Senior Column: How I’ll Remember Penn State
With my final week of class in full swing, its time to reflect on how beautiful Penn State is, and more importantly, how much this place has touched me. It’s time to look at the good and the bad. It’s time to wish I weren’t graduating. It’s time to wish for that bittersweet goodbye.
I truly have come a long way in what seems like a short time. And I have been lucky enough to have a front row seat to some of the best things this university has to offer.
I’ll always remember this place for its aesthetics. Now that I’m leaving, I’m glad to have that long walk from my apartment to campus. I’m glad it takes so long to walk from class to class. And I’m glad I’ve been able to avoid CATA buses for most of my time here.
I’ll always remember a student body that bound together and stayed strong though the worst tragedy this campus has ever seen. This particular night is still crystal clear to me for reasons other than Joe Paterno’s death. The air was very cold and silent. As I held my camera to my eye, I watched teary-eyed people relight candles and place memorabilia at the statue’s base. I broke the silence momentarily to remark to a friend how cold my hands were. Only a few seconds later, a complete stranger took off her gloves and handed them to me. That type of friendship is quintessentially Penn State.
I’ll always remember my first THON and how humbling the final hours are. I have never seen such strength.
I’ll also remember the excitement and joy on students’ faces as they see their hard work pay off — truly something that can only be experienced here.
I’ll always remember a team that refused to quit. I had never even been to a Penn State football game before my senior year, but what a pleasure it was to photograph the games last season. I can still remember the atmosphere during the Ohio State game. It was so loud as I watched athletes leave everything they had on the field.
I’d be crazy to leave out the back-to-back Big Ten champs, which was probably one of my favorite events to watch throughout the year. I’ll never forget watching the Lady Lions fire themselves up after every play.
And who could forget front row seats to all those concerts…for free. I wish there was a SPA in the real world…
It’s been fun, happy, exciting, any number of emotions. I’ve seen a lot here at Penn State and I’ve been lucky enough to watch a lot of it from the front row through this great publication while meeting some incredible people.
Thanks to those who have looked at my work. It meant so much to me.
Best of luck to all of you.
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About the Author
After losing my father to cancer, I thought there was nothing THON could offer me that I didn’t already know. After four years, I found comfort in the familiar.
If you waited until the last minute to plan your State Patty’s daylong outfit, we have your back.
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