Hi everyone! The last few weeks between Thanksgiving break and Winter Break were mostly centered on studying for finals. Studying for finals in college and high school are two completely different ballgames. In high school, I would stay at home and make my own study guides, maybe occasionally study with a friend over the phone. In college, I’ve never seen as many of my friends grouped in one place as during finals week. Whether I went to the study lounge, library, or even dining hall, there were swarms of people loudly engaging in group study. It was really the first time that I started studying in a group setting, and I learned how useful it actually is! Bouncing ideas off one another and learning from each other’s mistakes, we somehow got each other through that week.
However, the highlight of my Winter Break was returning to my high school. A group of alums met in the school gym and were each assigned to a different classroom to discuss our college experiences. Even though I wasn’t particularly close to the alums in my room, I felt a sort of companionship with them, knowing that we all had the mutual experience of a Bishop Guertin High School education. I looked out into the class of current seniors, remembering how I was in the same exact position only a year ago. I thought of all of the things I had learned in my first semester of college.
Each person discussed a different aspect of his or her college experience that affected them. The one that stood out to me most was socially. Having been an utter and complete nerd in high school, I used to think that the most important part of my education was what I learned in the classroom. I discussed in my last post how my education since coming to Penn State has truly branched out beyond the classroom. Sharing this knowledge with others added a whole new dimension to its truth. Afterwards, we had spare time to go through the school and visit our favorite teachers. Here is a picture of me with my favorite teacher, Mr. Galotta. Throughout my four years of high school, Mr. Galotta was somewhat of a grandfather to me, and words can’t describe how happy I was to see him again.
All in all, my first semester was truly amazing and I have just returned to school, so I am thrilled to have the opportunity to do it all over again! I hope all of the other Elks scholars have had (or are still having, if you’re lucky) a delightful and relaxing Winter Break, and return to school refreshed! Be prepared to take what you learned from last semester and apply it to make an even more rewarding next semester!
Elks Scholar Advisory Board Freshman Representative
Pennsylvania State University