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Think Outside the Barn

Posted: October 4, 2011

Expand your horizons while at Penn State!
Our 2009 Ag Leap group visits a poultry facility as part of numerous industry tours.

Our 2009 Ag Leap group visits a poultry facility as part of numerous industry tours.

An open mind will take you far. This generally accepted statement definitely applies to your life in college as well. I learned this firsthand, so let me share with you how an open mind opened doors and allowed me to expand my horizon here at Penn State. 

Like many of you, I came to Penn State with a major and life plan already selected for myself. With pressure from family and guidance counselors to pick my intended major before heading off to college, I selected my major with very little experience or knowledge on the subject. I wanted to be a veterinarian. The tunnel vision I came in with limited me immensely. Little did I know, less than a year into college I would change my mind entirely.

I picked a roommate with similar interests, joined animal-related organizations, and selected classes to set me on the path to become a veterinarian. I was enrolled in the Ag Leap program the summer before my freshman year (which I have to admit was the best decision I have made to date in my time at Penn State!). In Ag Leap our intimate group of freshman explored various majors and fields of study offered in the College of Ag Sciences. From food science to horticulture, I became aware of new and exciting majors and before long I made the decision to switch from pre-vet to Environmental Resource Management.  

I will admit it was not an easy decision. College in general can be a stressful and changing time, so the feeling of knowing your path is comforting, but I challenge you, just as I challenged myself, to think outside of the box! Did you know that a major in Wildlife and Fisheries Science was available? Neither did I! And now it is my minor. An open mind will lead you to endless possibilities. What better time than college to explore?

--Jessica