PSU news by
Penn State's student blog

Topics

About

Why Seniors Should Be Proud Of The 2016 Class Gift

The university announced in October that the 2016 class gift would establish an endowment to benefit Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS). I was more than ecstatic to think we were leaving our legacy this way. Tangibly, it might be something we will never see — our gift won’t be across from Rec Hall with a line hundreds deep on the day of a home football game — but the intangibility is the beauty behind this gift.

The other day, in a moment of weakness and boredom, I decided to time travel back to the mid-2000s and log into Facebook. As I scrolled through my timeline, I came across an intriguing album: a collection of different images titled “Physical vs. Mental Illness.” Curiously, I clicked on the link and viewed the different images, which outlined the same depressing animated situation in different contexts.

Image: @projectbuddy on Twitter

Image by image, and situation by situation, the message stayed true. The demeanor in which we treat mental illness was blatantly illustrated: we don’t handle it how we should and we don’t talk about it enough. I find solace in the fact that we are taking initiative to address these issues at Penn State. We might not have voted on a shiny “We Are” statue outside of the IM Building that welcomes Instagram likes, but the 2016 class gift is so much more than that. It’s an investment in the betterment of the university and future generations.

This gift proves that CAPS and mental health became a serious topic throughout our time here. The endowment for CAPS will help cultivate these necessary conversations, and we are some of first supporters of this movement. This gift will give resources to the silent sufferers on campus who feel alone, anxious, or depressed — even those who are suicidal. We are the progressive class that will provide immediate counseling services rather than delayed help after students linger on a two-month waiting list.

I first attended CAPS my sophomore year, when it was located in the UHS Building. I was nervous because I didn’t want to be the guy who had a crazy issue and needed therapy, but the experience exceeded my expectations. CAPS immediately welcomed me with open arms. CAPS therapy helped me pull myself out of a hole I had been digging for years, and that is something so valuable.

Now as a senior, I can see that the program needs improvement. The waiting list is months long and students are desperate to get in. There is so much demand right now for mental health counseling that CAPS had to move to a small office next to Rotelli. Issues like these shed light on the fact that our country does not treat mental health correctly. It’s just like any physical illness a student could get — when the Penn State plague rears its ugly head, seemingly everyone on campus gets sick — but we tend to forget that mental suffering is just as painful or severe as external physical suffering.

At the end of the day, I will always be proud to be from Penn State. The “We Are” chant and the notoriety of attending this school facilitates a wide community acceptance. However, what I am most proud of is that my class of 2016 is the beginning of a movement. We are starting a trend that will last into the future. Our gift brings hope and resources to those who think they’ve lost it all. It’s something so important, especially in a time where student life is becoming more and more stressful as society advances. Sure, we might not have something symbolizing our existence here with a statue, but we bring the possibility of a healthier Penn State environment. This should ultimately be our number one priority, and I am forever in awe of that.

About the Author

Drew Klingenberg

As well as being a staff writer for Onward State, Drew is a self-proclaimed Pittsburgh expert and traveling enthusiast. When he is not hiking some strange yet secluded area of the United States, you can see him either standing entirely too long in the State College Chipotle line, or at the gym acting like he's doing something productive. If you appreciate sub-par humor or overly-saturated photography, follow him on Twitter and Instagram (@dmklingenberg). For inquiries please email Drew at [email protected]

Comments

State College Links
More by Drew

Definitions: Drew Klingenberg’s Senior Column

Yes, it’s true. I am both a Klingenberg and a soccer player. This is potentially the first time I’ve ever introduced myself by these two identities, and it will probably be the last.

The Writing On The Wall: Zeno’s Bathrooms Uncovered

A Penn State Student’s Journey From Uncertainty To Self-Started Business

Athletics

Penn State Baseball Snaps Eleven-Game Losing Streak Against Mount St. Mary’s

Penn State, despite weather complications, picked up a much needed win against Mount St. Mary’s.

Penn State Softball No Match For Saint Francis In Doubleheader

Penn State Hoops To Host Grad Transfers Blue-White Weekend

Mulhern, Shigo Better Their Own School Records In Action-Packed Track And Field Weekend

Historic Win Propels Penn State Men’s Lacrosse To Believe It Belongs With The Best

Student Life

A Guide To Penn State’s Best Library Study Spots

A few of our staff members found their favorite libraries across campus and shared why love them for their uninterrupted study sessions.

Sig Ep To Host Humboldt Broncos Benefit Fundraiser

UPUA Funds Late-Night Coffee For Finals Week

Saquon Barkley Shows Some Skin On SI Cover

The NFL Draft begins Thursday, April 26, at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. Barkley is expected to be a top-five pick, and he and his most vehement supporters say there’s no reason he won’t go No. 1 overall.

Position Battles To Watch At This Year’s Blue-White Game

The competition at middle linebacker, safety, and tight end will all be interesting storylines surrounding the 2018 Blue-White spring game.

Dry Weather Expected For Blue-White Weekend

Predicted temperatures in the mid-50s and mostly cloudy skies should make for a pleasant (but more importantly, dry) Blue-White Weekend.

Be the first to know

  • Top posts and the best Penn State stories

Thank you for subscribing.

Something went wrong.

The Worst Places To Propose At Penn State

If you’re planning to propose to your Penn State sweetheart somewhere in Happy Valley, steer clear of these locations.

Be the first to know

  • Top posts and the best Penn State stories

Thank you for subscribing.

Something went wrong.

Send this to a friend