Paulex Colon
Psychology - Business Option (College of the Liberal Arts)

My name is Paulex and I was born in Puerto Rico and raised in Philadelphia. I am half Puerto Rican and half Dominican and I try to make my “latinidad” a big part of my identity.  

Tell us about your freshman year. 

My freshman year was an interesting experience. I heard about culture shock before but never realized how real it was.  

In addition, not being decided on a major was stressful and it discouraged me because I felt like I didn’t belong anywhere. It took me a while to realize that I came to Penn State to discover myself. It is totally possible to move forward without knowing what you want to do. I found that once I gave in and stopped trying to put my life together it all eventually fell into place. There is no way for me to know what my future holds but I decided that I would be successful no matter what, and I’ve never been more sure of anything. The most important thing I learned was that I don’t have to have everything figured out right now.  

What have you learned during your time at Penn State? 

A good tip for getting through PSU is take care of your health and love yourself. If you are constantly fatigued and unfocused, you’ll make it harder on yourself and you’ll have a miserable time. 

If you could go back in time, what would you tell your freshman self? 

I would tell myself that this is where I belong and I am here for a reason. I always felt out of place and often thought about transferring home. I eventually learned that I have a path to follow, and this is it.  

I would also tell myself to speak up. Let your supporters and loved ones know that you’re struggling. They are there to guide you when you’re in the dark and the sooner you act, the sooner you’ll see improvement.  

Finally, I would say that freshman year is the best time to venture out and make friends. I have never been much of a social person but the few good friends I made during my freshman year are friends I still keep up with often.  

Anything else you would like to share? 

I hope that my words inspire you all to love yourselves and recognize your greater purpose. Let them [your supporters] help you.  

Good luck with the rest of your time here and make the most of it. You were chosen to be here for a reason.