University Park is large by any standards, boasting upwards of 46,000 undergraduate students in attendance. In theory, you’d never see the same person twice. In actuality, you will encounter past acquaintances on an almost daily basis. Here are twenty people you’ll always run into at Penn State University!
This is a collaborative piece by: Bristol Jones and Anjilena Truffa
1. Terrible TA
You deserved an A and she gave you an A-. Or maybe you didn’t deserve a better grade, but you maintain some bitterness anyway. You’ll be already grumpy and walking to class when you see her. Hopefully, she’ll be riding her bike so there’s no chance of small talk.
2. Group Member Who Never Pulled Their Weight
He seemed really motivated when the project was introduced. You thought you were finally going to have a fully functional group. Alas, that was not the case. He never answered the group chat and always seemed have to leave meetings early. Then, when it came time to present, he acted like he’d contributed something other than radio silence. You’ll pass him in the HUB without exchanging hellos.
3. Dining Commons Doll
She was your food-centered fairy godmother when you lived on campus. Now, you remember her cheery greetings fondly as you eat ramen for the 17th night in a row. You will become awkwardly excited when you run into her. She acts like she remembers you, but she doesn’t.
4. Miscellaneous Guy from High School
You maybe had two classes together, and didn’t run in the same social circles. But you greet each other with fondness. After, you creep on his Facebook for a while and then forget he exists until the next time you see him.
5. Freshman RA
You never learned her name, and she never remembered yours. You’ll smile vaguely at one another in the bookstore and then busy yourselves with your phones once again.
You have the same major, so you share classes rather often. You joke about your hawk-nosed professor and save each other seats when you’re running late. You consult with him about his answer for the clicker question and he borrows a pen every other class. Outside of class, you’ll run into him on the regular. After, you’ll wonder why you don’t pursue a friendship.
7. Awkwardly Attractive Professor
Sitting in his class gives you butterflies. When you see him in the real world, your inner pre-teen comes out. You flip your hair in his direction and laugh loudly despite nothing funny having been said. You attempt a creeper pic, but abandon the endeavor when he looks in your direction. Rest assured. He didn’t notice you.
8. Your Roommate
You live together. You’d think you could have some space when you’re out and about. But you’ll see her while grabbing coffee and you’ll greet one another like long-long sisters. There is no shame in this.
9. Unknown Fashionista
You don’t know who she is or why she deserves to be so chic. Every time you see her, she is looking good. You wonder what her story is and if it would be weird to ask her where she got that jacket. Hint: It would be. Try not to stare and keep walking.
10. Jackson? Carl? You Have No Idea
He addresses you by name each time your paths cross, which is often. For the life of you, you can’t figure out who he is or how you know him. NSO? PSYCH 100? That art class you never went to? You’ll run into him literally everywhere; nowhere is safe from his overly enthusiastic hello. You know the situation is dire when you start to refer to him as “buddy”.
11. Your Best Friend
So what if you look like an idiot passing them in the Hub and frantically waving and cheesing to get their attention? You actually like seeing them, and it makes your day 10x better. Everyone can relate to seeing the person you tell all your secrets to on the daily. Just remember, look who’s around before you briefly start complaining about your lab partner in the most populated building on campus.
12. The Willard Preacher
You literally cannot avoid this man. He has been here since 1982, rain or shine. Pretty sure you’re REQUIRED to either have a class in Willard or Sackett, in which case you will pass him mid-preach. If you stay to listen to him for more than two minutes though, he’s guaranteed to either enrage or enlighten, with a laugh here and there. In all honesty though, he’s got a point: Natty Light is the devil. His other lectures include: parties, sex, drugs, and of course, God.
Pro-Tip: If you bring him a packaged condom, he will sign it “You’re going to hell” -Willard Preacher
13. Your Ex.
They suck, but in your four years at Penn State, you are more than likely destined to run into someone who used to give you the major feels. Despite the fact that you forgot they existed, a run-in with an ex can be a painful day. Whether or not you’re friendly towards one another or he/she completely played you, try not end up in a yelling match on College Ave with hands balled into fists, or the cops will come. (I’ve witnessed this) Instead, pretend to be in deep conversation with a friend, find the nearest attractive human being and flirt, or maybe try to just be civil and give a quick “hi” and “bye.”
14. The Hot Cheerleader/Lionnette
If you hover around the Starbucks line, go to the football and basketball games, or even just sit on the giant High School Musical Steps of the Hub, you’re destined to see her. She knows she’s hot and she’s constantly out in public wearing a puffy, navy cheerleader jacket, leggings, Penn State sneakers, with some sort of flavored coffee in hand. If you’re a girl, you want to be her, and if you’re a guy, you sure as hell want to date her. Either way, it’ll make your day better when you run into the hot cheerleader.
15. Saquon Barkley… and Basically Any Other Football Player
Let’s be honest, Saquon is eye candy, PERIOD. Hit up the Hub at lunch time, and you will undoubtedly see a row of football boys sitting at one of two high tables, conveniently located in the center of the food court area. Throw out your food at the same time as him, and it’s close to as close to a magical Penn State experience as you’ll get in 2017.
16. Your Professor that You Hated
You would probably take running into your Ex over this professor. He or she either failed to round up that 89.8% or just flat out sucked at teaching. It’s not fun to see this particular person outside of class, but it happens pretty often if you linger around the Hub. At least you can get a deep tingle of satisfaction knowing that they’re eating lunch alone while you’re surrounded by all your friends who didn’t care if you received a C+ in his class. Jokes on them I guess.
17. Your Freshman Roommate
Love them, hate them, or just found a better friend to live with in the years that followed your Freshman experience, you’re bound to run into them at some point in time. Sometimes it’s nice catching up and reminiscing about how you two used to watch sappy movies together or have pajama dance parties on a Thursday night, but mostly, it’s nice to know that they contributed to who you became as a person during your first year of college.
18. That Guy You Shut Down Last Weekend
He might have been creepy, or douchy, or maybe he just came on too strong, but a run-in with him ends up with your hood going up and your voice becoming hushed. If you didn’t have a good experience with him, it’s probably best to quickly find a friend and have them call you by a fake name. If you were just too intoxicated to realize he was cute, I highly recommend “accidentally” bumping into him and saying “HEY! YOU WERE AT THAT PARTY” Note: Proceed with caution, just because he looks normal now, doesn’t mean he wasn’t creepy before.
19. That Guy You Didn’t Shut Down
20. That Girl You Follow on Instagram but Don’t Actually Know
Omg, she’s literally everywhere. You may know her as a friend of a friend, or from Insta because she was too perfect not to follow, but she’s just as pretty in person as she is on social media. It’s awkward because you know you both recognize each other, but you’re not on the level to say “hi” yet, so maybe just look down at your cellphone and keep walking to class.
Featured photo source: 10worthy.com
Alexandra Smith is majoring in Psychology, with a minor in Creative Writing. In her free time, she enjoys running, hanging out with family friends, and roaming the world with her camera in hand.