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Tracy Mapaye

Year in school: Junior
Major: Chemistry

What was your first impression of PSA & how does it differ from your impression of it now?
My first impression of PSA was actually much earlier than my first Quad Day at U of I. It started back in high school because of my family. They made it seem so fun, inviting, and open. I had also heard that PSA was really cliquey and introspective, but hey I thought what club/organization isn’t? But my impression of PSA now is that they aren’t cliquey, but they still are fun, inviting, and open. PSA is different because they really value that familial aspect and growth of self awareness. PSA is a great organization and I wouldn’t have imagined myself without it and the experiences it has given me today.

What’s it like to be in PSA?
There are so many different things/feelings when you’re in PSA. Being in PSA gives you those bonds of friendship that you’ll have for the rest of your life, it gives you a familial aspect, it provides growth, and provides introspection, it provides a sense of support, and it provides a lot of outlets to get to know people and spend time with them, oh and to getting to know your culture especially!

My favorite memory of PSA so far…is being on the Foellinger stage performing the FACT dance of 2012.
Showcasing my culture has been one of my own personal goals for joining PSA because I never had that chance
when I was in high school. My high school didn’t have a large population of Asians and Asian Americans and I
had to seek it at other high schools. Being in PSA I wanted to learn more about my roots, where I came from, and
I wanted to showcase that. I’m so thankful for having been one of the leads in FACT and I’ll remember it poreber!
But in general, my favorite aspect about PSA is all the memories it has given me. It has given me closer ties with
people, friends that I can count on, older mentors who I know are there for me and I can talk to them about every
thing and anything, and insight to who I am as a person. Reflecting back on my two years has being a member of
PSA…and it has been nothing but good feels and good vibes.

What advice can you give to students?
Be open to new experiences. Try new things when you are presented an opportunity, meet new people, and be open about who you are. Go out every once in a while and let loose! Also, make sure to study when you have free time and use every moment you have to study. Experience new things, you can go ahead and start a new organization, join a rally, converse with a teacher and TA’s, apply for internships, and become more certain of who you want to be in the future and be able to look back and tell yourself about who you have become. College is about making mistakes, learning from them, and being able to challenge yourself. You’re going to learn so much more than you know in your years here at U of I, just never lose sight of who you are, your values and your passions.