Your freshman-year floormates provide you with a sense of much-needed community during your first year in Happy Valley — but students often go the entire year without even speaking to some of their neighbors.
For Matthew Augustowski and Asia Christian, the moment one of them strayed from their daily routine changed their lives forever.
Augustowski moved into Bigler Hall in 2011 to begin his freshman year and it was one of the first years the university had begun to implement co-ed floors in some residence halls. Augustowski and some of his floormates spent the first few days at school exploring the campus and getting to know each other. Soon enough, the students on the floor began to form fast friendships. But as he was heading back to his room one day, Augustowski met a floormate he’d never actually spoken to: Christian.
“We were both coming into Bigler at the same time through opposite doors,” Augustowski said. “I was the one who always preferred to take the elevator, while she tended to take the stairs since we lived on the first floor.”
Augustowski held the door for Christian before he realized she was actually heading for the stairs. However, Christian suddenly decided to shift her usual course and join Augustowski in the elevator instead.
“I actually think we’re on the same floor — I’ve seen you around, I just haven’t met you yet,” Christian said as she reached out to shake Augustowksi’s hand. “Hi, I’m Asia.”
The two freshmen spoke briefly before parting ways and heading to their rooms, and neither student thought much of the encounter. It wasn’t until a few days later that Augustowski and Christian ran into each other again. Their mutual friend wanted to go to a block party at the HUB, and she and Asia asked if Augustowski and his roommate wanted to tag along.
“We all walked down together and that’s when I had more of a chance to get to know Asia,” Augustowski said. “We watched Red Wanting Blue and Matt Nathanson together before heading to Rec Hall to watch the women’s volleyball game.”
From that night on, their friendship blossomed quickly. Augustowski and Christian began to spend time in the same social circle — they even hung out together on a regular basis. But as their freshman year went on, Augustowski realized his feelings for Christian might be stronger than just a friendship. Luckily for him, Christian felt the exact same way.
“A few months later we shared our first kiss and shortly after began dating,” Augustowski said.
The pair spent the rest of their time at Penn State as both a couple and best friends, and they graduated in 2015 before moving on to careers. Last April, Augustowski decided to take the next step in the relationship by heading back to Happy Valley to plan the perfect Penn State-themed proposal: a scavenger hunt to some of their favorite places on campus.
To this day, the couple credits Penn State for many of their favorite moments together — especially their fateful meeting in the Biger Hall elevator.
“Penn State will always be our second home and We Are forever thankful for the awesome memories we made there!” Augustowski said.