UNIVERSITY PARK — While many recent high school graduates are just beginning to relax into their last summer before college, some are getting a head start on their collegiate education.
Classes for the summer session at Penn State started Wednesday, and most freshmen moved into their dorms Sunday.
Drew Bednarski, a freshman from Wyoming, Pa., chose Penn State for its reputation.
“I came to Penn State because of the amount of opportunities that are here, and it’s such a well-known school that I wanted to become a part of it,” Bednarski said. “I came to summer session to get a head start, learn the campus and to get ahead on my classes.”
For Terry Kim, the transition to college was an even bigger change than for most new students.
“I used to go to international school in South Korea,” Kim said. “Everything is new for me because I’m an international student; like, living in a dorm is the first time for me, too.”
Luke Kim, also from South Korea, was most shocked by the size of the campus.
“It’s big; I mean, there’s so many people,” Luke Kim said. “I know a few of my friends are here from my previous high school, but I don’t see them around. Class-to-class time is 25 minutes, but it’s too big. I mean, I have my Sperrys on, but I need to get new shoes, like Nikes.”
Like many students, Austin Considine, of Trucksville, decided to attend Penn State because of family members who are alumni.
“My brother, he came here and my other friends said summer session was a really great experience, so I decided to go,” Considine said. “It’s cool; I play basketball a lot and I’ve met a lot of people so far.”
Ashley White, of North Caldwell, N.J., chose to attend summer session as a safeguard.
“When I applied to Penn State, I applied for the summer because I didn’t know if I was going to get in to the fall and I really wanted to come here,” White said. “I went for a run this morning and I went all the way around campus; it’s beautiful.”
For freshman Jeff Callman, of Bucks County, summer session at Penn State is an investment in his future.
“I have a lot of family friends that recommended Penn State, especially summer session,” Callman said. “They said it was one of the better summers of their lives and a lot of them went to Smeal, which I’m planning on doing, and they found it easy to get jobs.”
Although there are many reasons for attending summer session, for Frank Tragni, of Marlboro, N.J., and many other freshmen, love for the campus is reason enough to cut his summer short.
“My sophomore year I came to visit my cousin here and I loved the campus. Ever since, I just wanted to come here,” Tragni said. “Campus is awesome. I love it.”
Casey McCracken can be reached at 231-4646. Follow her on Twitter @cmccrackennews.