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Can You Even State? The Most Basic Penn State Pictures

By Carolyn Popescu and Lexi Shimkonis (Photos: Steffen Blanco)

Let’s be honest. Most of us have posted a whiteout picture at Beaver Stadium, a candid party shot at a frat, a tailgating picture with a causal red cup in hand, or a scenic shot of campus. Happy Valley is just so damn photogenic, and we don’t blame you for wanting to show it off. And there’s no shame if you have two blue hearts in your bio with ‘PSU’ and your graduating year.

There are some pictures, however, you just know you’ll see at least five or six times when scrolling through Instagram any given weekend. We (well, @happy_valley_gal) compiled and recreated the most cliché classic Penn State pictures that are staples for every Nittany Lion. They’re so stately and so popular they can only be dubbed the most basic Penn State pictures.

 Lounging on Old Main Lawn


With the nice weather finally gracing State College, students are out and about to soak in the warmth, which obviously means flocking to the most comfortable and casual study spots/Instagram back drops. It’s true: Penn State students are literally not allowed outside on spring days if they don’t spend some time on Old Main lawn AND document it.

FTK Everyday

Even after THON is over, the diamonds never go down. No matter where Penn Staters travel, we love to take pictures with other THON-lovers, spreading THON love around the world by making the Four Diamonds hand symbol wherever we may be.

Penn Staters Run on Irving’s


A Coffee Shop Cliché — every basic girl (and guy) has been to “Starbs,” but you’re not Penn State Basic until your caffeine-fueled Instas include State College’s quaint cafés.

The “Study-er”


If you plan to stay in on a Saturday, you better have a good excuse. Letting your followers know that you do, in fact, “college” from time to time is classic. Add a coffee (or six) and we’re really talking!

But First, Let Me Take a Selfie (FTK)


With the THON merchandise store now open in the renovated section of the HUB, you can try on some new swag year-round. And, as any fashionista will tell you, no shopping spree is complete without a selfie of you and your shopping buddy modeling the best finds.

A Good Old Fashioned #tbt


Every Instagram profile needs a good throwback from time to time, and missing football season is the perfect excuse to post an “art-c” Beaver Stadium picture from September.

Hot Dogs or Legs?


We’ve all seen celebs and spring-breaking friends post a pic of their tan legs on a white sand beach, beverage in hand. While we don’t have tropical beaches here in State Colleges, lounging on the Old Main grass still leaves followers begging the same question: Hot dogs, or legs?

With The Roomie!


What’s cuter than dressing up in some matching blue and white gear and watching the game with your best friend or roommate? Better take a pic though, because otherwise your efforts (and outfits) will be for naught.

Penn State Welcome Crew


The Allen Street Gates are a symbolic entrance to campus, and you posing with them is the perfect way to show your followers you’re back at school for the semester, saying goodbye for the Summer, or just taking a picture-worthy trip downtown with some pals.

The Classic Old Main Picture


The recipe for the ultimate Penn State Insta is quite simple. Old Main, perfect blue sky, single puffy white cloud, heavy filter, and a caption that questions your Stateliness. Doesn’t get more state than that tbch.

The Single Most Classic, Traditional, Basic Penn State Photo of All Time


Anyone who has ever visited campus has taken a photo with (or on) the symbol of our best: the Lion Shrine. For graduating seniors, newly-accepted students, and alumni alike, no visit to West campus would be complete without a photo-op on the lion. And what’s a picture without a couple hundred likes? Posing with the Nittany Lion is a sure-fire way to have a successful Insta.


These pictures are so commonly posted because they really are so traditional: They scream Penn State. If you haven’t posted a picture along the lines of one of the ones above, were you actually ever in Happy Valley? Ultimately, the most classic, traditional, “basic” Penn State pictures are just the pictures that every Penn Stater needs to have in their camera roll. So next time your friends tell you that your post is a Penn State cliché, just remind them that you (and hundreds of others before you…) are not afraid to show your Nittany Lion pride.

Photos: Steffen Blanco

About the Author


Posts from the all-student staff of Onward State.


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