“The best things in life are the people we love, the places we’ve been, and the people we meet along the way”.-unknown
Every hour, the iconic Old Main bell tower on Penn State University’s main lawn plays the Alma Mater, resonating and transcending through all of campus. Even from the right spot in downtown State College, you can hear the familiar tune. I remember hearing it for the first time as a freshman during my first week at school. It was a hot, sticky day and I recall very distinctly the feeling that washed over me when the song began. It was a feeling of comfort, of home, and of pride. I can feel the pride all over this place. From the Penn Staters (students and alum alike) decked out in their blue and white, to the regal chime of the bell tower, to linking arms with thousands of my peers singing the Alma Mater at every football game. A place where it is impossible to ever know everyone, but somehow feels like we all already do.
And so, today it is a snow day. And I walk by Old Main once again, hearing the sweet and nostalgic melody. And I think about that hot, sticky August day when I first heard it, and how it is all making sense to me. We are led to the places in our life that are meant to shape us, teach us, and love us. In these places, we find people. And in every stage of life, we are aligned with the people and places that are meant to be a part of our path.
And out of all of the places to go and all of the people to meet, I believe, things must be for a reason. Each moment, from our beginning, makes up a part of the fabric of who we are. It’s the moments, the people, and the places we have been given that allow us to decide who it is we want to be.