As someone who traveled from a suburb outside of Philadelphia, Purdue wasn’t a short car trip away. But I knew that Purdue was the perfect place for me. My dad is a Purdue alum, so growing up, my household was full of big Purdue fans. When it was time for me to choose a school, my family and I were excited to visit the Purdue campus for a tour, but I also got the chance to take a class at the business school and interact one-on-one with a student ambassador who inspired me to become an ambassador today. Those experiences, along with meeting Mary Laurie, who works alongside the ambassadors, tied my fate to enroll and attend Purdue.
Although my sister was going to be a senior when I was starting my freshman year, I knew that my experience would be completely different than hers, especially since I knew no one in my freshman class. But that is why I wanted to attend Purdue. I wanted to have a fresh start and create new experiences in a different part of the country that wasn’t like Pennsylvania. But that doesn’t mean I wasn’t just as nervous. I was most worried about how I would transition from high school to college life. I was so used to going to school from 8 in the morning to 3 in the afternoon, and once I got to Purdue I had so much free time and I had no idea what to do with it.
Once I got used to my life here, I got to focus on how excited I was about the opportunities Purdue had to offer me. There were moments I was afraid to put myself out there, but I had many moments where it worked out for me, especially meeting my current best friend, Cora. She sat next to me one day in my ECON 252 class because she said she recognized me, and going forward, we sat next to each other every class. Soon we found out how similar we were to each other and started hanging out all the time. You never know where putting yourself out there will take you.
My first couple weeks on campus were pretty tough. I was really homesick. I missed my mom's homecooked Chicken Parmesan. And nothing beats going to Pat’s and watching a Philly cheesesteak being made right in front of your eyes. My transition without my support system at home took a little time to get used to. When I was really missing home, my family would send care packages of some of my favorite snacks, like extra toasty Cheez-Its and jalapeño chips, to name a few.
Luckily, I started joining clubs that interested me, such as club soccer and becoming a Business Ambassador. This helped me to meet so many people, especially the ones I consider my lifelong friends. The people I met here at Purdue are what make this place feel so special. Purdue has helped me to not only grow as a person but create a home away from home. For anyone who is traveling out of state like me, just know that even though it is uncomfortable and hard putting yourself out there all the time, it is one of the best things you can do for yourself because you never know if you will meet your new best friends. Just know that Purdue has a place for you, all you need to do is find it.