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Mounting Onward State: An Editor’s Swan Song

My relationship with Onward State started with an idea I came up with over the summer in Washington, D.C. as I was walking through Lafayette Square back to work. I thought it would be funny to see a letter to Penn State’s secret societies complaining about being snubbed, so I wrote it up & submitted it to Onward State. I figured it would be a one-off thing; I had a lot of fun writing it and reading reactions to it, but didn’t really want to commit to anything or, like, have to go to any more meetings. Regardless, I had another idea when I got back to campus, so I submitted a post about how UPUA is worthless and ineffective (by the way, it’s currently 5:49 and UPUA still sucks). At that point, I figured I might as well just join up so yadda yadda yadda I joined the staff.

The thing I liked about Onward State is its unfiltered student voice and opinions. The opportunity to casually write columns appealed to my egomaniacal belief that I’m really smart and my opinions are consequently more valid most others’, so joining felt like a natural fit. Much to Davis’ dismay, I only wrote a couple posts during my time here at Onward State, but I’m really proud of several of them. Most notably, I had a lot of fun satirizing the debut of our competition’s woeful and short-lived “Mounting Nittany” series (shoutout to my fans over at Kansas City Chiefs fan message board, I also had a blast watching UPUA throw my student activity fee around like a bunch of drunken sailors on shore leave. I never saw any of those sunglasses.

Of course, a lot of this year was shitty. I’m not going to wax poetic about those horrible days in the fall; I wish none of it happened, but it did, and in the wake of that reality, I’m proud of my “please don’t riot” post and how we promoted the candlelight vigil.

We still had fun this year. I did a lot of joking around behind the scenes at Onward State: I made fake twitter accounts, I hosted the Onward State winter formal (and came up with a long & dumb name for it, which I forget), I tweeted a picture of bread from the Onward State account by accident once, I wrote about having a shitty valentine’s day, I started a radio show with my friends Eli and Evan (which had, like, one or two good episodes), and, I dunno, a bunch of other fun nonsense. I made a lot of memories, some of which are posted to this website for your perusal and comment, but most of which happened away from the keyboard. I’ll always have my glorious Onward State pinnie and this video from the dodgeball tournament where I talk (joke?) about how bad the Collegian sucks.

When I think back about my time at Onward State, I won’t remember any bullshit editorial disagreements or mean-spirited comments, but rather of a couple posts I’m proud of, a couple close friends I met, and a whole lot of laughs. If you liked reading me— thanks a lot, I really appreciate it. If you didn’t, well, here’s the Katt Williams stand-up video I watch on YouTube whenever your words hurt my feelings.

Dennis McNamara (@dennismcnamara) is a graduating senior International Relations major & Onward State’s Student Life editor. Next year, Dennis will be teaching high school economics in Memphis, TN.

About the Author

Dennis McNamara

Dennis McNamara is a senior studying International Relations. The product of a long and muddy Irish lineage, Dennis blames that sour heritage and his Boston area upbringing for the flaws in his character. The only paid writer for Onward State, Dennis has never been described as a team player as he often thinks of himself as “the smartest guy in the room.” In addition to contributing to Onward State, Dennis is also Creative Director for Full Ammo Improv. Dennis isn’t sure when he’s kidding either.



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