Before studying abroad, everyone tells you that you will have the time of your life.
"You won't miss home as much as you think."
"You'll never want to come home!"
"The culture shock will be unreal when you get back."
While I'm sure these statements will ring true, it's never easy saying goodbye to Penn State. It's hard enough to leave Happy Valley for the summer or winter break, let alone for an entire semester. However, I'm realizing just how blessed I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.
With that being said, here are 11 things every Penn Stater will miss while studying abroad:
The Penn State Dance Marathon, or THON, is the largest student-run philanthropy in the world. THON raises funds and awareness year round for pediatric cancer. In February, the Bryce Jordan Center hosts THON's 46 hour, no sitting, no sleeping dance marathon. At the end of the 46 hours, the total amount of money raised is revealed. The feeling that encompasses you as these numbers go up is indescribable.
2. Sporting Events
While those studying abroad during the spring semester won't have to worry about missing Football games, Happy Valley hosts many other sporting events, including Penn State Volleyball games, Penn State Tennis matches, and Blue and White Weekend.
3. The Creamery
This one doesn't need much of an explanation. Death by Chocolate, Mint Nittany, Monkey Business, and Peachy Paterno, you will all be missed.
4. The Waffle Shop
The Waffle Shop is THE place to be on a Saturday or Sunday morning in State College. Although there are three different locations, there always seems to be a line out the door. I think there's something to be said for that.
5. "Sylly Week"
"Sylly Week" is perhaps the best week of the semester, with no classwork, no exams, and endless parties. It's basically the college dream in a perfect world.
6. The Concerts
Every semester, the HUB hosts incredible concerts. In the past, Penn State students were able to see The Chainsmokers, T-Payne, and Jesse McCartney, just to name a few. Did I mention these were free concerts???
The Bryce Jordan Center also hosts incredible artists (these are not free, but we wish!)
Tickets to Travis Scott's upcoming show sold out instantly.
7. The Exercise
Happy Valley is - you guessed it - full of hills and valleys. Yes, we all hate the walk up Shortlidge, but my leg muscles have never been better.
Has anyone else ever had a 30 minute walk to a class?
8. The Arboretum
The Arboretum at Penn State is the ultimate place to get those ascetically pleasing pictures.
9. Studying on the HUB Lawn or in front of Old Main
There's a big difference between studying inside the HUB all day, and studying outside on the lawn. The lawn in front of Old Main is a beautiful study spot as well (and great place to tan).
10. The Service Dogs
While walking through campus, you're bound to see at least one happy little pup. Many people volunteer their time to train puppies to become service dogs. The Susquehanna Service Dogs is an incredible organization in the area.
11. Best Friends
Penn State has given so many of us our best friends and the siblings we never had. Some people have even found their soulmates here. While it's never easy being away from these important people, like I said, we're lucky we have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.