Walk Down Memory Lane; A to Z Moments during Undergraduate at Penn State

Me entering PSU Football Stadium; State College, Pennsylvania 10.2006

As we continue our journey on our “chosen path,” we never forget the reason why we are here and who our positive influences were along the way. Honestly, it is hard for me to sum up all of my experiences at Penn State. One thing is certain I created the best friendships and met some amazing people during my undergraduate years at Penn State – these are the best friends that I talk about offshore on a daily basis. I recall many fabulous nights at Penn State – most importantly, it was because my good friends with right beside me and they can tell you the same stories!

So without further interruption, here are the favorite photographs from Penn State. I “tried” to limit myself (this was very difficult!)!


AMAZING NIGHT – During Spring Break in 2007, the girls and I met a cute bunch of Navy guys on the day that my car was keyed – “7 Ways to Avoid Getting Your Car Keyed; Fabulous Florida Spring Break 2007.”  Though some blunderin’ fool decided to victimize my car, the girls and I continued to live it up like rock-stars PSU style for the rest of our Spring Break.  Beach, beer, and sand – What is there to be depressed about?!?

Anjoli, Troxler, Shannon, and me with Navy Boys; Cocoa Beach, Florida 04.2007

BARS – With many bars in the State College area, you are bound to find your favorite pub – “5 All-Time Favorite Memories at PSU; Good Times with Amazing People.” I met some amazing acquaintances, as well as good friends during my time of drinking my preferred beverage of choice. My good friends and I seemed to be attracted to karaoke, trivia nights, various happy hour specials, and the PSU nightlife – pubs were an excellent choice for a stress-free night! I have so many more photographs, but as I explained above I did “try” to limit the amount of pictures. 

Debb, me, and Debb’s friend; State College, Pennsylvania 09.2006

Lindsay, Mary, Steph, me, Lindsey, and Shannon; State College, Pennsylvania 01.2007

Laura, Mary, Steph, me, Lindsay, and Shannon; State College, Pennsylvania 01.2007

Shannon, Paul, and me; State College, Pennsylvania 01.2007

Rich, Paul, me, and Keri; State College, Pennsylvania 02.2007

Troxler, Shannon, me, and Laura; State College, Pennsylvania 02.2007

Meg and I; State College, Pennsylvania 03.2007
Pre-gaming before Bars Beer Pong Style with Michael; State College, Pennsylvania 01.2006

Jenna and I; State College, Pennsylvania 07.2007
Mike’s girl friends, Mike, me, and Sam; State College, Pennsylvania 02.2008

Steph, Shannon, me, Jenn, Adah, and Adah’s friend; State College, Pennsylvania 11.2006

COYOTE UGLY – Have you ever seen the movie “Coyote Ugly” – the one where the hot girls sing, dance, and perform on the bar? Even though the girls and I had no hopes in pursuing our dreams of a singing career we still had an excellent night. During Spring Break 2007 we sang and danced on the bar at the “Coyote Ugly” in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. Lesson of the night – if you are going to throw your bra and leave it at the pub (there is a whole collection of Victoria Secret ones to choose from), then make sure that you do not wear your “favorite” one. The girls and I were tempted to leave ours at the pub, but then we all realized that we had our favorites ones on! Next time if you are feeling adventurous, leave your bra (maybe out of the top 5 favorites in your personal collection!). You leave your bra you get a shot! Though the girls and I did not need that extra shot, who can say that they left their bra at “Coyote Ugly”and that it still remains on the wall?!? Um, maybe I should thought about this then! Oh well, there will always be a next time – especially a hot spring break destination like this! 

Troxler, Shannon, me, and Anjoli; Ft. Lauderdale, Florida 04.2007

DISNEY WORLD – If there is one place in the world where everything and everyone seems to be happy the world would be, well, a happier place! We are just in luck, there is this fabulous place called “Disney World,” which divides into 4 sections: Animal Kingdom, Epcot, Hollywood Studios, and Magic Kingdom. I have been there a half dozen times in the last 3 years. Every time I have old college friends coming to visit me, we always end up here! The place is absolutely amazing. I especially love their “Epcot: Food and Wine festival.” Even during the holidays the park is dressed perfectly to the theme. I was recently there over Halloween 2008 (more on this in future post) and they portrayed the theme well – not that I ever doubted them!  If you have not been here yet, I would highly encourage you take a trip to the happy place soon! This place is filled with attractions and entertainment for the whole family, even broke college kids! 
Troxler, Anjoli, and me; Orlando, Florida 04.2007

Shannon, me, and Troxler; Orlando, Florida 04.2007

EXTRA SHOTS FOR EVERYBODY – I have to admit the college life was amazing, because I had the opportunity to meet and chill with new people from various backgrounds. My sorority Phi Mu had a special social function with a fraternity – we welcomed a joint merger with a local sorority and good times were had by all. It is never easy adjusting to a new structure at first, but my fellow sorority sisters made it a mission to foresee the new candidates at ease and comfortable during the merger. I designated myself as the “welcome” party – the local sorority and my first impression was great and the merger turned out to be a success! My secret – give a sincere toast and take a shot! Here is to amazing times yet to come!
Large group of Sorority Sisters; State College, Pennsylvania 01.2006

Shots with the Sorority Sisters; State College, Pennsylvania 12.2006
FOOTBALL – I never saw a football game until I attended PSU. I quickly dived into the PSU athletic teams (since I was on the Softball team) and watched my first Penn State game live from the student bleachers. It was absolutely incredible, I do no think that I ever yelled that loud in my life! With all the adrenaline kicking in and all the enthusiasm absorbed from the crowd, it is no wonder why Penn State is obsessed with their football! I had a lot of great moments in college, but attending live Penn State games were my absolute highlights. Tailgates were an excellent way to start your morning and the Penn State game made the afternoon! I can see why Penn Staters counted down till game day and absolutely loved their weekends! Let’s go State!

Chelsey, Shannon, Steph, me, Mary, and Lindsey; State College, Pennsylvania 11.2006

Me, Jess aka Ramrod, Jess, and Midget Meg; State College, Pennsylvania 10.2006
Leah, Christine, Megan, me, and Dan; State College, Pennsylvania 10.2006

GRADUATES HAVE MORE EXPERIENCE – I always looked up the graduates on campus who was currently pursing their major in the field that they desired. I met Kendall at a house party and I discovered that she was pursuing her master’s in Elementary Education. We became really good friends, hung out a lot during my senior year, and watched a few Penn State football games together. I met a lot of her graduate friends and learned a great deal on how to prioritize my crazy, but beautiful hectic lifestyle as a college undergraduate.
Kendall and I; State College, Pennsylvania 09.2006

HALLOWEEN HORROR NIGHTS – Besides State Patty’s Day at PSU, one of my favorite holidays on campus was Halloween. At the period of my super senior undergraduate year, I assumed that I have seen all the various types of costumes during my years at PSU. I never imagined that I would have stumbled upon one of the best costumes ever! With that being said, my all-time favorite costume was the Nickelodeon Guts Contender. I absolutely loved this show as a kid and always dreamt of being a contestant to challenge my “athletic skills.” Hands down this costume made my Halloween! Till this day, I have never come across someone on Halloween holding the faux glowing piece of the Aggro Crag. Kids these days! 
Nickelodeon Gak Contender, me, and Indiana Jones; State College, Pennsylvania 10.2006
ICELANDIC VISIT – My roommate Shannon introduced me to this awesome Icelandic named Holmar my super senior year. He surprised us in Orlando, Florida during our spring break 2007 – Holmar joined part of the day with us in Disney World. He definitely made us girls laugh a lot! He was particularly fond of the PSU bar the Phyrst! Who could blame him?!?
Anjoli, Troxler, me, Holmar, and Shannon; Orlando, Florida 04.2007
JACK DANIEL’S FIGHT – I absolutely love this picture – this is a clear representation of my happy I really was at PSU and how rare great friends like these are hard to find! The night was joined with nighttime volleyball, beer pong, Captain Morgan, and good ole Jack! Between you and I, nobody really got in a fight with Jack.. unless you count the trash can!
Adah, Shannon, me, and Sarah; State College, Pennsylvania 03.2005
KICK ASS NIGHT – Throughout my senior and super senior year at PSU, I met this amazing girl named Tara. I call her Troxler, well because that is her last name! Troxler and I hung out a lot and my sorority sisters absolutely loved her! She was one of the girls on the infamous Spring Break 2007 venture to Florida. I remember many cold winter nights in a hot tub with all of our good friends while it was snowing and blowing like crazy! Troxler and I referred them as our “After Parties” – at one time we had 12 people strategically placed in the hot tub! Troxler’s roommates were awesome and my sorority sisters, as well as my good friends had spent many nights at their place. Anjoli was also one of the girls that joined in the spring break 2007 trip. I still remain good friends with both of the girls and when we get together we seem to always reflect on our past “After Parties.” Good times had by all!
Anjoli, Sarah, me, Melinda, Troxler, and Leah (bottom in red); State College, Pennsylvania 11.2006

LUCK OF THE IRISH – Also known as State Patty’s Day – Penn Staters recognize this amazing event that has surpassed the amount of PSU’s biggest football weekend. Various colleges in the northeast have come to Penn State during this time to partake in the tradition. What is State Patty’s Day? Urban dictionary explains it as a holiday  created by Penn State students in 2007. It was celebrated on March 2, because spring break was scheduled over St. Patrick’s Day (March 17). Many students begin lining up outside of bars and drinking as early as 6AM to celebrate. The festivities last the entire day as students wearing green show up tipsy to class, or do not attend at all. Many parties are held at night, featuring green beer and green jungle juice. One of the famous bars that is sometimes incredibly hard to get into due to its long line is the Phyrst. This really is the only “authentic” Irish bar in the downtown College area. My good friends and I have enjoyed State Patty’s Day and I am proud to announce that I was a part of the “First Ever State Patty’s Day!” I knew the students who had established this fine event – kudos to them! 

Anna, Steph, me, and Anjoli; State College, Pennsylvania 02.2007

Anna and I; State College, Pennsylvania 03.2007

Me, Lex, and Shannon; State College, Pennsylvania 03.2006

MONKEY BOYS – Yes, the title says it all. How could Monkey Boys not get its own letter? I have religiously indulged myself into many various flavors when I was a student at PSU – I am definitely not the only one! My favorite one was a toss between Strawberry and Pineapple. A Monkey Boy has roughly 6-8 liquors, mixes a spritz of non-alcoholic mixer, and highlights cherries on top. Listed below are some of the recipes on how to make the “perfect” Monkey Boy. With over 40 different flavors to create, no wonder Monkey Boys earned the title of its own category!

Megan, Debb, and me; State College, Pennsylvania 06.2007

Me, Leah, and Meg; State College, Pennsylvania 05.2007

3/4 oz. Vodka
3/4 oz. Gin
3/4 oz Rum
3/4 oz Triple Sec
3/4 oz apple schnaps
3/4 oz blueberry schnaps
3/4 oz peach schnaps
1. Fill pitcher with ice
2. Pour liquor over ice
3. Fill with equal parts sours mix & 7-up

1 oz Vodka
1 oz Gin
1 oz Rum
1 oz Triple Sec
1.5 oz Raspberry schnaps
1. Fill pitcher with ice
2. Pour liquor over ice
3. Fill with equal parts sours mix & 7-up

Tidy Bowl
3/4 oz Vodka
3/4 oz Gin
3/4 oz Rum
3/4 oz Blue Curaco
3/4 oz Apple schnaps
3/4 oz Peach schnaps
3/4 oz Blueberry schnaps
1. Fill pitcher with ice
2. Pour liquor over ice
3. Fill with equal parts sours mix & 7-up 

NEXT DESTINATION: FLORIDA – I think it is evident that a great deal of life-altering events happened during Spring Break 2007 – “The Chosen Path Revealed; Epic Spring Break Adventure.” I landed a dream job and a few of my closest friends were able to spend their break with me – of course, it is hard to turn down beach, beer, and sand! I had an eye-opener on the long grudges that colleges can keep … not specifically mentioning any college names! On top of all of that I had met my “future” roommate that lived in Cape Canaveral, Florida at the time – his location was only 20 minutes away from the Ecoes office. I have included one of my best Spring Break moments of 2007 with my great friends Brian and Martin. The scene took place in Ft. Lauderdale or Ft. Liquordale widely recognized by college students stateside (quite a popular spring break location) and at “America’s Backyard” – the ultimate Spring Break destination!
Anjoli, Brian, Troxler, Martin, and me; Ft. Lauderdale, Florida 04.2007
OUTDOORS – PSU has many locations where the “outdoor lover” can explore new territory and trek miles of dirt. The best summer location was Whipple Dam – a place where us Penn Staters would relax and unwind after the long treacherous spring semester. Since I was into hiking all-year round the perfect location for this activity was at Mount Nittany – “Penn State Traditions; Some of the Best Moments are Unexpected.” Ever year thousands of graduating students hike this landscape to say farewell to Penn State. 
Lex, Shannon, Leah, Ashley, me, and Jen; State College, Pennsylvania 06.2007
POWER-HOURS –  If you ever had the chance to partake in my power-hours, then you definitely lived Penn State to its fullest! Many of you will know what a power-hour was, but if you do not, please let me summarize the weekend tradition. A power-hour consisted 60 minutes of funny clips and music videos. The basic idea is that for every funny clip is shown during the DVD that you have to take a drink of what beverage was in your hand at that time. I can honestly say that this was the best “pre-gaming” method before my good friends and I went out on the town. Not only was this a way to bring us all closer together, but it also kept more money in our pockets – every college student knows that this is a big deal! Some of the best friendships were created during these power-hours. A power-hour gave us a chance to unwind, chill, and talk about our day – it really was one of my highlights of PSU!

Meg, Becky, Jenn, and me; State College, Pennsylvania 11.2006

Tiffany, Sarah, Derek, Shannon, me, Kate, and Steph; State College, Pennsylvania 11.2006

Julie and I; State College, Pennsylvania 11.2006
Me, Sarah, Boy 1, Kate, Shannon, Boy 2, and Shannon; State College, Pennsylvania 11.2006

QUIRKY MOMENTS – One of my best friends was known as my “favorite skier” or Kate. Ironically we met at a house party when we both started talking about the adrenaline sport skiing. I started telling her about how awesome snowboarding was and why I thoroughly enjoyed it and the discussion led into how much she adored skiing. At the end of the night, we both came to the conclusion that both skiing and snowboarding was awesome! It is funny how one topic like this can bring two people closer together. Kate was introduced to my power-hours on her birthday – I called a few of my good friends to participate in the tradition. My favorite skier will explain to you that she had a blast and this is why her birthday party made the quirky moments – the event that turned into the most “unpredictable” birthday surprise. 

Kate, me, Steph, Sarah, and Tiffany with Shannon Laying Across Lap; State College, Pennsylvania 11.2006

ROOMMATE LOVE – My little sister in the sorority, Shannon, was not only a great addition to the sisterhood, but she was also a wonderful roommate and best friend! I am sure you will see lots of photographs and hear many stories about our crazy adventures in future posts – her and I did almost everything together. She played a large role in the Spring Break 2007. When I first brought up the idea of traveling to Florida, her backs were already packed! 

Shannon and I; State College, Pennsylvania 12.2006

Shannon and I; State College, Pennsylvania 11.2006

SISTERHOOD – Some of my favorite moments cannot be explained in words, but they can be portrayed in many photographs during my undergraduate years at Penn State. One of my all-time top moments were with my sorority sisters. Being the oldest sibling and the only girl in my family, I longed for some girl talks in my daily life. When I went through rush to “choose” my best matched sorority, I never dreamt of the life-long friendships that I would embrace with the sisterhood. During my junior year I was automatically introduced into the family of the “Greeks.” Honestly, my sorority, Phi Mu, had given me a loving family and endless memories that continue to replay in my mind. Sometimes we do not have words for moments like this and the flashbacks and pictures are all that we hold onto. I have tried to express my feelings and emotions towards my sorority, but this does not do much justice. If there is one thing that you have learned from my experiences of “Going Greek,” allow yourself to enter a society that accepts you for who you are – you will never regret this decision.

The Original Phi Mu Sisterhood; State College, Pennsylvania 09.2005

Steph, me, and Shannon; State College, Pennsylvania 02.2006

The Last Group Sorority Sisterhood Photo Taken when I was There; State College, Pennsylvania 01.2007

Meghan, Mary, me, and Jess aka Banzhoff; State College, Pennsylvania 01.2005

Adah, me, and Steph; State College, Pennsylvania 03.2007
TRIVIA – Every Tuesday there was trivia night at the Gingerbread Man or G-Man. A few of my sorority sisters and good friends used to put that “senseless” knowledge that we consumed during our undergraduate years into a game winning trivia session. Superb happy hour specials, excellent food, and trivia – what more could a Penn Stater ask for?

Troxler, me, and Jenna; State College, Pennsylvania 07.2007

Me, Jenn, and Milton; State College, Pennsylvania 03.2007

Ashley’s friend, Laura, Leah, Jenn, me, Jen, and Ashley; State College, Pennsylvania 02.2007

UNDER ARREST – During Spring Break 2007 the girls and I met with Martin and Brian. Brian’s dad was a cop and therefore he had a cop car sitting outside his house. Since we did not get our fill of taking enough photos in front of cop cars yet, the brilliant idea to this scenario was to take a photo in front of the cop car in the “under arrest” position. Classic! To answer your question, nobody was arrested!

Me, Shannon, Troxler, and Anjoli; Ft. Lauderdale, Florida 04.2007

VICTIMS OF HORRIBLE SUMMER INTERNSHIP – I was nominated by my sorority and other classmates to sell the “Volume Library” in the summer of 2006. This was a series of books that helped kids with their homework and encouraged teachers to implement some of the material into their everyday teaching routine. The only key factor that they left out was the “Door to Door Selling!” I assumed (first big mistake) that we were interacting with the kids through the school system. Not even close! To make a long story short, after an “attack dog” bit me, I realized that I had to make this summer in Wisconsin fun despite the strange scenario that I was in. I met Chelsey and Crystal, both girls who were in the same situation that I was – we all wanted a kick ass summer and to spend time together. We nicknamed ourselves “West-side” for whatever reason and became really good friends that summer. I tend to recall some skinny dipping in the Mississippi River, crazy moments, and a pool party. All and all, Chelsey and Crystal had created my “interesting” summer in Wisconsin and I was thankful to have met them!

Chelsey, Crystal, and me; Milwaukee, Wisconsin 07.2006

WISCONSIN BREWERS – Along with the strange summer in Wisconsin working an internship, there were a few “good” moments. For instance, I went to my first Wisconsin Brewers baseball home game against the Atlanta Braves. This was a really cool event because this is when I began to become apart of “West-side” and had the opportunity to see the Brewers play. 
Crystal, me, Dan, Chelsey, and Josh; Milwaukee, Wisconsin 06.2006
X MARKS THE SPOT – I was notorious for taking photos in groups of 3’s at PSU. My reasoning behind this was because it was easy to fit 2 other people in the picture – usually our faces are squished together, but still it was a fabulous photo! I have many more, but these were the best. 

Ramrod, me, and Tiffany; State College, Pennsylvania 04.2006

Mike, me, and Leslie aka Skerponator; State College, Pennsylvania 08.2008

Jenn, me, and Meg; State College, Pennsylvania 11.2005

Me, Shannon, and Mike aka Pasta; State College, Pennsylvania 02.2006


Ramrod, Jess, and me; State College, Pennsylvania 10.2006

Darice, me, and Lindsay; State College, Pennsylvania 03.2007

Me, Matt, and Shannon; State College, Pennsylvania 02.2007

Syrena, me, and Debb; State College, Pennsylvania 03.2007

Steph, Brandon, and me; State College, Pennsylvania 00.2006

Me, Shannon, and Meg; State College, Pennsylvania 06.2007


Me, Brandon, and Shannon; State College, Pennsylvania 06.2007

YELLOW BRICK ROAD – Though this road is not yellow nor brick, it is indeed still a road! I always seemed to get in the craziest nights with my best friend Kate; however, this particular night took the cake! Important note to my family – this was on a side road on a one-way street and NO traffic comes through here! This was in the front of the house party that we had just left.

Me, Kate, and Mary; State College, Pennsylvania 01.2006

ZANIEST NIGHTSRandomly throughout the week and on several weekends I would hang out with Jess or as I cleverly nicknamed her “Ramrod.” Ramrod and I some awesome times together and it really was never a dull moment with us. In addition to Ramrod, I also met a “midget” named Megan. The most amusing story about Megan is how she first introduced herself – “Hi, I am Megan and legally a midget!” My time spent with Ramrod and Midget Meg added a lot more college life excitement to the mix!

Ramrod, me, Robin, Toni, and Midget Meg; State College, Pennsylvania 12.2006

Christine’s friend, Natasha, Sarah, Tiffany, Christine, Ramrod, and me; State College, Pennsylvania 12.2006

Me, Ramrod, and Midget Meg; State College, Pennsylvania 12.2006

As you can see the Penn Staters and I knew how to have a good time. Of course, academics were a priority as well, but who wants to see pictures of me studying?!? ;)

Last Destination Florida; the Road Trip down the Chosen Path

Jake, me, and Josh at PSU Graduation; State College, Pennsylvania 08.2007
The day had finally arrived, I was moving to Florida in less than 6 hours. Ironically, it was August 18, 2007 and the day of my PSU graduation – “5 All-Time Favorite Memories at PSU; Good Times with Amazing People” ceremony. As I packed the last few boxes, it hit me – I was about to embark on a journey filled with unearthed and endless possibilities into the “Real” world. That day started a new chapter in my life; the world was my sandbox. I glanced around the empty walls, where a black light and posters had once hung – I felt a sudden rush of emotions mixed with both excitement and sadness. I still remember that feeling that I had in my gut – that strange emotion that seemed to haunt me. I was about to leave my really good friends behind and travel a few thousand miles away solo – that brought a severe uneasiness and discomfort to my mind. I remember thinking and questioning myself if I was prepared enough to do such a task. I knew in my heart that this was the best decision for me – I had to “experience” all of life’s pleasures.  I had to see how far I could push my own limits
Kissing the Pig for Good Luck; Bakersville, Pennsylvania 08.2007
The Pennsylvania State University Emblem; State College, Pennsylvania 08.2007
As my PSU graduation had drawn closer and closer, the more I walked down memory lane. I looked back on the moments where I played college softball as a first baseman (and other various positions), participated actively in a sorority, and created many great friendships, along with sisterhood bonds. A diploma, let alone a PSU diploma, was the ticket to help me reach higher and dream bigger – I was headed in the right direction to accomplish my goals one by one that I sought after. I had the opportunity to add a new adventure in my life and strategically begin the quest to reach my ultimate goal – To be recognized as a successful and respectable Marine Biologist

PSU Graduation/ Moving to Florida Party; Bakersville, Pennsylvania 08.2007
Lion Shrine; State College, Pennsylvania 08.2007

Great Friends Wishing me Fare Well; Bakersville, Pennsylvania 08.2007

I left my apartment for the second to last time and drove over to the ceremony site to meet my immediate family. I remember thinking how lucky I was to have my family here with me and how great it was to have them all watching me take the next big step in my life. As my name was called to receive my PSU diploma, I experienced a mix of emotions of anxiousness and cheerfulness at the same time. I replay that moment in my mind now and again – at that time, I thought, “Here I am not knowing what life had in store for me and taking one of the biggest risks in my life to purse a dream on my own. Am I prepared to have a leap of faith and trek into the unknown?” Looking back on that moment now, I tend to chuckle; I never knew that I could be that insecure! For those of you that really know me, you know that I am a positive person and am rarely full of doubt. One thing I knew at that point in time was that I created this moment and this was my time to shine


Leslie and I; Bakersville, Pennsylvania 08.2007
Dear Old State; State College, Pennsylvania 08.2007
The PSU graduation ceremony was over and I drove back to my apartment for the last time. I finished placing the final two boxes in the car – I had strategically filled 2 cars with all of my personal belongings. I was excited to begin part of my adventure with my mom, aunt Shir, and my youngest brother Jake. The road trip went smoothly after 0 hours of sleep, 4 red bulls in my system, and the last 10 hours of Jake and I singing at the “top of our lungs” to my iPod as we entered the Florida state. 

Leslie, me, and Sarah; Bakersville, Pennsylvania 08.2007
We were instantly greeted by a 6’6 dark haired twenty-something year old guy named Matt. After explaining the epic spring break – “The Chosen Path Revealed; Epic Spring Break Adventure” on how I met Matt initially, sleep was much needed! A new day would come tomorrow and I would set forth on my chosen path.
One Last Final Goodbye; State College, Pennsylvania 08.2007

Phi Mu Bar Tour; State College, Pennsylvania 05.2007

Penn State Traditions; Some of the Best Moments are Unexpected

Art Fest: Street Art; State College, Pennsylvania 07.2007

Arts Fest: Arts Fest is an annual week-long art exhibition that takes place in July in State College. It is a great event and lots of students come back to campus for that week to see friends and enjoy Penn State without having to go to class.

Bell Tower Climb: Climbing the Bell Tower in Old Main is a Penn State tradition in which every student should partake. The Bell Tower is only open a few times a year and one of the best times to go is during the Old Main Open House that the Lion Ambassadors hold each semester. They will explain the history of Old Main, what it is used for now, and finish with the Bell Tower Climb. You will see a spectacular view of the Penn State campus and downtown State College.

Homecoming: Batman Float; State College, Pennsylvania 10.2007
Blue and White Weekend: Blue and White Weekend is one weekend close to the end of Spring Semester when all the alumni come back to campus and there is a football scrimmage, the Blue versus the White. The University works hard to beautify campus the week leading up to this and it is one of the most gorgeous sights you will ever see. Also, there are often service projects leading up to this weekend which tend to deal with waking campus up from the winter. Blue/White weekend is a fantastic affair and really marks the beginning of the end and the countdown to Summer Break.

Art Fest: Street Art; State College, Pennsylvania 07.2007

Guarding the Lion Shrine: Every Friday night before the Homecoming game there is yet another Penn State tradition, guarding the Lion Shrine. The Nittany Lion and football players shows up and plays their favorite music at night. It takes place after the Homecoming parade and lasts for a few hours, but you are more than welcome to stay and guard the Shrine the whole night if you want. Important note – You have to take a picture at the Lion Shrine before you graduate or on graduation day!
Did you know? Toward the beginning of JoePa’s long and legendary tenure at the University his wife, Susan or us Penn Staters call her SuePa, was very upset by the lack of school spirit that students were displaying so the night before the homecoming game against Clemson University. She was so disappointed that she took a can of water-based orange paint and poured it on the Lion Shrine. The students were infuriated because they thought the Tigers had done it, but since it was water-based it washed right off. The Clemson students did not like that they had been outdone with their own colors, so the following year they took a can of oil-based orange paint and poured it on the Lion Shrine. For several weeks following there were activities like “sand the Lion Shrine” in attempt to get the paint off, but if you look carefully towards the bottom in the cracks some hints of orange can still be seen. Since that day the tradition of guarding the Lion Shrine the night before the homecoming game has been a staple of Penn State life.

Graham Spanier and Band; State College, Pennsylvania 07.2007

Homecoming: Lion Float; State College, Pennsylvania 10.2007

Homecoming: This is the second-largest event on campus and is also overseen by the Greek councils. You are most likely acquainted with the idea of Homecoming via your high school traditions; it is a weekend in which many alumni return to see the football game (always at home, of course!). Surrounding this at Penn State is the homecoming competition; generally, it is a competition to see which group has the most Penn State pride and spirit. The primary event that takes place (other than the football game) is the float parade and competition on Friday evening of that weekend. Many organizations build a large float centered on a theme. While there is an overall ―theme provided by the Homecoming committee, it is a pretty loose theme that can be interpreted in many ways for the purposes of building a float. Some of the floats get pretty elaborate, and even the more basic ones take a lot of manpower to construct. Nearly all Greek organizations compete, as do some of the other larger groups (like the Association of Residence Hall Students). Some smaller organizations like the Ski Team also enter, but those are the exception to the norm.

Sorority Mt Nittany Hike; State College, Pennsylvania 05.2007
Mount Nittany Hike: Every senior before they graduate takes this trek to the top of Mount Nittany. I did this a few days before some of my good friends were graduating; breath-taking views! I highly recommend you do this at least once during your years at Penn State!
Willard Preacher: The Willard Preacher is a Penn State legend. Every weekday in sun, rain or snow he is out on the steps of Willard Building preaching. Tradition states that during your freshman year every Penn State student needs to get into some kind of argument with the Willard Preacher, and trust us, there will probably be plenty you will want to argue with him about. Or if you don‘t want to argue, it is pretty fun to sit and watch as somebody else takes him on and tries to get him to see things a different way. We recommend you stop by when you have a little break in between classes.

Homecoming Monsters Inc Float; State College, Pennsylvania 10.2007
Movin’ On: The weekend before the last week of classes in the spring, the HUB Lawn turns into the home of the largest student-run concert in the country. Movin‘ On has been a tradition of Penn State for thirty-four years and is meant to be a swan song of sorts for the graduating seniors. It lasts for 12 hours (from noon until midnight) on the Saturday of that weekend, rain or shine, and is entirely free to the public. There are generally two types of bands featured – national-oriented acts and local bands. For the former, acts in the past several years have included Gym Class Heroes, Bowling for Soup, Piebald, The Spill Canvas, Talib Kwali, Fall Out Boy, and White Tie Affair. On the other hand, the local bands compete two weekends before Movin‘ On in a Battle of the Bands. Any band is able to enter; the only requisite is that at least one band member must be a current Penn State student. This provides a great way for bands to get exposure; the winner of this past year‘s Battle of the Bands opened for The Spill Canvas, the headliner.

Also check out “THON; One Hope, One Goal, One Mission, For The Kids!”

THON; One Hope, One Goal, One Mission, For The Kids!

Icon for Dance Marathon 2007; Many Hearts One Home

THON Spirit; State College, Pennsylvania 02.2010

If there is one thing that I encourage you to do during your academic years at Penn State – Be a part of THON! THON is easily the biggest programming event that goes on at PSU or Penn State.  THON is the more common name for the Interfraternity Council/Panhellenic Council Dance Marathon. In fact, it is anticipated that well over half of Penn State undergraduates participate in some way during their stay at PSU. The following paragraphs will give you an introduction, but it is like trying to summarize a huge novel in a few short paragraphs. I suggest you partake in this event at least one time in your life! THON is a great representation of how a community can come together and focus on one single objective –this is For the Kids (or FTK as it is more commonly known)!
Four Diamonds Symbol; State College, Pennsylvania 02.2010
So what exactly happens with THON? The largest event at Penn State is held in February every year and is a 48-hour dance marathon (although this was shortened in 2007 to 44 hours; when I attended PSU it was 48 hours). THON is the largest student-organized philanthropy in the world. Specifically, all money raised goes towards the Four Diamonds Fund; money in this fund goes towards finding a cure for pediatric cancer and helping the families of children with cancer. What are the Four Diamonds Fund and the story behind it?  The Four Diamonds Fund is named after a fairy-tale that Christopher Millard, a young teenage boy, wrote. In Christopher’s story, a knight must find the four diamonds of Courage, Wisdom, Honesty and Strength in order to be released from captivity by an evil sorceress. The four diamonds are representational of the traits Chris believed were necessary to defeat cancer – he lost his battle with cancer at the age of 14. The Four Diamonds Fund has provided over 2,000 families, mainly from the Central Pennsylvania area, but also from nearby states. One of the best features of the Four Diamonds Fund is that it welcomes 100 new families to receive support from the Four Diamonds Fund each year. The mission of The Four Diamonds Fund is to conquer childhood cancer by assisting children treated at Penn State Hershey Children’s Hospital and their families through superior care, comprehensive support, and innovative research.
Kids Smiles; State College, Pennsylvania 02.2007

Bryce Jordan Center Marathon Dancers; State College, Pennsylvania 02.2010
THON is one of the biggest community events that feature thousands of college students, a full-fledged dance marathon, and loads of kids with pediatric cancer. Every year respectable organizations, such as sporting team, clubs, and Greek organizations all raise money for kids with cancer. You may have witnessed me and my sorority sisters, Phi Mu, during several times of my undergraduate studies – we were standing in the blistering cold asking politely for the local community to support our cause. Not only was this a great excuse to be really active, but this event brought your organization a lot closer. Does not matter which organization you represent – the common goal is to raise money for kids with cancer

Love Belongs Here; Symbol of Four Diamonds Fund
My first time in Philadelphia was three weekends before THON. A half dozen of my sorority sisters “canned” at your local supermarket. In other words, during 4 weekends a year we stood on various corners of Northeastern Pennsylvania and held cans asking courteously for donations for our big event. There was 4 inches of snow on the ground combined with your occasional rain showers – it was your “typical” Pennsylvania winter day. Though my sisters and I were freezing, the warmth that helped us get through our 4 hours of canning were the bright smiles of our THON child (she was under the age of 8) and all of the other hundreds of happy children (ages varied from 6 months to 18 years old) cheerfully dancing around. THON allows a “kid to be a kid” – this event encourages kids to forget about their worries and pain; this is the time that they shine where they are not concerned with their daily pediatric appointments and hospital visits! In result, this takes their mind off of their illness for a bit and the thousands of supporters always manage to keep a smile on their face! Kids are free to roam the Bryce Jordan Center without a fear in the world – their mission for the weekend is to live in the moment. Tomorrow is a new day
Poster Support; State College, Pennsylvania 02.2007
Khloe Kardashian’s Latest Tweet
The other pillar of the event is the dancers themselves. The event is notorious for raising several million dollars annually – the kids are welcomed by their own personal fan club several thousand’s of Penn State students, along with PSU alumnae, kid’s parents, and on occasions various celebrities. Recently, Khloe Kardashian tweeted about the event and helped spread the word about this fantastic cause. THON is one of the largest Dance Marathons – Penn Staters earn the right to become dancers at THON by actively participating in fund-raising efforts around the region. Thus, a minimal quota must be raised by each dancer to earn the title of a “THON Dancer.” These selected dancers spend the entire THON event on their feet – they must remain on their feet the whole weekend, the dancers are NOT allowed sit down at all! The point? It is an attempt to permit us (many of whom are lucky enough to have never undergone such a disease at such a young age) to understand their condition a tiny bit by subjecting ourselves to hardship. THON is definitely a very emotional sight (especially the last 4 hours) – there are tributes to the children that, sadly, lost their lives to cancer at a very early age (my first THON child was reflected upon), and many of the children that come visit are without hair due to chemotherapy. As will be pointed out at THON, the dancers, and all their supporters are able to go to bed and put this behind them on Sunday night; the children are not that fortunate. An emotional event indeed, THON is simultaneously a lot of fun and a heart-wrenching event.
THON Madness; State College, Pennsylvania 02.2007

THON is a huge event, and this short summary could not possibly do it justice. Please check out the “THON” website, do be a part of this cause, and actively involve yourself in next year’s THON. FTK!


5 All-Time Favorite Memories at PSU; Good Times with Amazing People

Phi Mu Sorority Sisters; State College, Pennsylvania 01.2004
In the words of Asher Roth,
“I wanna go to college for the rest of my life
Sip Banker’s Club and drink Miller Lite
On Thirsty Thursday and Tuesday Night Ice
And I can get pizza a dollar a slice”
“Man, I love college”

I can agree to most of these lyrics– I do prefer drinking Smirnoff or Grey Goose over Banker’s Club! As most of you may already know, Corona is my favored beer – Miller Lite will suffice if no Corona is available. The lyrics that stuck in my head the most were when he sung, “I Love College!” I heard this song recently and wanted to introduce my experiences at good ole PSU!
The Pennsylvania State University or PSU was a huge part of my life. I tend to think about my times that I had there more often than anywhere else. Since college is one of the most important times of your life, as well as one of the best, I wanted to write an overview of the “greatest experiences” I had at PSU or Happy Valley – we love our nicknames! Some alumnae would summarize PSU as a “Football Town with a Drinking Problem!” I would love to hear your input as well!
  • ·       1. FOOTBALL GAMES – Penn State is a college that adores its football! I cannot tell you the feeling I had when I first stepped into the roaring crowd at Beaver Stadium. Attending PSU tailgates before the “big day” was awesome! This gave my good friends and me a chance to relax, BBQ, drink a beer or two, and talk about the outcome of the upcoming game. Of course, we ALWAYS thought that PSU would win! Fortunately, 75% of the time we were right; of course, we had a great year in 2006 – which later resulted in this “7 Ways to Avoid Getting Your Car Keyed; Fabulous Florida Spring Break 2007.”  A visit to PSU is not complete without watching a football game! After the hard academic week filled with projects, tests, and home works were over – the Saturday football games established the “perfect weekend” for us Penn Staters! It did not matter if it was sunny or raining, we die hard PSU fans were cheering our team on towards victory. Most of the time it did rain when I went; it made one heck of a tailgate mudding party! Almost everybody knows somebody who is having a tailgate, and everybody knows somebody who knows somebody who is having one! Bottom line: Get yourself to a tailgate pronto; it really is quite the experience! I have heard Penn Staters mention that football is important like breathing, except it would be easier to go without breathing!

Hub; State College, Pennsylvania 08.2008
  • ·   2. GREEK LIFE – Greek life is vast on campus! The first time I decided on “going Greek” I was sitting in the 24 hour open student union or recognized to PSU college students as the Hub – “The Stepping Stones of Life; Passion for Marine Conservation” and noticed all these strange letters on guys and girls tee-shirts. I had no clue what they meant, but most of the same lettered tee-shirts seemed to be paired with one another. I discovered this was a well-known organization known as the “Greek System” and was very popular at PSU. If you were interesting in “going Greek” then you would go through a pledge period and journey to find your proper brotherhood/sisterhood that you belonged with.  The males were part of a fraternity and the females were associated with a sorority.  It is important to note that there were your “traditional” social fraternities/sororities, but there were also ones that main interest focused in certain academic fields (i.e. Music, Agriculture, Forestry, and Accounting fraternities). To be involved in Greek Life meant that you were provided lifetime friendships (I still talk to many Greeks, including my sisters), engaged into the local community volunteering and hosting events, offered tons of Greek Events that became part of your monthly calendar (just to name a few – Homecoming, Greek Sing, Greek Week), and interacted with other Greek affiliations in various social events. Honestly, I can say that I am a proud alumna of Phi Mu!

Awesome Sorority Sisters; State College, Pennsylvania 01.2004
  • ·   3. FRIENDSHIPS – Right out of high school and entering the college world, I was a bit nervous about meeting new people in such a large “college town.” I only graduated with 81 students in high school and coming into a campus of 40,000+ students was a bit intimidating! Once I joined the PSU softball team and started rush to become involved in a sorority on campus, I began meeting dozens of people on a daily basis. I could not believe how easy it was to socialize with a group of dedicated and fun individuals that was pursuing the same dream you were – to acquire their PSU diploma. College is supposed to be the years where you realize your limitations, welcome your first time experiences, and enjoy your time during your academic years. Truthfully, between joining a sorority and being a member of the softball team these were the best ways for me to make not only a lot of friendships, but also create a set of close-knit relationships.  PSU had a wide range of diversity and you were bound to meet a new person everyday who shared the same interests that you did. The sorority and fraternity life had 86 different Greek organizations on campus. In the particular degree of field that you were pursing you already shared a similar commonality – you both were learning the same material and interacting with your classmates in “hands on” projects. In my eyes, this was a super easy way to make friends and professional contacts. If you are worried about making new friends or not “fitting” in, I can guarantee you here at PSU you will find yourself excelling in not only academics, but also in forming new friendships.
My Big Sister Jen and I; State College, Pennsylvania 01.2004

  •     4. SOCIAL EVENTS – Every night of the week there seemed to be a “special” event being held at campus or next to campus. The list includes music concerts, professional or distinguished speakers and seminars, socials (sororities and fraternities), and various clubs or organizations that are based around your interests. My favorite concert held at Bryce Jordan Center included the All American Rejects, the Starting Line, the Format, and Gym Class Heroes. Hands down this was one of PSU’s best musical performances; the crowd was ridiculous – filled with enthusiasm that led out into the streets! The lead singer Tyson Ritter from the All American Rejects never looked so good! Women were throwing their bras on stage – it was crazily entertaining! I especially loved his performance in “The House Bunny” starring my favorite actresses Emma Stone and Anna Faris. Other concerts I went to were Good Charlotte & Mest, Yellowcard, and All Time Low. My good friends and I caught a few shows of Bowling for Soup and Yellowcard nearby PSU. I attended several professional seminars, which one of my all-time favorite ones was “Conservation and Status of the Hammerhead Shark” – “The Stepping Stones of Life; Passion for Marine Conservation” and was presented at the branch campus of Altoona. An unexpected baseball legend, Nolan Ryan, spoke with students about the abusive use of steroids and the later consequences that one will face. Nolan Ryan was in my opinion one of the best pitchers that was around when I was growing up!  Sororities and fraternities are notorious for hosting “socials;” which is one sorority mixed with a fraternity normally located on Frat Row. These are best described as a “meet and greet” event that allows each chapter to introduce themselves and meet some of the opposite sexed chapters. It is college; some socials are themed and have different alcoholic functions. My personal favorite was “Beer Olympics” – let’s just say that I am awesome at beer pong! Not all functions are alcohol related, some involve chapters getting together to host a community related event. For instance, my sorority and a local fraternity held an event that featured Joe Paterno or Joe Pa as the guest speaker. I have met him several times; he is a sweet dire hard Penn Stater! Last, but certainly not least are the clubs that you participate in. I was on the Wildlife & Fishery Science committee, Marine Science committee, Biology club, and Softball club. With over hundreds of clubs that to choose from – there is certainly a club that will spark your interest! 
All American Rejects; State College, Pennsylvania 03.2006


  •     5. BARS – I have to admit it was nice to finish a test and head downtown to your favorite pub and have a cold beer with a group of your close friends to reflect on the day’s events. Literally 7 days a week, there was always something happening at your preferred pub and you can bet that it was guaranteed to be a great time! With over 100 bars around town and most of them were open till 2am – you are destined to dip into the PSU nightlife. Happy hours and nighttime events determined which pubs that you were headed to that night. Most of the pubs that attracted us girls:

      • Monday – Karaoke @ the Saloon, complete with Monkey Boys!
      • Tuesday – Trivia night @ the Gingerbread Man (G-man for short!) then taxi it to Champs Sports Bar and Grill for Nacho night
      • Wednesday – Mad Mex Margita night!
      • Thursday – aka Thirsty Thursday – Social event then Fish Bowl @ Bar Bleu or Nickel night @ Cell Block
      • Friday – Social event then the Cell Block, formally known as the Crow Bar; Happy Hour central!
      • Saturday – Social event then Drink specials @ the Brewery or en route to the Phyrst for Table Wars and a taste of the Irish; Graham Spanier approved!
      • Sunday – Café 210 West Long Island Iced Teas!
Monkey Boys at Saloon; State College, Pennsylvania 08.2008
Other fabulous pubs that are located next to campus and attract many college students – All-American Rathskellar, Candy Bar Lounge, Darkhorse Tavern, Lion’s Den,  Allen Street Grill, Bill Pickles Tap Room,  Gingerbread Man/G-Man, Lulu’s, Mad Mex, Shandygaff Saloon, The Deli Z’s Bar, and Zeno’s, The Big Easy, Indigo (formally known as Players), etc. 

Fish Bowl at Bar Bleu; State College, Pennsylvania 12.2010

I was skimming through some PSU material online and discovered the list for the “Top 5 Best and Worst College Bars in PSU!”
Penn State University defines its mission as one “that improves the lives of the people of Pennsylvania, the nation, and the world through integrated, high-quality programs in teaching, research, and service.”