You’re Not a Real Penn State Student Unless You Know These 25 Things

Penn State is Happy Valley, home of the greatest show in college football, and a place where over 40,000 students get to enjoy the perks of State College, Pa. From the Big O to the Phyrst, your 4 (or 5…or 6) years at Penn State give you enough memories and experiences to last a lifetime, and then some (hence the largest dues-paying alumni association on the planet). Whether you’re camping out at Nittanyville, participating in the largest student-run philanthropy in the world FTK, or winning the International Children’s Peace Prize, you’re bleeding blue and white until the day you die.

1. Squirrel Girl. What other school has a student made globally famous because of the cute outfits she makes for friendly squirrels? (Our ducks are pretty friendly, too.)

2. 100 Thomas is absolutely the most intimidating room on campus with over 700 seats; and yet, you had to take ECON in there as a freshman.

3. You’ve got your own theory about where the JoePa statue is currently located. #409

JoePa Statue

4. Everybody’s got their favorite flavor at the Creamery, and you laugh at people when they attempt to order more than one flavor (unless they’re Bill Clinton, then it’s okay?).

5. 55 Days at Cafe is on your senior year bucket list…as a freshman.

6. THON. Need I say more?

penn state thon

7. As a freshman, East Halls is the greatest place to live on campus while you walk around with your lanyard and map. Then, about 3 weeks later, you wonder how you could ever enjoy a room for 2 the size of a walk-in closet and wish you picked Pollock instead.

8. Grillers was the grossest…but also the best. RIP.

9. Football’s not just a sport, it’s a way of life. For 8 weekends every year, State College becomes the 3rd largest town in the state as 100,000 fans flood the Stadium for one of college football’s greatest traditions. Plus, we play stump in the parking lot.

penn state football

10. Two words: West cookies.

11. Blue/White Weekend is basically Homecoming in the spring.

12. And Artsfest is basically Blue/White Weekend in the summer.

penn state art

13. You’ve walked the long way around Willard to avoid the Willard Preacher, because nobody enjoys being yelled at for drinking too much alcohol on the way to their 8 am.

14. At some point, you have had to hand out fliers in the HUB – but you’ve also mastered how to avoid picking up any despite walking through during primetime hours.

15. You’ve been a part of some sort of rally or riot in Beaver Canyon.

rally penn state

16. Seeing Mike the Mailman already makes for a fantastic day, but if he rings the bell and let you know you have nice shoes, you know you’ve made it.

17. We all know what it’s like to be denied a snow day despite literal feet of snow on the ground.

snow day penn state

18. You know that amazing, miraculous feeling when you somehow manage to get all the classes you want by refreshing eLion at JUST the right time. Or, you’ve gotten the once-in-a-lifetime chance to sign up for a class when someone dropped out, and you just happened to be near a computer when you got the text alert.

19. You’ve memorized all of the famous/big name alumni and can rattle them off for anyone who asks – Ty Burrell, Lara Spencer, The Hulk, like 100 NFL players – because we’ve obviously got cooler alumni than everyone else.

20. You know how to take the perfect Old Main picture, because that building looks beautiful no matter what the weather. #Oldmainstagram

old main penn state

21. You’ve devoured some food thanks to fourth meal at Redifer. Breakfast at 2am? Yes please.

22. Weekends don’t get much better than Table Wars at the Phyrst. We are table number one…

23. At some point, you’ve waited in line for the Lion Shrine. Graduation? Homecoming? The sun is out for once? Yeah, you’ll be waiting at least half an hour to take a picture.

penn state lion

24. You’ve gotten into a heated debate with a friend between Canyon and College Pizza.

25. Happy Valley has been, and always will be, your second home. We take pride in everything – academics, athletics, you name it – because there’s no better place to be than Dear Old State.

Story & Photos by Maddy Pryor, Class of 2013

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