Megan’s Story


Megan Kiel

As I look back on my life thus far, I break it into chunks; my early childhood of rec soccer and Brownstown Elementary, the pre-teen years of awkward encounters and sliding phones, high school full of relationships and aspirations, and my life at Penn State. Each chunk of my life has impacted me in many ways. Whether it’s teaching me to be leader, to pursue passions, or to be confident, I am thankful for every experience. But my greatest chunk is the one I’m in now because Penn State taught me the greatest thing it could—to be myself.
When I first came to Penn State I was a nervous wreck. I came in with an undeclared major, not many friends, and no confidence in what I should and should not do. I was the first in my immediate family to go to Penn State, and as the oldest, the first to experience college and leave home. As I look to who I was when I first came to Penn State, I notice how much I have grown. THON has taught me to be passionate. From being a Dancer Relations Committee Member to an OPPerations Captain, I’ve been continuously challenged and tested on who I am as a leader. I had the pleasure to lead a Committee of 37 amazing individuals towards a love for philanthropy and to a successful THON. Cru has taught me to be confident in what I believe in. In high school I was often timid about my faith and nervous to speak out. Penn State has given me outlets to meet new people and share what I believe in and explore my faith with mentorships and relationships. Club Team Handball has taught me to never judge a book by its cover. I knew I wanted to get involved in a sport at Penn State, but never thought I was good enough for the ones I knew. When my friend introduced me to Team Handball, I wasn’t totally convinced that it was the sport for me. But after becoming a founding member, building a team, and winning a national championship, I am proud to call Team Handball my sport. And finally, Homecoming taught me to live out my true potential. I applied to be a Captain my freshman year, not really knowing what it was. My OPP Director saw something in me and it changed my life. Homecoming gave me my first leadership position at Penn State and showed me that I am worth more than I believe. I learned how to be assertive yet kind, to work hard yet have fun, and even how to lead yet be willing to follow. It has tested me with new tasks and has increase my confidence in my abilities.
My experiences at Penn State have changed my life. THON, Cru, Club Team Handball, and Homecoming are key parts of my involvement that have transformed me into the woman I am today. As I compare my freshman year self to who I am today, I now see someone who is confident, experienced, and loving of who she is. All of the chunks of my life have added up to where I am today, but this one is the best one yet.