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Hello! My name is Kim, and I'm from the suburbs of Philadelphia. I graduated in 2009, but I can still remember the fear and uncertainty that consumed me when I was first accepted to Penn State and tried to decide what major to choose. I was the kind of student who was interested in almost anything and everything, and picking a major before I had even started college was a thought that sent me into a panic. I knew what sort of classes I liked, but deciding what to do with the rest of my life was another story.
So I simply followed the recommendation of my adviser and started taking classes I enjoyed and was interested in. I loved archaeology and took some anthro classes. I loved the sciences and soon found myself in bio, chem, physics, and even the infamous o-chem. But I also enjoyed math, philosophy, theater, sociology, mythology, and ballroom dancing, and took those classes as well. The DUS program allowed me to explore all of these areas and decide if I wanted to pursue them further or not.
Plus, my adviser helped me to realize that declaring a major didn't mean I had to shove my other passions and interests aside. For example, I decided I didn't want to major in archaeology but was still passionate about it. So, through Penn States study abroad program, I went to Egypt for a summer and worked on an excavation where I unearthed ancient artifacts that had been buried for thousands of years! It was a life-changing experience that I still treasure to this day.
My official major turned out to be psychology, believe it or not. And, yes, all of those seemingly unrelated classes that I took over the years ended up counting toward some part of my major. I was invited to join Schreyer Honors College and also had the opportunity to gain valuable experience volunteering in a neurophysiology research lab. I graduated in 2009 and a few months later was offered a full-time position as a clinical research coordinator at the University of Pennsylvania. I absolutely love what I'm doing, but I know that without the DUS program and the incredible advising I received there, I never would have ended up on such a successful and enjoyable path.