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Ask Noel 4: Residence Halls, Basketball, & Yik Yak

Welcome back from Ask Noel’s extended break. We were busy trying to come up with an idea for a better column, but came up empty-handed. So, you’re all stuck with me! This week we’re going to get into quite a few different topics, and re-open submissions for the ol’ advice column, so get ready to be genuinely unimpressed. We have one really long question and four short ones ready, so let’s get on with it.

1) So I read a post on Yik Yak the other day describing what types of people live in each area on campus (North, South, East, West, Pollock, Nittany Appartments/Eastview Terrace), but I didn’t find it accurate at all. What’s your opinion on this? – Susan

First of all, stop going on Yik Yak because it’s the absolute worst thing in the universe. Yik Yak is anonymous shit talk with a points system. I get that it’s entertaining sometimes, but 99 percent of the time the jokes are stolen from Reddit. Find something else to do with your time. Go beat 2048 again or find a Twitter account you like, or maybe have the courage of your convictions and talk about that stuff publicly!

Second of all, this has been something I always thought about back when I lived on campus. I only spent my freshman year there (Pinchot Hall ride or die), but it formed a lot of my stereotypical opinions on those who reside in each area. North is strange. If you’re not a music student, I really have no idea what the hell you’re doing up there.

I imagine North to be introverted, quiet, and a bit strange. If I had to pick a high school stereotype, it would be like a low-key emo kid. Not one who owns six different Invader Zim shirts, but the one who you know has seen Panic! at the Disco at least twice. Eastview Terrace is similar, but more for quiet intellectual-types and hipsters, a term I loathe using but think fits well here. Jack Kerouac with a Twitter account sits down the hall from the next Warren Buffett in those beautiful single rooms. Also: quiet stoners.

East residents are loud, annoying, and in over their heads, which is obvious for freshmen. I also take those in East to be more outgoing, they want to be friends with other freshmen early on, and thus chose (or were thrust into) East. West is for people who want to move off campus, but haven’t done it yet. They’re maybe a bit timid and listened to their parents a lot in high school, but when they drink they go absolutely nuts.

Pollock has a little bit of everything, which is fitting for its geographic location. Freshmen who think they are (and sometimes are) far more mature than their age shows, sophomores who got screwed in the housing lottery, junior RAs who somehow stomach those prison cell rooms for a third year. Pollock has the best dining commons and a convenient location, but is also good if you want to hide in plain sight, since nobody knows the difference between any of the buildings.

South is obviously the epicenter of on-campus Greek life, which means it should be really easy to stereotype, so you can leave that to your own imagination. However, the non-sorority girls and guys in South are some of the toughest-willed out there. The culmination of being as close to downtown as you can be while still worrying about being busted for drinking in your room, dealing with people in a completely different social universe at all times, and eating constant Redifer late nights would harden anyone.

Nittany Apartments is comprised of athletes, weed dealers, international students who are involved on campus, and those anti-establishment kids who don’t actually want to get in trouble, but like to put on a front and use Fight Club as their personal credo.

2) Why is Penn State dem boyz? – Deasy

Because the combination of the Blue Band’s act becoming a bit tired (they still have all the talent in the world), and a sudden reliance on awful, piped-in music has left us stuck chasing passing trends to hype crowds of 107,000 at football games for no real reason. I love call-respond as a crowd chant, but when it comes from music, it’s lame. Except for Shout. Shout is the best.

3) How do I make the basketball team suck less? – Pat Chambers

First, get a real interior scoring presence to take pressure off of the ball handlers. Having a legitimate low-post player would be nice and while Jordan Dickerson has shown flashes, he’s not there. We need to focus on high-percentage shots, because we settle for too many mid-range jumpers and it’s infuriating. Never let Ross Travis shoot ever again, no matter what. Try a small-ball lineup with high speed and energy, make Geno Thorpe attack the basket and let DJ and Shep bomb away. Also, pray that Josh Reaves and Company are legit. Also, move the team back to Rec Hall and get the energy back into this program.

4) I’m an attentive Reds fan, but I’m perplexed by some folks’ ability to keep up on stats across the league all season. How do I be a better baseball citizen without ruining my life? – Matt Weber

That’s tough because baseball season takes over my life in a way that I will fully admit is obsessive. I recommend reading FanGraphs, Jonah Keri’s “The 30” on Grantland, and MLB Trade Rumors whenever you can. You’ll get the digest version of everything important happening in baseball without being too overwhelmed. Be in-touch with advanced stats as well and grab an subscription. The stats make much more sense when you get to watch your favorite team a lot, watch every good pitching matchup, and use it on basically any device.

5) If you had to choose a blue and white sportscar, would it be a Beamer, Benz, or Bentley? – Tom

If I went full President Barron on this, I’d reject all three and opt for a Subaru. All three of those would look better in just one color, but I’d take the Bentley, make the horn play Hail to the Lion, and get a vanity plate that says “409WROH” (We Really Out Here) on it. It would be beautiful, and put orange Maserati kid to shame.


That’s all for this week, make sure to submit your question for the next edition of Ask Noel below.

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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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