This I Believe

Christopher - State College, Pennsylvania
Entered on April 21, 2006
Age Group: 18 - 30

Growing up I never knew what is like outside of my area. I lived in the same home my whole life. I took vacations and traveled but as far as understanding how others lived and what they valued was unknown to me. Enrolling into Penn State University was a change for me coming from a middle class family and experiencing poverty through my friends. I believe my group of friends at college has enabled me to have a more complete understanding of what it is like to live outside of my hometown.

Most students at Penn State come from families who have an adequate amount of money in their homes. My friends at college come from millionaire homes, overseas, and areas similar to mine. I feel the biggest difference was how much money some of my friends had. Most of them with money do not like being compared to people who are not wealthy. In other words they are living in a material world. Even though these friends are well mannered, it is just humorous to see some of the things they say and do. I wasn’t being naïve of the common stereotype. It made more of an influence as I experienced it in person. Being around these friends all the time made me realize how differently I act and have different values than them. I doubt they could ever live in my area. It is just how they were brought up and the fact that they have money to throw around. This was new for me to have friends with this kind of money.

It was an eye-opener when my friend paid a trip for me to Las Vegas. I am sure friends from home would do the same if they had the money, but I would never even think of something like this happening until I came to Penn State. I almost did not take the offer because I thought it was crazy and felt it was wrong.

Now that I have been in college for four years I have experienced a lot from my friends. It is definitely a positive experience, because I have a broader sense of people outside of my area. I do not think any one area is necessarily better, but everyone has their own behavior and values, mostly influenced from where they grew up.