Penn State University is located at the very center of Pennsylvania and is one of the biggest universities in the country. There is always something to do on campus or downtown. Some, like myself, argue that they go to the best university in the country thanks to stellar academics, sports and clubs. If you want to find out why we’re such a Happy Valley, keep reading for 20 reasons why Penn State is the absolute best!
1. The Creamery
Some of the best hard ice cream that will ever touch your lips, the transition from cow to cone for this exclusive Penn State treat is just 4 days. With 120 flavors, it’s a bucket list item for many ice cream enthusiasts to try every single one. There are only two rules at Berkey Creamery: 1. We only have blue and white sprinkles and 2. You can’t mix flavors!
2. West dining cookies.
Everyone knows where to find the best cookies on campus and that’s in Waring Commons. If you’re lucky enough to avoid the dining lines, you could sneak as many cookies as you can eat and people do. Even luckier are the students that live within 3 minutes of the commons in the West Resident Halls.
3. We have the friendliest squirrels.
If you’re ever sitting on Old Main lawn, spread out with a text book or your laptop under a tree, the chances that you will encounter a squirrel is very likely. No need to be afraid, though, they’re usually just on the hunt for a snack. Certain Penn Staters have even created a special bond with a particular squirrel. Every student has heard of Sneezy the Squirrel and his fabulous Instagram!
The Bryce Jordan Center, more commonly referred to as the BJC, is home to the basketball teams, many different concerts and is the location of THON. The venue has hosted iconic musicians like Billy Joel, Kanye West, Luke Bryan, and more. Students anticipate the next list of musicians set up for the year hoping their favorite artists will be heading for State College.
5. The Arboretum
Just North of central campus, is the beautiful Arboretum. A great place to bring a date, the gardens provide a scenic stroll and plenty hidden mysteries to find. Every once and a while, there are small weddings held there, but chances are they had to wait a while to get the venue. Rumor has it, the waiting list is 4 years long.
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6. We have over 800 clubs and organizations.
There is a club for everyone at this school for those with all sorts of interests like Disney, virtual reality, sports and even bees. And if you don’t find one that fits your interests, make a proposal to start your own!
7. Canyon Pizza
Maybe it’s not the best pizza in town, but it’s cheap and open until the latest (or earliest) hours of the night. Two words every partying college student loves: cheap pizza. No night out is complete without an oily slice, but chances are that you won’t remember it the next day.
8. The HUB
The HUB is one of the only buildings on campus that is open 24/7. It seems like there is always something going on inside. Jamba Juice, Chick-fil-A, and Starbucks are a few favorite food spots and they’re all on the campus meal plan! Whether you’re there to meet with a friend, grab a bite to eat or just want to study on the steps, there are always people to see.
9. The Blue Band
One of the best parts of the football games is when the Blue Band marches their way onto the field. They open our games up and get the crowd excited before the football team runs on. Everyone knows the words to the fight songs like “Hail To The Lion” and “Fight On State,” but nothing is more exciting than listening to the band play the alma mater and singing alone.
10. The Alumni Association
Today, the current number of living alumni is pegged at close to 650,000. With such a strong alumni network, graduates of Penn State can find other alumni all over the country. The sense of community at Penn State does not end when you graduate, but instead continues to help you connect and succeed in your future.
11. Old Main
Old Main is the oldest building on campus and the site of the original school established in 1855. Today, it stands as an icon for our school, and is the location of the president’s office. You can hear the bell ring all over campus, chiming some of the school’s fight songs like “Hail To The Lion.”
12. There are students from literally all over the world.
With so many people in one place, it shouldn’t surprise anyone that we have one of the most diverse campuses. It seems like I’m meeting someone every other day from a different part of the world. With different people covering the Penn State community, there are all sort of diverse and multicultural experiences and resources for everyone on campus.
If you were ever to venture over to Gate A of Beaver Stadium a few days before the next home football game, there is no doubt that you would spot a couple hundred campers waiting to get the best seats in the student section. Nittanyville is another thing that stands out on a lot of students’ bucket lists; it sure is on mine! Here at Penn State, we’re serious about our football.
14. The Alma Mater
Every Penn Stater knows the words to the Alma Mater and freshmen are encouraged to quickly learn the words before the first home game. There is no better memory than singing with 106,000 other people, wrapping their arms around each other in Beaver Stadium, swaying and singing “Dear Old State!” at the top of their lungs.
15. The Nittany Lion
One of the most photographed spots in Pennsylvania, second only to the Liberty Bell, the Nittany Lion shrine stands as our university’s crazy and energetic mascot. Every Penn Stater has at least one picture with the shrine. Sometimes you can get lucky and make it there without another Penn Stater in sight, but come football weekends or days close to graduation, the line might seem endless.
16. State Patty’s Day!
At Penn State we make up our own holidays. State Patty’s day started off as an alternative to Saint Patrick’s Day because the 17th landed during 2007’s Spring Break, but it quickly became a tradition and an excuse to party all weekend.
No list about Penn State is complete without mentioning the largest student run philanthropy in the word. The dance marathon, which encompasses a whole 46 hours of nonstop dancing, has raised millions of dollars since 1977 all benefiting children with pediatric cancer through 4 Diamonds. With musical performances, and thousands of other Penn Staters, the BJC throws the biggest part of the year.
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Congratulations to the 708 dancers that have stood for 46 hours for the kids! Thank you to everyone who supported THON this weekend by tuning in, participating, or donating. Together, we showed how to Believe Beyond Boundaries and what #CancerCannot do.
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18. Beaver Stadium
As the 2nd largest stadium in all of college football, Beaver Stadium has an official capacity of 106,572 seats, but has packed more than 110,000 in its seats for the Ohio State game in 2008. On game day the parking lots and fields are filled with students and alumni alike tailgating and getting ready to be a part of the best game day atmosphere any college can have.
19. Having the #1 student section in the nation.
Speaking of game day atmosphere, there is no student experience that matches the energy of the Penn State student section. Students enter Gate A in huge groups so that they can sit with everyone they know at the game and enjoy the atmosphere together. It takes a few games, but freshmen can quickly catch on to the traditional cheers and fight songs.
20. We are…
The cry of Penn State University’s “We Are” is truly one of the best parts about being a Penn State student. You can’t go a week without hearing a “We Are!” to which students will respond “Penn State!” In Happy Valley and all over the world, every student and alumnus is a part of the Penn State family, no matter where you come from because…
We Are Penn State!
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HAIL! to the Lion, loyal and true. And HAIL to #PSUfall and Happy Valley's breathtaking vistas, like this view from Mount Nittany. Our favorite feline in a fantastic #PSUfall setting for #Nationalcatday. Image courtesy of austinfischerphotography #PennState #NittanyLion #WeAre
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