Four years of college goes by quickly, don’t miss out on these things you’ll regret not doing at Penn State! Whether you’re starting your college bucket list or are a soon to be graduate, here is an ultimate list of all the things you really need to check out and do at Penn State University.
This is a collaborative piece by: Katie Desch and Justine Gaines
1. Go to a football game.
We’ve got the #1 student section in the country here at Penn State. Even if you’re not the biggest football fan, there is no experience like singing the alma mater with 107,000 other students and alumni. Cheering our team on with the school’s fight songs and classic chants is a must have experience at least once for all Penn Staters.
2. Have lots ice cream at the creamery.
A lot of Penn Staters say that their goal is try every flavor at the Berkey Creamery. But even if you’re not the biggest ice cream fan, you can’t graduate without trying at least one cone!
3. Go abroad.
Penn State has hundreds of opportunities to study abroad. Taking the opportunity to do so while you’re at school is a once in a lifetime opportunity. Whether it’s during a Spring or Fall semester, through a summer program or a short few weeks in a new country over spring or winter break, you won’t regret going abroad.
4. Sit on the lawn of Old Main.
For some, in the warm months the lawn of Old Main is a favorite hangout or study spot. Once the temperature hikes above 55 degrees, the lawn comes alive with students. Spending a few hours out there on a beautiful day really helps you appreciate our school.
5. Join a club or two (or three or four…)
There are over 800 clubs and organizations at Penn State. The involvement fair helps thousands of students find exactly what they’re interested in. Without joining clubs, it’s easy to fall into a routine of school, sleeping and eating. Clubs provide an outlet for lots of students! Some may have the problem of joining too many, but all students should join at least one!
6. Have school spirit!
When you go to the school with the best student section in the country, it’s hard not to engage yourself in all of the spirited chants and fight songs. Even if you’re not a huge sports person, you should take part in the excitement for our school’s success. Having school spirit also doesn’t always mean sports! If you’re passionate about your major, get a nifty Penn State College of Engineering shirt!
7. Hike Mount Nittany!
Just a short drive and a nice hike away is the top of Mount Nittany. For some who may not be the outdoorsy type, the view is certainly still worth the trek. From the top you can see all of Happy Valley. It’s a great way to take in all of your awesome school and home.
8. Taking a picture with the Nittany Lion Shrine.
Everyone should have at least two pictures with the Nittany Lion Shrine by the time they graduate! One as Freshman and a second in your graduation cap and gown. It’s a tradition to have your picture taken with the shrine!
9. Check out State Theatre.
Downtown, the State Theatre is a non-profit community theater that puts on musical, movies and live performances. There are always events in the theater going on. Their website has all the dates and performances, but just strolling on downtown one day and seeing what might be going on is worth the walk!
10. Explore the Arboretum.
The Arboretum is just north of campus and is one of the most beautiful parts of Penn State. There are hundreds of different plants, trees and flowers placed among the hidden paths and mysteries of the area. It definitely is a place that must be explored at least once while being a student at PSU!
Tailgating is another great way to truly experience the fun and enthusiasm of Penn State. Every football lover knows how to tailgate no matter who their team is, but in Happy Valley, nothing beats nice hot burgers and chili on game day when it’s super windy and below 35 degrees!
12. Eat at West Dining Halls.
Waring Commons is famous for its awesome chocolate chip cookies, but the food there is also some of the most diverse on campus. If you don’t live in West Halls it may seem like a long trek to eat there, but it’s definitely worth it.
13. Visit the Duck Pond.
Tucked away on the South-West side of campus, there is the Alumni Center. Though the true treasure of the area is the beautiful garden and pond. Especially when it is warm, the duck pond is crawling with students and wild life alike. The beautiful green space is home to many, but is yet another beautifully relaxing place to study and hangout.
14. Go to THON.
The dance marathon has raised millions of dollars since 1977 all benefiting children with pediatric cancer through 4 Diamonds. It is one of the biggest events that Penn State holds yearly. It’s a fun experience with your friends and clubs to go. Maybe one year you might decide to try and dance for the two days!
15. Start a “We Are” chant.
The cry of Penn State’s “We Are” is iconic. Starting a chant is just as fun as responding and is a great way to really remember that your entire university is truly just one big family.
16. Getting Breakfast at the Waffle Shop After a Night Out
There’s absolutely nothing better than having a delicious breakfast/brunch after a night out so that you can eat away your sorrows from the night before. What better place to go than the Waffle Shop? You’ll see that the wait on a Sunday morning is so worth it after you take a bite into their original to-die-for waffles, or even their delicious bacon and home fries. You’ll surely regret not coming here at least once to indulge in their delicious eats.
17. Going to a Frat Party with Your Friends
If you are a freshman or sophomore, fraternity parties are where you will most likely frequent on your weekends here at PSU. By graduation, you’ll reminisce on the days where you and your friends took the journey downtown on the white loop to head to sweaty frat parties where natty lights were the drink of choice. Any night in fratland with your friends is sure to be an unforgettable experience.
18. Getting Late-Night Food
Pokey stix, canyon pizza, wings over, and more! There are so many delicious snacks available at PSU that will be sure to satisfy your late-night appetite. After eating these foods, you may wake up in the morning wanting to hit the gym, but the few extra calories were so worth it.
19. Going to a Concert at the BJC
Whether it’s Kanye West, Zedd, Bruce Springsteen or Florida Georgia Line, the BJC is a great and super convenient place to see many of your favorite artists. The BJC brings in many well-known performers that can all be seen at a discounted price with your PSU ID and there’s nothing better than that! Grab a few friends, look-out for a fun event and head over to the BJC to have a great time!
20. Having a West Cookie
If you have never had one before I’m sure you know why this is on the list. They’re delicious. They have just the right amount of cookie to dough ratio (you know what I mean), which makes them the most tasty cookies you can find around PSU!
21. Watching the Homecoming Parade
Every year, tons of on-campus and off-campus clubs and organizations come together and parade around campus to get everyone pumped for the Homecoming football game. It’s always exciting to see what the parade has in store and it’s definitely a big part of what makes the fall semester so great. You don’t want to miss it!
22. Celebrating your 21st Birthday at The Phyrst
Rightly named, The Phyrst is the best spot to continue the lively night of your 21st birthday. This is the only bar in State College that will serve a newly-turned 21-year-old. When your 21st comes around, be sure to stop in and get a picture with your signature green plastic hat and your first legal drink. Make no mistake, The Phyrst will likely make your 21st birthday a night you’ll probably forget.
23. Make Lifelong Friendships
Most importantly, Penn State is the perfect place to meet new people and build lifelong friendships. PSU will you introduce you to your best friends that you’ll undoubtedly make so many memories with. Ultimately, building your friendships will surely be the best thing you will remember doing at Penn State.
Are there any other things you’ll regret not doing at Penn State that you’d like to add? Comment below and share the article!
Featured photo source: instagram.com and vergecampus.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.