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Freshmen 101: How To Go About Your First Penn State Home Game

The first home game of the year is almost here, which means for many freshmen, their first Beaver Stadium experience is almost upon them. But listen up, freshmen — there are a few things to know before stepping foot into the hallowed grounds of Beaver Stadium for the first time. Just follow these simple tips, and you’ll have a great time watching Coach Franklin’s debut.

Don’t black out

For starters, don’t show up black-out drunk. Penn State football games are meant to be enjoyed, just not too much. Nobody wants to babysit your incapacitated self for the entire day, as there are a lot more important things going on. You want to remember your experience, not have it retold to you the next day.

Don’t be an idiot

While blacking out is of course discouraged, you’re going to drink before the game. So don’t use that as an excuse to do something you regret and be forced to hear about it from your friends until the end of time. For example: Last year in the student section, a belligerent fan decided to climb up in the bleachers behind us and bump into everybody around him. He then whipped out his junk and urinated on the concrete, barely missing us. Please don’t be that person.

If you know someone tailgating, go

The tailgates in the fields surrounding Beaver Stadium are absolutely one of the coolest parts of Penn State life. Try to find a tailgate, have some burgers, pass the football, and get yourself hyped for the game. Penn State Dads and Moms absolutely love hosting students — tailgates are their seven days out of the year to really shine. But after the game, sprint back to East Halls to beat the rush for the Big Onion pizza, because the line will be out the door before you know it.

Learn the songs and chants

Next, you’re going to hear a lot of different songs and chants. Learn them. Participate in them. Part of your experience as a student in the student section is to play your part in these. During pregame warmups, you’ll hear Penn State’s fight song, “Fight on State.” This will ensure you know every word by heart before you enter the stadium, so there’s no need to rely on the scoreboard for help.

Another classic that will be heard is Zombie Nation blaring after a huge play. The chants are a lot of fun as well, and knowing what to do beforehand makes everything a little more enjoyable. You should know the “We Are” chant by now, as you’ve probably heard it directed your way a million times. The “Let’s Go PSU” chant is by far my favorite. When you hear the Blue Band begin to play, that’s when you know it’s time.

Lastly, win or lose, the Alma Mater will be played. Wrap your arms around the person next to you, and just sing your heart out until your voice hurts. This is hands down one of the best traditions at Penn State.

Cherish this

The last thing you should know before stepping through the gates is that this will not last forever. Cherish every home game you get to attend as a student, and do not take it for granted.

Four years sounded like an eternity to the freshman version of myself. The sophomore version of myself now realizes that it’ll be gone before you know it. Words can’t describe the magic that I felt witnessing this last October, with tears of joy streaming down my painted face. There is no sight more breathtaking than 21,000 students packed together decked out in white.

That’s why you scream your head off during the game.That’s why you put your heart and soul into the Alma Mater no matter what the score may be. That’s why, no matter the time, Michigan still sucks. That’s why there is only one correct response to the phrase “We Are.”

So when you enter the stadium, take it all in. You are a part of something special, and remember that there is no place you’d rather be on a Saturday than with 107,000 of your fellow Penn Staters.

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About the Author

David Abruzzese

David is a senior from Rochester, NY, nestled right in beautiful Western New York. He is majoring in Broadcast Journalism, and as an avid sports fan, he passionately supports the Buffalo Bills and Buffalo Sabres. He is the first Penn Stater from his family, and couldn’t be prouder to represent Penn State University. In his free time, he likes to alpine ski, and play golf. You can follow him on Twitter @abruz11, and can contact him via email at [email protected].

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