The Top 5 Lessons I Learned...As a Spartan
Written by: Gabrielle Ingoglia '20 (Human Services)
My name is Gabrielle Ingoglia. I am a senior at York College of Pennsylvania, soon to be an alumna. I will be graduating with a Human Services degree and Spanish and Psychology minors. My time at York College of Pennsylvania will forever be my favorite. I have spent 4.5 years of my life here, learning, crying, studying, laughing, growing, and making memories. I am proud of everything that I have accomplished, and I have YCP to thank for all of it.
I came into my college experience timid and quiet, and left outgoing and loud. York helped me blossom and become the person who I am meant to be. I hope that YCP gives the same experience, love, and comfort to others that it gave to me. With that being said, I would love to share with new Spartans, old Spartans, and everyone in between the top five lessons that I learned as a Spartan.
1. It’s OKAY to not know yet.
What I mean by this is that it is okay to not know what you want to do yet—switching your major is completely normal in college! It took me awhile to learn this lesson myself; I was nervous to switch my major and continuously asked myself different questions like ‘what if I was wrong?’ ‘Is this really the major I am supposed to have?’ etc. However, switching my major turned out to be the best decision that I could have made. I found what I truly want to do: help others!
The Academic Advising Center is staffed with a plethora of professionals (and students) who can help you! Stephanie Perago was an amazing support when it came to the decision to switch my major. It is never too late either! I switched my major during my junior year.
2. Use the resources!
I cannot stress this enough: use the resources that YCP offers! Whether it is the Academic Advising Center or the Writing Center, they are so helpful! You may feel weird, you may feel embarrassed, you may feel a lot of different emotions when deciding if you should visit a certain center on campus, but I promise that using them will be beneficial. I did not use the Academic Advising Center until my junior year. However, I wish I started sooner. It is never too early to start your resume or do a mock interview. The same goes for tutoring and the Writing Center. The student tutors are there to help YOU!
3. Get to know your professors.
Your professors and academic advisor are there to help you, and they want to see you succeed. I was always nervous to visit my professors and academic advisor, like they might judge me for my grade(s) or they might not be able to help. Please do not listen to that part of your brain! Your professors want to help you and they want you to do well.
With small classes, professors also like to check in more, and always invite you to visit them during their office hours. Some of your professors will be the reason that you love YCP so much. The same goes for your academic advisor. They are there to answer questions and offer insight and advice. The two professors that made the biggest impact on me are Dr. Rich and Dr. Maitoza. I was lucky to have Dr. Maitoza as my academic advisor, as well.
4. Make the most of what YCP offers.
Go to the Campus Activities Board (CAB) events and other organizations' events! Go to the Dance Excel Showcase or the play that's happening, or do something more low-key and take advantage of yoga classes in the Grumbacher Sports and Fitness Center! I also enjoyed supporting the various sports teams at York from wrestling to softball! YCP offers so many different, fun events to attend. Some of my best memories at YCP are from the Pinterest parties and events like the hypnotist. Not only does YCP offer so many fun activities to do, they also offer many professional development opportunities. I was able to attend the Developing Leaders Seminar that focused on leadership development, civic engagement, diversity and inclusion, and professionalism. College is supposed to be fun, but it is also a time for growth and learning!
5. Get Involved
The last lesson that I learned is what I see as the most important—getting involved! Whether you join one club or six clubs, getting involved can make the most of your YCP experience. Throughout my experience at YCP, I have been involved in many different activities. Getting involved might look like getting a job on campus or joining student senate; the options are endless!
During my time at YCP, I was in clubs like Colleges Against Cancer and club softball. I also joined my sorority, Sigma Delta Tau, became an Orientation Leader and a Spartan Ambassador, and many other things! From getting involved, I was able to grow my leadership skills, knowledge, and make meaningful connections.
Joining my sorority has given me so many wonderful experiences, from being able to attend a summer trip in Philadelphia to volunteering with young women at Northern Children’s Services to serving as our Vice President of Philanthropy. Not only was I able to advance my leadership skills and volunteer, I made friends for a lifetime and memories I will never forget.
Navigating through college, whether you are a resident or commuter, is hard, especially now. Whether you are in-person or virtual, please take advantage of everything that York College and your professors have to offer! The surrounding community is also very vibrant and filled with local businesses to support.
YCP has set me up for success after college, memories of a lifetime, and left me with a very tearful goodbye. I end my last semester here at YCP as a fully virtual student, living at home for the first time during my college experience. My last piece of advice to you is please do not take the time you have for granted. Before you know it, those memories will be behind you and you will be faced with the giant world ahead of you.
I am leaving, but it is not a goodbye—just a see you soon. I am ready to change the world and make it a better place, to work in my field, and to educate those around me.
The pictures above are some of my best memories at YCP. On the left is my last Bid Day for my sorority with one of my favorite humans, Tierra! In the middle is the Panhellenic Council (I served as VP of Communications last year) during Bras Across Campus week where we raised money for the Feel Your Boobies Foundation. To the right is my friend Sarah and me in India, where we learned about clinical and ancient psychology practices and the culture. We were able to travel thanks to the Graham Innovation Scholar Program at YCP.