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Molded By State: Sarah D’Souza’s Senior Column

I have no idea how to write this. How do I find the words to encapsulate four of the greatest years in just one senior column? Writing something like this is incredibly stressful because you only get one shot to do it just right. But here I am, graduating in mere days, and it’s time to finish this once and for all.

I honestly never thought I’d come to Penn State. Being from “right outside Philly” meant that everyone from my hometown comes here, but all I wanted for college was a fresh start and a chance to reinvent myself into the person that I really want to be. But I ended up here anyways and have loved (almost) every single minute ever since.

Being the person that I am, I was only really concerned about making new friends in this scarily huge new world, but had no worries at all about my academics. I quickly learned I should definitely have had those priorities switched, because not only did college classes kick my butt, but within hours of freshman orientation I’d met the people who are still my best friends today and are really more like family at this point.

Penn State is where I became a college-educated adult, but it’s also so much more. This is the place where I found my life-long friends, my future bridesmaids, and my people. This is where I developed my hobbies and interests, learned how to deal with people, and honed in on what I really want in life. This is also where living in dorms and my apartment taught me just how frustratingly challenging but amazingly fun living with other people can be, but I also figured out how to be a great cook, and how to (poorly attempt to) keep my living spaces clean. This is where I literally laughed too loud, drank too much (coffee, ~teas~, you name it), and stayed up way too late all the time.

Thank you to Onward State for giving me the ability to do something I love for the greatest student-run news site in the WORLD. Thank you to everyone on staff for always being so welcoming, hysterical, and fun-loving. Even though I only joined staff as a senior, I have cherished this experience and only wish I’d started it sooner.

I honestly have no idea what my life would look like today if I’d never come to Penn State, but luckily, I’ll never have to find out. So, excuse me for being cheesy, but it’s what I do best…

I really do feel like I stood at childhood’s gates as a naïve freshman, truly shapeless in the hands of fate. Now here we are four years later, and I have been molded by Dear Old State.

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About the Author

Sarah D'Souza

Sarah is a senior biobehavioral health major and a staff writer for Onward State. Like basically half of Penn State, she is from "right outside Philadelphia," and is the first Nittany Lion in her family. She is an avid lover of cheese, sushi, and carbs of all sorts. Unlike most people, she loves grammar and, like most people, enjoys long walks to wherever the puppies are. Hit her up at [email protected].

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