are…Penn State!"