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Ask Noel 3: Groutfits, Class Gifts, and Basics of The Phyrst

Welcome back to Ask Noel, the least-important advice column the internet has ever birthed (and that’s saying something). We have a variety of issues both meaningful and absolutely stupid, and I love you all for contributing them. To the several people who said they saw me but didn’t say anything and then wrote in the box that you saw me: That’s kinda creepy. Just come say hi or something, I swear I won’t mind. Anyway, let’s get on with the show and remember, if I didn’t answer your question this week, it’s still in my reserves and I may use it later on. I have a word limit, folks!

1) Noel, what is your favorite outfit, and why is it a groutfit? All my regards. – chucky_rox

Well, the groutfit is important in any person’s arsenal. For the uninitiated (wow, two thousand and late much?), a groutfit is a grey outfit. That’s the simple form of course, but in detail it is truly matching a grey sweatshirt with grey sweatpants. No outfit more accurately shows how little its wearer cares about their outward appearance than a groutfit. “Groutfit” is also a very effective insult. Anyway, the groutfit is my favorite outfit because of just how awful it is, and it should be yours, too.

2) Noel, it’s my last semester. What’s one thing that I should do before graduation that most people wouldn’t think of? – Senior in Denial

Alright, so everyone, everywhere has the same generic senior bucket list, right? Drink at all the bars, have sex at XYZ areas on campus, whatever. Nobody points out the most important thing you have to do as a student before you leave Penn State though, which is to take advantage of all the great deals provided by LionCash Plus™ while you still can! That’s right, use your LionCash for awesome discounts at stores and restaurants downtown. Amazing. SPONSORED POST. No, but really: Make a meaningful impact on the life of someone younger than you. It’s really not something as tangible as you’d like, I’m sure, but there isn’t anything important. There are so many people who, just by being around them, gave me more than they possibly know. Don’t try and be a sage necessarily, but be helpful when you can. They’ll appreciate it more than you know.

3) What do you think of the class gift idea to put a “Happy Valley” sign on Mount Nittany, similar to the Hollywood sign in LA? Do you have any better class gift ideas? – Eager Beaver 

I think that’s a terrible idea for a few reasons (could you really see it à la the Hollywood sign? Is upkeep expensive? etc.), but I like the spirit of it. Class gifts have always struck me as odd. It’s the idea of giving back to a place that gave you so much, but when that place also gave you the biggest debt load of your life, it seems strange to wanna give them a present as though the education was free. If we’re going do class gifts, they should fall into two categories: incredibly useful or really fun. That’s why I was a huge fan of this year’s Solar Panel Array. Is it the sexiest idea? No, but it’s really useful and cool. I’d like to see a Berkey Creamery ice cream truck, a funding measure towards CAPS, maybe an endowed professorship for a period of time, and several other things. Number one, though? An indoor water park. Let’s get to it, underclassmen.

4) So, as we know, Honey Barbecue won it all in the The Great Wings Over Bracket Challenge. Where would you rank it? Personally, I’d put it behind their burger. – Hangar Juan

So I think Honey Barbecue is a perfectly okay flavor. It caters to the most average customer. It’s flavorful but not intimidatingly so. Plus, it combines hot and sweet, but is very low-key. It’s the most basic flavor you can get, though. It’s maybe 15th best. Honey Mustard, Cajun Blackened, Sweet Chili, Hot Garlic, and Golden BBQ are all far superior flavors, amongst others. It’s perfectly okay. I wouldn’t turn it down, but I’d probably never order it. It’s for the unadventurous.

5) You’ve yet to mention anything about Happy Valley Brewing Company who I GUARANTEE has the best damn nachos anywhere, ever. And their beer is great. – Boss

I haven’t mentioned them, you’re right! However, I did put them in our bar bracket. HVBC was awesome and is probably my favorite new restaurant I’ve tried in State College since the first time I went to Pita Cabana as a sophomore. Go there if you have some extra cash, because along with Otto’s, it’s the perfect place to pair food and beer. It’s so so good. And yeah, those nachos are unstoppable.

6) Who is the hottest writer on the OS Staff? – Tony from State College

David Abruzzese.

7) Why do freshmen always act like they know how things work here when they’ve never been here before? How can we stop this? How can we let them be more aware of how they’re acting around us? – BV2015

This is part of the human condition, not something specific to Penn State. Nobody likes to admit that they’re new and they don’t know what they’re doing. It’s uncomfortable and embarrassing. So the obvious solution is to create a culture wherein we encourage people to ask questions and admit when they’re wrong, rather than being a dick to them via comments on a terrible advice column. You were there once too, hotshot.

8) Hi Noel, my 21st is this week and I am really nervous! How do bars work? What is a special? What is happy hour? Do I wear the “green hat” all night? How do I avoid a horrible hangover? What drinks do I order? What is a “blow job” shot? You seem like a guy who has really experienced Penn State night life… any advice before the big day would be really helpful. – Anon

Happy birthday! Bars are pretty simple. You wait in line (usually), have your ID checked, typically pay a cover fee (anywhere from $2-5), and walk in. Simple enough. Every time you buy a drink, make sure you tip. Don’t be an asshole. A dollar per drink is perfectly reasonable. The “green hat” would be the one the Phyrst gives to kids on their 21st, signifying it as their birthday. Do NOT wear it all night, at least if you want to stay there. They know you’ve been pregaming, and the hat makes you a removal target. To avoid a hangover, just drink lots of water before bed. There’s not much else you can do.

As far as drinks, the Phyrst is really the only bar you can (or will) spend your 21st at, so order an Irish Trash Can. It’s a Red Bull Vodka with Blue Curaçao and something else I’m blanking on. It’s delicious and will keep you going. $6 Yuengling Pitchers are unbeatable, as are their many bombs (Stars and Stripes being my personal favorite). You can also opt for a Bear Fight, which is a Jägerbomb chased with an Irish Car Bomb (their other specialty), if you’re feeling adventurous. The Blow Job shot is a 21st tradition, wherein a whipped cream penis is drawn on a pint glass and topped with a Bailey’s shot. Lick the proverbial shaft and take the shot with no hands. There will be endless Snapchats of you doing this. You must do one. Also, the Phyrst has great live music every night, so jam out, drink up, and play some damn pool. Welcome to adulthood, and goodbye to your bank account.

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About the Author

Noel Purcell

Noel Purcell is Onward State's Features Editor. He's a senior Supply Chain major, but is going to law school at some point in the future and masquerades as a writer for now. He continues to disappoint his ancestors by being a complete Irish stereotype. His email is [email protected] because there were no other Noels before him. His ex-wife got the good half of his bio in the divorce settlement.

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