Mr. Freshman Penn State Moves on to National Contest

After winning’s ‘Mr. Freshman: Penn State’ contest, Mike Tubolino is competing for the national title. You can vote for him, check his profile, or watch his video, but first, read our interview with him!

What inspired you to run for this competition?
It was a spontaneous decision. I was not aware of the Mr. Freshman: Penn State contest until two days before the applications were due when a friend informed me through Facebook about this competition and said I had a chance of winning if I ran. I lightheartedly filled out the application, and sent it in literally an hour or two before the deadline. Fifteen minutes later I got an email stating I was one of four finalists. It was really more serendipity than inspiration.

Are you viewed differently amongst your peers because of your victory?
I am still the same person, but more people are aware of my presence. My close friends rag on me for it as a bit of a running joke. I get a lot of random people who I don’t know saying, “I voted for you!” which is awesome because I love talking to random people.

How did you campaign for this victory?
I made a Facebook group to catch everyone’s attention. The title actually has a bit of an interesting back story to it. We went to DC to see David Guetta and I visited my friend for GWU. We were in one of the student centers and there were posters all over. About 90% said “SEX!!!” and then, in small print, something like “Now that I have your attention, vote for me.” I basically stole my idea from that and it worked! Instead of making it a group, I made it an event, so the Facebook newsfeed read “So and so is attending SEX!!!.”

Apart from that I handed out fliers to everyone I could. I was also close to the teacher of my physiology class in 100 Thomas and she allowed me to project my flier in front of 700 people. It was funny because my main competitor in the Penn State contest was in the class too. Over spring break I visited University of Delaware and handed out fliers, and did the same thing at home. Made break more interesting.

Would you say there was bad blood between any of the competitors?
I have not met any of them yet. There was really no good, bad or any blood in between. That being said, PLEASE do not put a hit on me.

Would there be anything your would have done differently over this past year at Penn State?
To have gotten involved first semester. I was overwhelmed and did not know what to do. This semester I just wanted to get more involved and joined a bunch of random groups. I went into the second semester with a more open mind and was more alert for opportunities.

What activities would you say you are heavily involved in?
I am currently involved in a Service and Leadership Special Living Option in Tener Hall called BE House. We are actively involved in the PSU community through performing community service, attending social justice events and learning to embrace diversity at Penn State. I am also involved with a new, independent THON team called BE(e) House THON. It is small but we are picking up speed! I am also involved in ballroom dance, specifically salsa.

What is your favorite Penn State memory thus far?
Honestly, choosing just one doesn’t do the year justice, but I would have to choose the huge Pollock/East Halls snowball fight. I led a charge, screaming “CHAAAARRGGEEE” and “HOLLLD THE LINNEE”.

What are you looking forward to for the rest of the semester?
I just want to experience the rest of the freshman experience and live it out to the fullest. I am really excited for SOMA’s Arts Crawl, Movin’ On and other performing arts events. I am also looking forward to the Blue and White game! Should be great times ahead!

Now that you have won the title of Mr. Freshman Penn State 2013, what next?
I am competing against the Mr. Freshman from all of the schools in the network… around 20 I think. So please vote for me!

If you could be any dinosaur, which one would you be and why?
Compsognathus. They are really small, travel in packs, and work together as a team. They are much more capable than you’d expect them to be… and bad ass too.

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