Well, it is officially summer! But who said there is nothing to do on campus during the summer time? Although the majority of student are enjoying all the benefits of being out of school, a lot of international and domestic students decided to challenge themselves with summer classes. Unless you visited the campus this summer at least once during past 6 weeks, I bet you have only a little idea of how lively it is now! Constructions, meetings, open houses, prospective students tours and orientations!
As you may have guessed, I am spending my summer on campus this time. Of course it makes sense, because I am taking summer classes, working in Admissions office (under student work-study program) and greeting incoming class as your orientation leader, but there is one really important reason I decided on staying here.
I am Alena Sadykova, a Russian student who was born in the United States and spent my early childhood in Chapel Hill, NC. My family decided to go back to Russia so I grew up in Moscow, graduated from high school there and returned back to Philadelphia last year. I expected it to be hard to experience separation from my closest friends and family, but, on the other hand, I would have never guessed how easy it was to make new friends here at Abington. I won’t lie, I was scared, and I was scared so bad that when I came to the New Student Day with my parents I insisted to leave even before registration. I was all by myself during the first week of classes, glued to Facebook and Skype to feel like being with my friends in Moscow.
But it all changed when I attended Involvement Fair on campus and joined International Cultural Alliance coincidentally led by amazing Ana Marta, who happened to meet my whole family on campus during my advising session. Ana speaks my language, which turned my college experience in the whole new direction. I wasn’t overwhelmed by the language barrier (imaginary, indeed) anymore, and I felt way more confident, because since then I had a friend here, right at Penn State Abington.
During the past year I met so many great and inspiring people on campus, who made me feel I made a right choice joining Penn State family. Our small campus is open to everyone, WE want to hear from YOU, WE want YOU to make a difference. You may be international, or athlete, or traveled the entire States, or make your own music, or being academically exceptional and conduct the whole research, whoever you are, whatever is your background, we want you to be involved here. Because Penn State Abington is more than college, it is a community.
I want to make a difference, that is why I assured my family, who are still miles away from me, that it is very important for me to spend this summer on campus, being involved and completing my integration into a new culture.