You know what a great feeling is?! Feeling like you belong. Am I right?! Everyone has moments where they feel out of place and then come the moments where you really feel like “I belong here.” That second one is how I am currently feeling.
It has been nothing short of a busy week of residency on the Penn State campus. Before you ask “which campus?,” it’s the State College campus and the one I believe is the main Penn State campus. It took me just a bit over 3 hours to drive here on Sunday and it was a surprisingly beautiful day for driving once I left the Binghamton area. I think tomorrow (Friday) may hold an entirely different experience as I read the hazardous weather statements with heavy rains…
Anyway back to the good news…I already recapped Sunday here, so let’s get to the weekdays.
Monday morning our residency began at 8am with breakfast, meeting our teams and lots of information about what is ahead. Each team also created a form of transportation to describe our team and a name. We are Apollo 5. Please enjoy my drawing skills and the fact that my team made me the driver of the rocket, possibly because I love to work ahead.
Throughout our time, they have kept us well fed. Between breakfast, lunch and dinner buffets, we have also had snacks in the morning and afternoon. I definitely was surprised by the amount of food. While you easily have the options and can overeat, I felt I took small portions of most things as I wanted to try as much as possible in some of the buffets. I didn’t pass up dessert any day, but usually just chose one meal to have dessert or have cookies at snack time.
Also let’s not forget when we changed rooms Wednesday and suddenly had a slushee machine. I had to get a small lemonade slushee post lunch Wednesday.
After Monday, our days began at 7am with breakfast in the restaurant. Since I am a big breakfast lover, I was down there by 7:05 at the latest probably. On Tuesday I had set my alarm for 6:30, but after that I set my alarm for 6am so I could enjoy black tea plus collagen in my room while doing some of the reading before heading down for breakfast. I brought collagen and am glad I did for some protein boost as I know I have been light on the meat.
Since our days were pretty much scheduled from 7am-7pm and mostly included sitting, I was fine with eating a bit less than usual. I was actually quite excited when we had some free time Thursday afternoon and I hit up the pool and did 100 laps. I still have it!! However, I do believe the length of the pool was only around 20yds as opposed to 25m which would be standard. It was a nice lap lane however and I had the pool to myself.
The week has included a ton of group work and really connecting with our groups. My group seems great so far and we are efficient at getting tasks done. I hope this continues through the semester.
From breakfast, lunch and dinner, I have enjoyed meeting new people and learning about their backgrounds and what they enjoy. I thought it was great that we were able to introduce ourselves to everyone in the group, which took 3 days during breaks because there are 88 of us, but we did it and it helped to learn some fun facts about one another and connect. I have been able to share my work experience, travel stories and my goals for the future with these new connections. Sharing and getting feedback has been amazing and really made me feel like I belong. Not only that, I have my team and more. My team will be changing each semester for different classes as we are all on different paths, but I am not doing this alone. I really feel like there is support in this team environment. Having these face to face experiences and chatting over meals has been amazing!! It reassures me that I made the right choice with Penn State and also with pursuing my MBA now. Had I tried (and I did apply) years ago, I would have felt completely different and more like it was forced upon me, whereas now I feel like it really was my choice and I have a direction to go with it.
Cheers to a new chapter beginning. It will certainly be challenging working and going to school as well as balancing other activities, but it will be worth it.
We are….Penn State!!