PSU news by
Penn State's student blog

Topics

About

Being and Becoming: Leo Dillinger’s Senior Column

I don’t know what I want to accomplish in writing this, so I’m just going to start ranting and see if I can attain some sense of closure.

These past four years have flown by so quickly that it’s impossible for me to describe how much I’ve changed. Looking back on my first days at Penn State in the Fall of 2010, I feel like I had no sense of identity whatsoever. The world seemed brand new once I started living on my own. Having nobody to tell me what to do or how to live, I felt so free in the absence of responsibility. I followed the herd of freshmen, aimlessly searching in frat house basements and monotonous apartment parties for meaning to my existence. I went to all of my classes but I never really appreciated the significance of the education in front of me. This notion of freedom was just an illusion that I created for myself.

I woke up for the first time in the summer before my sophomore year. It was after a service trip to Guatemala that I finally began to understand a new perspective on life. I discovered the true wonders of art, music, and literature for the first time in indescribable ways. I took an interest in learning from my classes and even had the pleasure of joining Onward State in October of 2011. Most importantly, I found the intrinsic beauty of human experience and the value of sharing these fleeting moments of empathy with others. With these several lessons I learned during college, my sense of self finally began to take form.

As I reflect on who I am right now and who I want to be, there is only one piece of advice I can offer and it comes from Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man. He writes, “Play the game, but play it in your own way–part of the time at least.” Right now, I don’t know what to do after I graduate, but I have a vision of myself in the future. I feel a path unfolding right in front of me, even though I can hardly see it, and it feels right. Every moment is falling into place with the next and I’m starting to find some clarity in a world that was once clouded by illusion.

I’ve learned that self-discovery and exceeding your potential as a human being is the most satisfying aspect of life. Don’t waste any time on petty day-to-day drama and start breaking out of your comfort zone. The best way to get to know yourself is by doing things you’ve never done before and feeling vulnerable to the winds of change. Sure, I wish I could stay in college forever, but the memories I’ve made throughout my time here and the exciting uncertainty of the future have made my life all the more worthwhile.

Thank you to all my family, friends, colleagues, and acquaintances for bringing so much joy into my life.

About the Author

Leo Dillinger

Penn State Junior, Print Journalism Major, Minors in English and Sociology, Writer of Arts, Entertainment, News, Tomfoolery and Opinion.

Comments

More by Leo

Movin’ On 2014 Exceeds Expectations

Movin’ On 2014 was a memorable day for music fans at Penn State, with showstopping performances from Wiz Khalifa, Fitz and the Tantrums, Aloe Blacc, and more.

Hardwell and The Allure of EDM

Music Monday: Coachella 2014

Athletics

Former Women’s Gymnastics Coach Files Lawsuit Against Penn State Over Handling Of Abuse Allegations

Former Penn State women’s gymnastics head coach Jeff Thompson has filed a lawsuit against the university following the termination of his contract in February 2017. Thompson, alongside his wife and associate head coach Rachelle Thompson, was accused by former gymnasts and an assistant coach of creating a hostile team environment. The Thompsons allegedly pressured athletes to compete […]

Men’s Soccer Trio, Reading United Win PDL Eastern Conference Title, Fall Short Of National Championship

Penn State Hockey’s Evan Barratt, Aarne Talvitie Participate In World Junior Summer Showcase

Ally McHugh Wins 400 Medley National Championship

Penn State Women’s Soccer Adds Swiss Forward Kim Dubs

Student Life

Girirajan Lab Seeks To Bridge The Gap Between Fly And Human Genomes

The lab uses a combination of human genomics, computational biology, and functional studies, using Drosophila and human cell lines, to understand the risks caused by genetic mutations and to grasp how gene disruption leads to altered neurodevelopment.

Join Onward State: Fall 2018 Application

Pennharmonics To Hold 25th Anniversary Reunion Concert

Plans Submitted For New KFC In State College

Developers have submitted preliminary land development plans to build a new KFC restaurant at 1780 S. Atherton St. in State College.

Join Onward State: Fall 2018 Application

Onward State is hiring for the fall semester and we’d love you to join us.

Heinz Field Sold Out For Pitt-Penn State

The game is scheduled for an 8 p.m. kickoff on Saturday, September 8.

Be the first to know

  • Top posts and the best Penn State stories

Thank you for subscribing.

Something went wrong.

Madden NFL 19 Ratings For Nittany Lions

For the second consecutive year, Sean Lee is the highest-rated Nittany Lion in the Madden video game.

Send this to a friend