409 Things I Will Teach My Future Probably Penn State Daughter

I love Penn State. I wouldn’t be here today if I didn’t. Attending Penn State was the best decision I made so far in my twenty-two years of fruitful life. I can only hope that my future children will make the same decision and attend Penn State as well.

Anticipating that my future daughter will attend Penn State, and in celebration of this very special 4/09 Joe Paterno Day, here are 409 things I will teach my future beloved Penn Stater daughter, as first conceived by Thought Catalog.

1. Blue and white goes with everything.

2. Penn State Lives Here was the most successful and original branding campaign ever launched at Penn State.

3. Your life doesn’t revolve around Penn State football.

4. But your weekend plans may revolve around Penn State football.

5. You didn’t come to Penn State to sleep.

6. Don’t let boys get in the way of your success.

7. A 4.0 isn’t worth all the stress.

8. Take career fairs seriously.

9. Go to a fraternity party during your freshman year.

10. Don’t judge.

11. Tailgate before a football game.

12. Pregame hard.

13. But not too hard.

14. Bars are expensive.

15. Phyrst happy hour is the happiest hour.

16. Join a bar tour.

17. Keep in touch with your friends at other schools.

18. Get thrown in the air at Beaver Stadium.

19. Pull an all-nighter.

20. Coffee is your new best friend.

21. Go to the Phyrst on your 21st.

22. Say hello to your floormates.

23. Hang out on the quad or Old Main Lawn.

24. Save your quarters for laundry and laundry only.

25. Rainboots are a necessity.

26. So are umbrellas.

27. And a rain jacket.

28. You’ll need a long winter coat.

29. Hats and gloves are necessities, not accessories.

30. Walk through buildings if you don’t like the weather outside.

31. McLanahan’s is not your only option for groceries.

32. Pick a club to be involved in.

33. Make friends in your major.

34. Seek help from CAPS if you need it.

35. But tell me about it, too.

36. You don’t need to wear a little dress from Metro every weekend.

37. Find yourself a part time job, even if it’s just for a semester.

38. But please, PLEASE, do not work at the End Zone.

39. You have nothing to hide.

40. Don’t sign up with any power companies that come to your door promising cheaper rates.

41. Don’t participate in inappropriately themed parties that could end up on the internet.

42. Invite me up for Parents Weekend

43. Call me regularly.

44. You don’t have to call me every day, though.

45. Who needs wrapping paper when you have Collegians?

46. You don’t need to compare your academic success to others.

47. Go study abroad.

48. But don’t get arrested abroad.

49. Stay away from balconies if you’re drunk.

50. Please, stay away from balconies if you’re drunk.

51. Hydration is the most important thing.

52. Do your homework outside whenever you can.

53. Do your own work.

54. Only take the bloop or whoop if you absolutely need to.

55. Your prince charming is not going to be found on Tinder.

56. It’s a big school. Make it as small as you can by meeting new people.

57. Eat cookies from West Commons.

58. Cookies from West go well with a scoop of ice cream.

59. Pick a favorite Creamery ice cream flavor.

60. Peachy Paterno is a wonderful flavor if you haven’t tried it already.

61. Go to the Arboretum in the fall.

62. Be proud of your work.

63. Be happy with your major.

64. Work hard, play hard.

65. Do less.

66. Ask questions in class.

67. Don’t be “that girl” who walks into class late every day.

68. Don’t be stupid.

69. Celebrate on Beaver Avenue after a big win.

70. Camp out at Nittanyville.

71. There is nothing embarrassing about taking fitness walking seriously.

72. Carry your weight in group projects.

73. Rent your books from the library.

74. Find a go-to spot to get work done.

75. Pick one form of exercise of your choice.

76. The game/app can wait until after class.

77. Don’t lose sight of your goals.

78. Go to McDonald’s at 2 a.m. on the weekend.

79. The freshman fifteen is not a myth.

80. Be open minded.

81. Vote seriously when it comes to UPUA elections.

82. Don’t be afraid to express yourself.

83. Take advantage of the salad bar in the dining commons.

84. May no act of yours bring shame.

85. My Hero Zero doesn’t have to be your favorite band.

86. Go to THON.

87. Stay for the last four hours of THON.

88. Stay at THON for all 46 hours.

89. There is nothing wrong with wearing sweats to class.

90. There is also nothing wrong with dressing nicely to class.

91. Syllabus week is meant for fun.

92. Stay on top of your schoolwork and shit won’t hit the fan.

93. Get a slice of pizza at Canyon.

94. Get two slices of pizza at Canyon.

95. But realize that Bell’s Greek Pizza is much better.

96. Be upfront with your roommates.

97. You don’t have to like every person you come across at Penn State.

98. Pick your favorite flavor of wings from Wings Over.

99. Take out the trash.

100. Don’t tell the police you got kidnapped if it didn’t actually happen.

101. Sheetz vs. Wawa is just as touchy of a subject as politics and religion.

102. You’re not the busiest person on campus.

103. Don’t complain about the work you have to do.

104. Instead, make the most of it.

105. If a professor isn’t teaching it well, teach yourself.

106. And get back at them when it comes to SRTEs.

107. ANGEL is not perfect.

108. Neither is eLion.

109. Don’t even get me started on Webmail.

110. State Patty’s Day is meant to be celebrated.

111. But don’t throw things out of windows on State Patty’s Day.

112. Don’t post inappropriate things on social media.

113. Don’t carry a boombox around campus and downtown.

114. Be proud to represent Penn State.

115. Don’t be afraid to raise your hand in class.

116. A lecture in 100 Thomas doesn’t mean you should pay less attention.

117. Take a fun class whenever you can.

118. The Willard Preacher is not your religious leader.

119. But he can be if you want him to be.

120. You will not win any argument against the Willard Preacher.

121. You will be my favorite child if you win an argument against the Willard Preacher.

122. Make sure you don’t sit in a seat with a lefty desk if you’re not a lefty.

123. Go chat with Mike the Mailman.

124. Nice weather goes great with Cafe.

125. Don’t let others belittle you.

126. Be polite to professors, TAs, and graders.

127. Turn in your work on time.

128. Academic integrity is pretty important, I’d say.

129. You’re not guaranteed a job after graduation.

120. Jobs are earned, not handed out as an attachment to your diploma.

121. I won’t be disappointed if you don’t have post-graduate employment.

122. But I’d strongly prefer if you had a job after graduation.

123. Don’t take mentors for granted.

124. Go somewhere fun for spring break.

125. But make it back in one piece.

126. Make time for your own hobbies.

127. Find a good hiding spot for your fracket.

128. Be cautious of leaving your belongings unattended in the library.

129. Keep in touch with the friends you’ve made throughout your time at Penn State.

130. Sing on the whoop.

131. Don’t throw up on the whoop.

132. Make new friends from across the country.

133. In fact, make new friends from around the world.

134. Pick a favorite restaurant downtown.

135. Laugh about the stupid stuff you did freshman year.

136. But don’t do too much stupid stuff.

137. You should always order skillet fries at Cafe.

138. Skillet fries taste better when shared with friends.

139. However, there is absolutely no shame in eating an entire order of skillet fries by yourself.

140. If he can’t commit to you for 61 years, he isn’t the one.

141. Sing and dance in the HUB.

142. Make the HUB your playground.

143. East Halls isn’t that bad.

144. It’s a part of the “freshman experience.”

145. A salad is a promise that food is to come.

146. But try not to spend over $12 at Fiddlehead if possible.

147. When I was your age, there was this thing called a HUB lawn.

148. Men with butt chins will promise you they will stay but will leave you and break your heart.

149. A good chair on campus is your new bed.

150. Use your backpack as a pillow in this newfound bed.

151. Appreciate nice weather. You don’t see it often.

152. I’d rather you spend those nice days outside with friends than in Pattee.

153. Go to Movin’ On.

154. Feed a squirrel.

155. Give the squirrel a hat if you want.

156. Waffle Shop brunches are the best brunches.

157. Remember to take cash out of the ATM before you go to the Waffle Shop.

158. Don’t settle for the downtown Waffle Shop.

159. Don’t go to the Phyrst with a creepy guy.

160. Don’t leave the Phyrst with a creepy guy.

161. Don’t go to the Gaff with a creepy guy.

162. Don’t leave the Gaff with a creepy guy.

163. Don’t go to the Den with a creepy guy.

164. Don’t leave the Den with a creepy guy.

165. Don’t go to Bar Bleu with a creepy guy.

166. Don’t leave Bar Bleu with a creepy guy.

167. Don’t go to Indigo with a creepy guy.

168. Don’t leave Indigo with a creepy guy.

169. Don’t go to Mad Mex with a creepy guy.

170. Don’t leave Mad Mex with a creepy guy.

171. Don’t go to the Brewery with a creepy guy.

172. Don’t leave the Brewery with a creepy guy.

173. Don’t go to GMan with a creepy guy.

174. Don’t leave GMan with a creepy guy.

175. Don’t go to Dark Horse with a creepy guy.

176. Don’t leave Dark Horse with a creepy guy.

177. Don’t go to Adam’s Apple with a creepy guy.

178. Don’t leave Adam’s Apple with a creepy guy.

179. Don’t go to Saloon with a creepy guy.

180. Don’t leave Saloon with a creepy guy.

181. Don’t go to Zeno’s with a creepy guy.

182. Don’t leave Zeno’s with a creepy guy.

183. Don’t go to Skellar with a creepy guy.

184. Don’t leave Skellar with a creepy guy.

185. Don’t go to Pickle’s with a creepy guy.

186. Don’t leave Pickle’s with a creepy guy.

187. Don’t go to Cafe with a creepy guy.

188. Don’t leave Cafe with a creepy guy.

189. Don’t go to the Second/Local Whiskey with a creepy guy.

190. Don’t leave the Second/Local Whiskey with a creepy guy.

191. Don’t go to Inferno with a creepy guy.

192. Don’t leave Inferno with a creepy guy.

193. Don’t go to Z Bar with a creepy guy.

194. Don’t leave Z Bar with a creepy guy.

195. Don’t go to Chumley’s with a creepy guy.

196. Don’t leave Chumley’s with a creepy guy.

197. Don’t go to Kildare’s with a creepy guy.

198. Don’t leave Kildare’s with a creepy guy.

199. Don’t go to Sharkie’s with a creepy guy.

200. Don’t leave Sharkie’s with a creepy guy.

201. Don’t go to Levels with a creepy guy.

202. Don’t leave Levels with a creepy guy.

203. The CATA app is never to be trusted.

204. Get used to construction.

205. Be angry when you are angry.

206. But by no means should you flip over a news van.

207. Please don’t tell me if you participated in the Mifflin Streak.

208. Read the Collegian.

209. Do the crossword in the Collegian.

210. Read your horoscope in the Collegian.

211. Complete the sudoku in the Collegian.

212. Fold the Collegian neatly back up and put it back on the rack.

213. Actually, don’t even pick up the Collegian.

214. View the world through #fresheyes

215. Get used to snow.

216. And ice.

217. Don’t count on classes being canceled.

218. Ever.

219. Celebrate if classes do get canceled.

220. Find a friend to go to football games with.

221. Go to a sporting event other than football.

222. Go visit a friend at a different school at least once.

223. Don’t act like Penn State is better than other schools.

224. Even though it is.

225. Take care of your friend if he or she gets too drunk.

226. Be happy.

227. They don’t call it Happy Valley for no reason.

228. Know all the specials at restaurants and bars.

229. Go to a concert at the BJC.

230. Invite me to a concert at the BJC.

231. Don’t do drugs.

232. Time flies much too quickly at Penn State.

233. Take advantage of fun KINES classes to fulfill your GHA requirements.

234. Take many photos at the Lion Shrine.

235. Visit the Palmer Art Museum.

236. Hell, visit the Calorimeter Museum.

237. People will get offended if you call it a “branch” campus. Well, maybe just CCSG.

238. Hang out at the duck pond.

239. Go to sporting events especially when they have cool giveaways.

240. Dollar dog night is worth it.

241. I’m happy with any sort of Penn State-themed gift.

242. Go to a Penn State football game with me.

243. Invite your friends to the tailgate I host.

244. Shotgun a beer with me.

245. Let me play pong with you and your friends.

246. Beer bong with me.

247. In fact, let’s have grandma participate in the beer bong as well.

248. You don’t have to ever lie to me.

249. Unless you say that my homemade cookies are better than those at West.

250. Take SOC119 if you can fit it in your schedule.

251. Don’t get a tattoo while you’re drunk.

252. Penn State-themed tattoos are acceptable, though.

253. Just don’t show your grandparents.

254. Go watch the homecoming parade.

255. Be a part of the homecoming parade.

256. You don’t have to like every single one of your professors.

257. You don’t have to like every one of your classes.

258. Late drop if absolutely necessary.

259. Location is important when it comes to finding an apartment.

260. Participate in 55 Days at Cafe.

261. Don’t let 55 Days get in the way of graduating.

262. I’m not funding your 55 Days.

263. Attend a performing arts event at least once.

264. Make friends from different groups.

265. There is someone at Penn State who enjoys the same things as you.

266. You don’t have to like the people living on your floor.

267. You don’t have to like your roommate.

268. Learn to get along with those people you don’t particularly like.

269. Study in the Harry Potter room.

270. Don’t count on finding an open desk at the library.

271. Come home for a weekend.

272. Please?

273. I will make you tremendous amounts of fantastic homemade food if you come home.

274. Pick a favorite Chinese food establishment.

275. Beware of Chinese food comas.

276. Penn State is a great place for people watching when you’re bored.

277. Natty Light is not the only beer available.

278. Pick a favorite beer.

279. If your favorite beer happens to be Natty Light, so be it.

280. You should try Otto’s beer, though.

281. Daylong parties are fun.

282. Get as much work done on days with bad weather so you can attend said daylong parties.

283. Don’t be embarrassed if I start shouting “WE ARE” in a crowd.

284. Yell back, “PENN STATE” if I start doing so.

285. Tell me about everything new on campus.

286. Tell me about the new places downtown.

287. Tell me if I’m being an annoying mom.

288. Back in my day, Michigan sucked.

289. When you were born, Michigan still sucked.

290. You knew Michigan sucked when you applied to colleges.

291. You know what?

292. Michigan still sucks.

293. Ohio State is just as sucky.

294. Have opinions on Pitt and Temple.

295. Pitt and Temple jokes can get old.

296. I’ll still appreciate the jokes, though.

297. That way I’ll know you’re really my daughter.

298. Get lost in Rec Hall.

299. You’re allowed to walk into the wrong classroom during syllabus week.

300. Get kicked out of a bar.

301. Tell me about it the next morning.

302. Don’t make it a habit, though.

303. Join a sorority if you’d like.

304. Pick a favorite bar.

305. Take me to your favorite bar.

306. Go to the Farmer’s Market on Fridays.

307. Go to a formal.

308. Pick a date who you think is awesome.

305. Take a class in the Business Building.

306. Attempt to enjoy a class in Forum.

307. Walk through Stuckeman Family Building and enjoy the architecture.

308. Sit below the overhang of the Millenium Science Building.

309. Take a class in the BBH Building.

310. Go watch hockey at Pegula.

311. Meet someone at the fish tanks in the HUB.

312. Walk over the IST bridge.

313. Get lost downtown.

314. Make your way home safely.

315. Figure out what route will get you to class the quickest.

316. Walk a different way to class everyday.

317. Say hello to old professors.

318. Be excited to go to class.

319. Work out at the Natatorium.

320. Take a fitness class in the White Building.

321. Get a free shirt at Late Night at the White Building.

322. Spend a summer in State College.

323. But come home at least one weekend.

324. Attend Arts Fest.

325. Learn to cook a few new meals.

326. Make food for your friends.

327. Host a potluck.

328. Pack a lunch on days you’ll spend entirely on campus.

329. Eat a big breakfast.

330. Make your own pot of coffee before you leave for class.

331. Coffee gets expensive.

332. Try out all the different coffee places downtown.

333. Lay off caffeine whenever you can.

334. Find a good hair salon downtown.

335. Climb the bell tower of Old Main.

336. Walk around campus without headphones in.

337. Walk around campus without looking at your phone.

338. Say hello to people you know instead of looking at your phone and pretending you don’t know them.

339. Pick up cool gadgets at the Career Fair.

340. Free things are great things.

341. Go to office hours if you need extra help.

342. Having free time doesn’t mean you’re lazy.

343. Get frozen yogurt at Kiwi.

344. The more your froyo weighs, the better.

345. Try all the flavors at Kiwi.

346. Become friends with a bouncer at your favorite bar.

347. Bouncer friends make great friends.

348. Appreciate free alcohol.

349. But don’t accept alcohol from strangers.

350. 8 a.m. classes aren’t that bad.

351. Plan your time accordingly if you plan on getting coffee at Starbucks in the HUB.

352. Avoid walking under trees where there are tons of crows hanging out.

353. Know which sidewalks have hot water pipes running below them in the winter.

354. Try to avoid those sidewalks in the summer.

355. Get used to people trying to hand you Bibles on street corners.

356. It’s not embarrassing to run to catch a CATA bus.

357. Back in my day, there was a wonderful place called Grillers.

358. Don’t let boys yelling from balconies on Beaver Avenue affect you in any way.

359. Respect people who don’t like the same things as you.

360. Cheer your loudest in the student section.

361. Dance during “Hey Baby”

362. Lose your voice during a sporting event.

363. Season tickets make great birthday presents.

364. You look great in a Penn State jersey.

365. Blue and white are definitely your colors.

366. Meet with your academic advisor.

367. Check your degree audit.

368. Make sure you can graduate on time.

369. Let me know if you are not graduating on time.

370. Immediately.

371. Don’t stereotype majors.

372. Go to a restaurant that you have to drive to.

373. Find an ugly sweater at the Salvation Army in the winter.

374. Or make your own ugly sweater.

375. You can think of a better Halloween costume than a cat.

376. Try to keep your Halloween costume family appropriate.

377. If not, just don’t tell me.

378. Stay healthy.

379. Hold the door open for others.

380. Say thanks to those who hold open the door for you.

381. Beware of sidewalk bikers on campus.

382. Design a white out t-shirt.

383. Vote for a white out t-shirt.

384. Wear white to the white out game.

385. Wear blue to the blue out game.

386. Have a Lumberjack Shot at Dark Horse.

387. There is absolutely no shame in asking the bar tender for an extra slice of bacon in your Lumberjack Shot.

388. Become friends with a food services employee.

389. Thank the housing staff who cleans your dorm common spaces.

390. Befriend your RA.

391. Take a picture with the Nittany Lion.

392. Go on a date at the Corner Room.

393. Do some studying at Irving’s.

394. Wear heels out to a party on the opposite side of State College.

395. Regret the decision immediately.

396. Walk home with your heels in your hands.

397. Learn from your mistakes.

398. Yell “WE ARE” at a tour group.

399. Keep yelling “WE ARE” if they don’t yell back.

400. If they don’t yell back “PENN STATE” after the fourth time, maybe stop.

401. Decorate your cap at your graduation ceremony so I know where you are.

402. Let me take you out to a dinner at your favorite place after graduation.

403. Enjoy senior week.

404. Miss Penn State when you’ve graduated.

405. Don’t be afraid to tell me everything.

406. Remember, we are #OneTeam

407. I’m confident you will take your achievements to the #NextLevel

408. You are because he was.

409. 409 forever. #YCCU61YOSWH

Your ad blocker is on.

Please choose an option below.

Sign up for our e-mail newsletter:
Support quality journalism:
Purchase a Subscription!

About the Author

Yuka Narisako

Yuka legally immigrated to the United States via airplane in 1996 from the small island nation of Japan. Since then she has migrated throughout the country and now identifies herself as a senior majoring in Architectural Engineering. The Shandygaff is her Happy Place, though she was once kicked out of the establishment after breaking her shoe and screaming “I LOVE DAY DRINKING. I’M HAVING FUN.” Yuka is overly enthusiastic about life in general, but especially Ja Rule, Halloween, and the puffy black vest she purchased from the Gap. You can reach her at [email protected], or through Twitter @yukahontass.

News & Notes From James Franklin’s Lift For Life Media Availability

From discussing the White Out to the wide receiver corps, here’s what we learned from Franklin’s latest press conference.

Penn State Names Corey Phelps Dean Of Smeal College Of Business

Phelps came from leading Oklahoma’s Michael F. Price College of Business.

Report: Penn State Hoops To Host Penn On December 29

The matchup is one of several reported or announced games for the Nittany Lions in the 2024-25 season.

Other posts by Yuka

You’re Not Embarrassing, You’re Just Fun: Yuka Narisako’s Senior Column

I’ve spent the last five years at Penn State, not because I failed a handful of classes, but because I chose my major somewhat blindly not realizing it was a five year program until after I submitted my application. Five years later, I’m about to get a bachelor’s, a master’s, and a minor over the course of one weekend.

Penn Stater Eliraz Katz Wins National Powerlifting Championship

Men’s Gymnastics To Host Big Ten Championships This Weekend