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College of Education > News and Publications > 2020: 04-06 news > Penn State a 'perfect fit' for incoming College of Education student

Penn State a 'perfect fit' for incoming College of Education student

Freshman Michael Parrish knows better days are ahead. And he knows that Penn State is going to provide them.

Despite not ending his final year at Trinity High School in Washington, Pennsylvania, the way senior years typically end – especially with him and his baseball teammates being struck out by COVID-19 – Michael Parrish knows better days are ahead. And he knows that Penn State is going to provide them.

MICHAELPARRISH
Michael Parrish, from Washington, Pennsylvania, will enroll in Penn State's College of Education in the fall.
“In fact, I will make sure that better days are ahead because I have learned from this unprecedented pandemic that we should never take anything for granted,” said Parrish, who will enroll in Penn State’s College of Education in the fall. “It is up to us to make sure that better days are ahead.

“After all, no pandemic in history has ever lasted forever. Good times are definitely on the horizon and even better times will be found at Penn State University in the future. I think that we all will appreciate life so much more after experiencing this pandemic.”

Parrish will prepare for a future in education and he believes Penn State is prepared for whatever difficult pandemic-related decisions have to be made in terms of serving its students.

I am really looking forward to being a part of Penn State and the College of Education family in the fall,” he said. “Not only am I excited to be a part of the Nittany Lion football student fan section (if there is one), I am also looking forward to making new friends and meeting others majoring in education. 

“I do believe college friends are lifelong friends. Preparing for a career in teaching requires a lot of interaction with not only other students but with the advisers and professors helping to pave the way for my future success in teaching. The College of Education is the perfect size for me to be able to interact with my advisers and education professors to achieve all of these things while at the same time being a part of a big university,” Parrish said.

He said the special atmosphere he encountered on campus and from within the College of Education when he visited during summer 2019 as a prospective student gave him that feeling of belonging.

“Penn State students and alumni share a bond that cannot be found at any other university. Not only does Penn State have an excellent academic, social and sports reputation, I found their College of Education to be exemplary,” Parrish said. 

“Penn State’s teacher (educator) preparation programs are approved by the PA Department of Education, accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education and nationally recognized by specialized professional agencies. They are also recognized nationally and internationally for their research and scholarship achievements. Penn State provides all students with so many opportunities academically and socially to thrive and  succeed. It is for all of these reasons that Penn State is the perfect fit for me.”

“We have all heard the famous saying, ‘Life is 10% of what happens and 90% of how we react to it.’ In life attitude is everything, and it is what shapes our beliefs and desires. Penn State’s core values include respect, integrity, community, discovery, learning, responsibility and excellence. It is our time right now as incoming Penn Staters to show the world that ‘We Are’ made of these core values, and that ‘We Are’ strong and resilient.
-- Michael Parrish

Penn State students were not permitted to return to campus from spring break in March because of the coronavirus outbreak, its first summer session also is of the remote learning variety and a decision has yet to be made about how the University is going to approach the upcoming fall semester. Yet, Parrish is confident Penn State will offer him what he needs.

“I can appreciate everything going on behind the scenes in making the decision and preparing for possible online instruction in the fall,” he said. “I want more than anything to be able to experience my freshman year on campus, living in a residence hall and having in-person classes. However, I know and believe that Penn State wants to do what is best and the safest for all students, faculty and staff.

“I believe and have faith that the College of Education will provide us with a great and strong academic plan whether it be in person or virtual. Teachers have to be flexible and this is a perfect opportunity for those of us majoring in education and planning to be teachers to show just how flexible we really are.”

Parrish said his brother finished his senior year at Penn State virtually because of the pandemic. “Although he was devastated to finish his Penn State career virtually, his professors were more than ready and able to give him a world class education just like he experienced throughout his four years on campus at Penn State,” he said.

Parrish, as well as other incoming freshmen and returning students, is aware his fall semester may not look quite like a typical Penn State fall, depending on a plethora of upcoming administrative decisions.

“We have all heard the famous saying, ‘Life is 10% of what happens and 90% of how we react to it.’ In life attitude is everything, and it is what shapes our beliefs and desires,” he said. “Penn State’s core values include respect, integrity, community, discovery, learning, responsibility and excellence. It is our time right now as incoming Penn Staters to show the world that ‘We Are’ made of these core values, and that ‘We Are’ strong and resilient. 

“We cannot let this pandemic deter us in any way from following our path to a Penn State education whether it be in person or virtual. It already took the last months of our senior year away from us, we cannot let it take our first year of college away, too. ‘We Are’ the Class of 2024, and we want to keep it that way regardless of what the future holds. Let us begin our future together in the fall of 2020, no matter what,” Parrish said.

Jim Carlson (May 2020)