Alumni Spotlight: KC editor loving life in Happy Valley
After excelling in every aspect of North Penn during her time there, class of 2017 graduate Taylor Young is continuing her successes as a current sophomore at Penn State University. Majoring in Secondary Education English and minoring in Education Policy Studies, Young hopes to one day be an educator and inspire the next generation of students, similar to how dozens of NP staff members and teachers have had lasting impacts on her.
The former Knight Crier Editor in Chief took advantage of every second that she had at NPHS through being actively involved in the International Friendship Committee, the North Penn Educational Foundation, and the Spanish Honor Society. Young credits North Penn for preparing her for all the challenges she has faced during the new chapter in her life story.
What is your favorite part about college?
It’s hard to choose one! My classes, involvement on campus, and the incredible professors I’ve learned from are definitely some of my favorite parts about college.
The variety of classes that Penn State offers to its students is simply incredible. When it comes time to select classes each semester, I find myself having a hard time selecting the ones I want, because there are so many interesting courses! Some of my favorites include an introductory course to Educational Psychology, an introductory course to Field Experience for Teacher Preparation, Shakespeare, Fundamentals to Acting, an introductory course to Education Theory and Policy, and Fiction Writing.
Getting involved on campus has been another one of my favorite parts about college. As the Secretary for the College of Education Student Council, I’m more involved in helping with what the council does for the college. Some of my favorite events include giving tours to prospective and accepted students, connecting with the deans and alumni at various events, and writing postcards to accepted students. I’m also a member of the Penn State Outing Club and the First Generation Advocates Club, both of which are great! I’ve also had the opportunity to give back to the Schreyer Honors College by serving as an Orientation Mentor for this year’s incoming freshmen.
As a sophomore in college, I feel so lucky to have had the opportunity to interact with and learn from so many incredible professors already. In almost every class I’ve taken so far, my professors have been great advocates for me not only in my learning, but also in my experience here at Penn State. Building these relationships with and learning from professors in classes that range from English to Education is so gratifying and encouraging. At any point in time, I know I have a strong support system of professors that will help me if I need it.
What do you miss most about North Penn?
This is definitely a tough question to answer because I miss everything about North Penn. While I’m truly loving my experience here at Penn State, nothing could ever replace North Penn. I definitely miss the people and the atmosphere of North Penn. I was fortunate enough to have an absolutely incredible experience, and I attribute that to the hard work, dedication, and passion of all of the teachers, administrators, and staff members. Returning to North Penn over breaks to volunteer, talk about the IFC Study Abroad program, and visit teachers/administrators/staff members always reminds me of the amazing times I had. In my year-long Honors Rhetoric and Civic Life class last year, I had to maintain a blog, which was centered around North Penn. If you’d like to get a better idea of why I appreciate and miss North Penn so much, check it out here: http://sites.psu.edu/nelu/. Oh! I almost forgot. I might be a little biased, but I have to leave a plug here for the Knight Crier because it is the best!
What advice would you give to high schoolers?
My advice is more of a challenge. I would challenge high schoolers to think about failure and making mistakes from a different perspective. For example, what does it mean to fail/make mistakes? What emotions are evoked when you think of failure/making mistakes? What experiences do you have with failure/making mistakes? How would the definition, emotions, and experiences change if you were to change your perspective about failing/making mistakes? Maybe you’d see failure/making mistakes as a necessary part of learning, or maybe you’d see failure/making mistakes as a sign for more practice. Maybe your perception of failure/making mistakes would stay the same.
I challenge high schoolers to think about failure/making mistakes for two reasons. First, as a college student, I have a better understanding of the importance of failure/ making mistakes, and I think it’s necessary to embrace. As a high schooler, I wish I would’ve been more open to failure/making mistakes because being so set on perfection for everything is unrealistic. Second, being open to failure/making mistakes opens up a whole new world. If you go through life only pursuing opportunities that you know you’ll be successful in, you’ll miss out on so many learning experiences and people.
With that said, my advice is to go fail/make mistakes. I’m not saying go into Señor Vidal’s class tomorrow and fail his test on purpose. I’m not saying that at all. I want you to try your best at everything. I’m saying to try something you know you won’t excel at from the start or something that scares you a little. Maybe you want to take an art class but have convinced yourself, “I suck at art.” Take a ceramics class and enjoy the process of learning to the point where you learn from your failure and mistakes. Maybe you’ve always wanted to join the French club but are worried that your skills won’t compare to those in the club. Join the club, allow yourself to be a little vulnerable, and relish in the enjoyment of something you’ve wanted for a while.