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How Did We End Up Here?: Sarah Sacker’s Senior Column

Well, shit.

Let me tell you: When I say four years flew by, four years FLEW by. I still remember the first time I ever stepped on campus at Penn State. I was about to enter my senior year of high school, and my mom and I decided to visit Penn State as our last destination on my college road trip tour. We had just toured the University of Pittsburgh a few days prior (ew, I know), and touring Penn State was possibly the best decision I have ever made.

My first impression of Penn State was, “Holy shit, this place is huge.” It was intimidating for sure, and I honestly couldn’t figure out if I hated it or loved it. We weren’t even able to get a tour, so we free toured the entire campus not knowing what anything was. When I received my acceptance letter a few months later, something clicked, and I knew Penn State was it. I was going to be a Nittany Lion.

Summer LEAP was one of the best introductions to Penn State I could have ever had. I met lifelong friends, learned campus, knocked a few credits out, and most importantly, I had so much fun. My senior year roommate is someone who was in the same summer LEAP program as me! LEAP helped me feel more at home that first semester of college while everyone else is trying to figure it out for themselves and I am happy about it.

Freshman year of college is all about figuring out who you are and what you want to do. I think I joined about 10 different clubs, and by the end of it, I am finishing out with only two. I entered college thinking I was going to be a doctor and wound up doing a 180 and landing in the College of Communications (sorry, Mom). And you know what? I wouldn’t have done it any other way. Through my major, I learned what I want to do in life and what I love and dislike. I never would have gotten involved with Onward State if I didn’t change over, and I have learned so much and have grown to be a better writer because of it. I have had the opportunity to write sports, opinion columns, and events and news at Penn State. It has been an amazing experience, to say the least.

My general organization, Boulevard, is where I found my people and learned how amazing THON is at Penn State. THON might be my favorite weekend at Penn State and I am so happy to have been a part of a spectacular organization and cause. The memories and experiences I had at THON are truly unforgettable. Even in a pandemic, THON was one of the best weekends of my life. To see Penn State as a community all come together for a common goal and raise millions is truly what this school is all about.

Not even a pandemic can hold me back from saying the last four years have been the best years of my life. Yeah, there were some ups and downs, but in the end, I can say I had a semi-normal senior year and I wouldn’t trade that for anything in the world. Being able to wake up at the ass-crack of dawn to go tailgate at the IM Fields before a football game this year was peak happiness. State College on gameday is a different breed, and I can’t wait to come back every year for the rest of my life. I am going to miss being a student at football games, but I am also ready to sit during games. Gotta find the bright side somewhere, right?

Penn State has become home and my friends have become my family. I am so thankful for everything Penn State has brought me. It is crazy how intertwined everyone is at Penn State. Nine out of 10 times, someone you meet knows someone you know. It is such an amazing community that has a place for everyone, and going into the real world, I know there is a Penn State bar waiting for me wherever I end up.

I have learned who I am at this school, and I will never forget that. I am happy to say I am graduating from Penn State feeling accomplished with who I am and where I am going, and there is no better feeling in the world.

Mark my words. I will be back for a Dirty Sprite.

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About the Author

Sarah Sacker

Sarah is a senior majoring in journalism and a writer for Onward State. She is from Annapolis, Maryland, and is a huge fan of the Ravens and Capitals. Follow her on Twitter @Sarah_Sacker8 or email her at [email protected]

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