Several years back, I was looking to go to college.
I had graduated from a local two-year school a few years before and had a decent job, one which paid OK but had no benefits and no guarantees from week to week. I figured it was time to start looking to go back to school as a “non-traditional” student.
I ended up selecting a state school in central Pennsylvania — Lock Haven University, or as it was affectionately known, The Haven.
In a life full of ups and downs, it was the place where I truly grew and where I really found myself. Not that everything after college has worked out perfectly, but it was a great place to attend college.
The classes were good, the teachers — for the most part — were really good, and I enjoyed the area. I won’t lie, though. I haven’t kept in touch with more than a few people I went to college with. Though I got along with a lot of people there, I didn’t really look to make the “lifelong” friends that others did. I basically wanted the experience of college and know that I could keep in contact with a few people when I left.
Once I got over the first few weeks, I embraced the college.
I received a solid education, had some really good experiences and met a lot of good people. I enjoyed “dorm” life, despite being a couple of years older than others in the dorm. I liked classes and realized how much I enjoyed education. The layout of the area was nice and even “The Stairway to Haven,” the monster set of steps heading up to the dorms, was OK by me.
For the first semester, I didn’t truly like it. Maybe it was being stuck in Pennsyltucky. Maybe it was just the odd vibe of everything. But it took me a good semester to find my feel of the Haven.
The odd part of Lock Haven was, despite it being a decent-sized campus, it was basically a commuter school. I don’t mean a true commuter school, but a weekday one. The dorms were quite quiet and empty on the weekends. I learned how nice that could be. Only a few people stayed on campus, so it was nice to be able to chill out and do whatever without so many people being around.
I did find it funny, though, that RDs seemed to be a little more hard-ass on the weekends in regard to the rules. Made no sense to me.
During the course of the three years I was at Lock Haven, I truly felt I grew as a person. I enjoyed the college experience and never looked back with any regrets. Well, outside of choosing an out-of-state school, which made it way more expensive. I do wish I had done a few more things — such as looked into studying abroad for a semester. Alas, there’s not much to be done about that now.
Since graduating, I’ve looked back at Lock Haven quite fondly. I’ve applied for a few jobs there (no luck, unfortunately) and have kept tabs on as much as I can. One year, I was taking part in a mascot club with Pathtags (used in geocaching). I made one of Lock Haven and it’s one of the best pathtags I’ve ever created.
My time at the Haven was one I’ll always remember. It’s how I always wanted college to be and I’m glad my experience came there.
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