This is Where I Am From
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This is Where I Am From

Country lovin', Camo wearin', finger lickin' good.

This is Where I Am From
Avery Felty

In my 2 years here at Penn State, I have struggled with my home grown roots. Everywhere I go, I see the typical frat boy in his Timberlands (preferably tan), the jersey thrown on top of his greek letters sweatshirt, and of course his hat put on backwards. It is a struggle being here sometimes because I have tried so hard to get some hometown feel in this downtown lifestyle, and the closest I can get to Orwigsburg, Pennsylvania are the agriculture students walking around past Beaver Stadium. Where exactly am I from? Well, one of the most interesting, unique and most creatively fun places I have ever experienced in my life, besides visiting some family down in "Gatorland" in the deep deep South of Florida's own redneck country. My hometown and the county I have lived in for the past 20 years have opened my eyes to why I want to move away but also to why I want to come back to visit once in awhile. That summertime feeling is unique and charming and cannot be found in the inner city of New York or Philly, which has made me appreciate "the middle of nowhere" as a compliment instead of an insult. Of course, moving to Penn State and the downtown area of State College was not always a breeze, and here is why:

1.) I am always being asked if I am from Alabama, wait, wait, maybe the Carolinas? No, I am from Pennsylvania, otherwise known as Small Town USA central. I drive down I-78 and see Road-Side America in its glory of rustic cowboys and chew or the small little diner my grandparents used to stop at on their way back from the farm show. The place that has diners where high school students like to hangout. We also have the largest Cabela's, and that is the only touristy thing around. We have the run down drive-in from the 50's, and everyone knows everyone and their grandmother. I can't even believe how many people say, "You look just like your mama. How's your pappy doing sweetpea?" If I know you, my mom probably went to high school with your mom and my grandparents used to sell their potatoes and grains to your grandparents.

2.) I am always the only person to know all the lyrics to a country song that comes on, which only happens at apartments, and never in a frat house. Goodness forbid you know all the lyrics, because everyone stares at you like the two-headed cow at the Summer Fair, which just so happens to be a family heirloom.

3.) My friends from back home and I can relate to Footloose and Dazed and Confused with their dancing and bonfires on a Saturday Night. I have spent almost every summer night in the middle of the woods with my best friends just listening to Dan + Shay, FGL, Luke Bryan, Toby Keith, Sam Hunt, etc. until 4 in the morning just talking and having a good time. We are outdoors 85 % of the time. I find it very difficult to get some of my friends to go hiking or wanting to go outside for random occasions.

4.) Hiking through the woods, not on a trail, just walking until you find something cool to stare at for a half hour to two hours. We can run into rusted tools or old cars literally just chilling since the 60's if we are lucky. Anywhere you go you can find history sitting right in front of you. One of my favorite things to do is to go to my family's barn and see things like old tractor parts or old trucks and think about where my grandparents traveled or went with some of these antiques.

5.) You can't build an actual fire in the middle of the street of State College and certainly cannot find woods large enough. You know? The kind of fire where you just find a spot in the woods and make a fire out of sticks and stones. It is possible. It is hard but it is possible.

6.) Everyone says they have seen a country truck before but they haven't. I am not talking about the kind you see in Florida Georgia Line music videos with the big shiny wheels and shiny exhaust. I am talking the trucks that are 60 years old but are still running like a charm. Plus, riding around in the bed of the truck mudding is quite the fun experience. You'll definitely need a shower after that one. Unfortunately, it is hard to find anywhere to mud in State College.

7.) Steak houses, cigars international and beer distributors are everywhere at home. State College has wineries and sushi everywhere.This is something that comes as a struggle with living in a country driven county, BBQ chicken is hard to come by.

8.) State College is the type of place where you do not run into the same people every single day. Where I am originally from, the local bank, dentist, doctor, coffee shop and pharmacy are in elder homes in the middle of the town square. You could walk to them if you really wanted to. A.K.A. you run into someone from high school every time you go out. There are plenty of people who still use the old bank systems, bringing in cash to cash in with the coffee they bought at the local pharmacy. My grandmother was a huge advocate of this every day system after her daily shifts at the restaurant right off the highway across from the local pizza shop.

9.) You cannot find a lake sitting in the middle of Penn State. We barely use swimming pools; we swim in lakes. Boating and fishing can go along with this activity. And with boating comes the 10 hours in advance trying to get a 20 year old boat to run that has not run in 8 years . But hey, with this challenge you get to know a boat from the inside along with the spark plugs and when to pull out the fire extinguisher.

10.) We have our own Iced tea distributor, "Guers." No one knows the beauty of its existence. Every time you order a sweet tea, it comes in that little cardboard container, never in a glass with a lemon.

11.) The easiest way for people to know where I am from is to tell them, "I live 15 minutes from the Yuengling Brewery." Then they get it.

12.) You cannot find a good BBQ chicken up here at Penn State. I miss the local fundraisers where BBQ chicken and Guers products were the highlight of the meal. The money raised went to a local church that was threatened to close. You know? The one with the little old lady named Ruth who sits in the second to last pew every Sunday morning and never misses.

13.) HOMEMADE baked bean soup cooked on the fire, you cannot beat that. I miss it so much. Not the clam chowder from the dining halls.

Penn State is the greatest thing that has ever happened to me and am so grateful I get to experience such an amazing school. Coming home to Orwigsburg is not always sucky which is another thing I am grateful for. I have a very down to earth upbringing and coming home to that is not a burden.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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