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Where to Go If You’re New in Happy Valley

Freshmen and transfer students alike — welcome to State College! Being a new student in this area can be a bit overwhelming at first, but after a few weeks, you really start to appreciate the undeniable charm of Happy Valley.

There are many sights to be seen in State College, but when you’re new to the area you might not know where to start. First, talk to your friends. Even those people from high school who refuse to acknowledge that you go to the same university may offer some valuable advice. Also, there are many online resources that can guide you.

Here’s a few ideas to get you started:

The Library

Okay, I get it — that’s a pretty lame first choice. But it’s still a good idea to get familiar with where everything is located and how it works. You don’t want to wait until your first research paper to explore the library. Go in and ask some questions. Oh, and be sure to click through the online resources.

Beaver Canyon at 2 a.m. on the Weekend (which is what, like Wednesday – Sunday?)  

Chances are you’ll find yourself strolling through here soon. It’s almost magical at night when you’re heading to your pre-game festivities to see students of all ages and backgrounds scurrying for booze and encounters with the opposite sex. And then it becomes just down right hilarious after the bars close. Grab some food and enjoy the show (and take the White Loop home for an encore).

The Bars

This one is for the transfer students who finally hit the big two-one. Check ’em out. Stop by the Saloon on Thursday night for Monkey Boys and tunes from My Hero Zero. Try to grab a Big Azz Margarita on Monday at Mad Mex. Looking for a change of pace on Saturday (and we’re talking a big change of pace)? Head to the Rathskeller for $2.50 Jack and Cokes, Burgermania, and little to no overhead lighting. And, when in doubt, check the specials.

The State Theatre

Located at 130 West College Street, the State Theatre is a great place to see a show or movie. The theatre hosts a wide range of musical acts in an intimate setting, as well as performances and films. Be sure to to check their schedule often because it’s a great place to see old favorites on the big screen (Monty Python and the Holy Grail, Do the Right Thing ) for a fraction of movie prices nowadays.

The HUB Lawn/Old Main Lawn 

While the weather’s still agreeable, you should take a break from class in the grass. They are both great places to read or talk with friends on campus. There are some other good spots, but these are prime locations. And maybe bring along something to toss around. What’s college without a little Frisbee?

Me chilling on the HUB Lawn, April 2012.

Those are just some ideas to get you started. There are plenty more hidden gems and great events in Happy Valley. Be sure to load your twitter up with some helpful accounts to follow. And, of course, keep checking in with Onward State.

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About the Author

Shawn Christ

I am a junior majoring in print journalism. I am American. I am a Lion.

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