Saturday, January 29, 2011

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.”