ERIE, Pa. -- With the bed made and the clothes folded away — thanks, Mom — the class of 2019 turned to posters and trophies and throw rugs and Keurigs and bubblegum-colored rubber rain boots, all of which said: This is who I am.
The class is one of the largest, most diverse and academically advanced groups ever to enroll at Penn State Erie, The Behrend College: 1,245 students from 26 countries, including China, Vietnam, Somalia and the Maldives. The students come from 30 states, districts and territories, including 50 of Pennsylvania’s 67 counties.
Many are living on campus, navigating independent life for the first time. On move-in day, they carried with them tokens from home: a keepsake photo, a stuffed animal, a lucky baseball cap.
Here, a few of our new students talk about the items that matter most to them: