Road to Commencement: Erin Young

Erin Young

Engineering major Erin Young graduated from Penn State Brandywine on May 4 after beginning her Penn State career at the University Park campus. 

Credit: Erin Young

Major: Engineering

Option: Multidisciplinary Engineering Design

Graduation Date: May 4, 2024

As Erin Young prepared to graduate on May 4, she reflected on her time at Penn State Brandywine and the unique experiences she had.

“I originally started my education at Penn State University Park as an architectural engineering major. I did my first two years there and loved it, but the pandemic played a huge role in wanting to change campuses,” she said. “I ended up transitioning to Penn State Brandywine because it was the closest campus to my house, and I could still study engineering.”

She also mentioned that she likes how there is one broad engineering major at Brandywine as opposed to multiple options.

“Even though I was an architectural engineering major, I still wasn’t sure where I wanted to go with that. I felt restricted,” she said. “With the multidisciplinary focus at Brandywine, I felt like I could do whatever I wanted to do.”

During her time at Brandywine, Young was a peer mentor and had an internship for two consecutive summers at Jensen Hughes, an engineering and consulting services company located in West Chester. After graduation, she will be joining the company full time, where she will do risk analysis for nuclear power plants.

Young said that her greatest accomplishment during her time at Brandywine was earning dean’s list recognition for the first time.

“I saw a huge change in my grades after transitioning to Brandywine. When I got dean’s list, I realized I was actually a good student,” she said.

“I’m also proud of myself for establishing my own community here at Brandywine. I formed such close bonds with the friends I made here; some transitioned to University Park, and I also became friends with the people I did my capstone project with. Having this community around me has really helped me succeed here.”

Young said the most valuable lesson she learned was to make college fit into her life, not the other way around.

“I used to think that the college experience was about being on your own and fitting into the ‘miserable college student’ trope, but that’s not the case,” she said. “When I got to Brandywine, I felt like I could balance everything easier, and I learned to not let college consume me.”

Young recalls spending time with her friends in the club room in the Student Union as her favorite memory at Brandywine.

“When I first came to Brandywine, I made this group of friends, and we would always hang out in the club room, eating and doing homework. Those were very fond memories for me,” she said. “I finally felt like I found my people and fostered a work-life balance at the same time.”

College is what you make of it; don’t let other people tell you how to do college.

—Erin Young , class of 2024

When advising future Brandywine students, Young said to take your time and not rush through college.

“College will always be there, so if you don’t know what you want to do, that’s OK,” she said. “College is what you make of it; don’t let other people tell you how to do college.”