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Overheard At Walmart During Move-In Weekend

Move-in weekend takes a lot of preparation. You’ve spent days and days at home organizing your clothes, school supplies, bedding, and everything in between (including those PSU necessities). You filled your mom’s mini van to the brim, and you were confident you packed everything — that is, until you arrived in State College.

Whether it was something as simple as coat hangers, laundry detergent, or soap, you probably forgot at least one thing when you moved back to Dear Old State. Your parents probably suggested a quick stop to Walmart. Boy were they in for a treat.

If you or your parents don’t already know, Walmart during move-in weekend is quite literally a madhouse. Families scattered throughout the store scurrying to and fro, fighting to pick up their college student’s final essentials. I was lucky enough to experience this classic back-to-school ritual myself. As you can guess, I couldn’t help but overhear a few things. Here are some of my highlights from the trip:

Baby in stroller: *Drops a box he’s playing with. Wails.*
Little boy to his mother: MOMMM. I want to go to McDonalds!

Mother:  Stop. Stop that. This weekend is not about you.
Mother approaching a rug: How about this one?!
Grandmother: Hmm…it says…”herb garden.”
Mother: I think it’s cute! It’s a nice pattern.
Grandmother: But he lives in an apartment. Why would there be an herb garden?
Mother: It doesn’t really matter…
Grandmother: Where would the herb garden even be? He could never plant a thing. The herb garden is $25 anyway; I say no.

 *Friends walking in parking lot*
Friend One: So it looks like the first Walmart trip was a success.
Friend Two: Agreed, did we get everything? *looks down at bags.* Cheese, milk, pasta sauce…and we forgot the pasta.
Guy wearing Penn State jersey: Alright, well we need eggs, how many should we get?
Guy’s friend: Hmmm, maybe a dozen, two dozen, *looks closely.* Hold on, let’s snag the box of 60.
Guy wearing Penn State jersey: Oh my god, yes. This box of eggs is a gift from heaven.
Mother to daughter in checkout line: So you got an oven mitt and everything?
Daughter in checkout line: Yup! *Inspects her ‘oven mitt’ package.* Oh my god oh no.
Mother: What?! What?!
Daughter: …This a full-on kitchen apron set.
 *Mother looks at her daughter as if she just committed murder.*

Guy in blue PSU shirt: Mom?! Mooooom!
Dad to his son near the shopping cart: Where the hell is your mother?
Son to dad: I don’t know, near the school supplies?
Dad to son: Nope I just checked. *Does a flailing, exasperated motion.* We’re never gonna find her.

Girl in orange sweatshirt: OH MY GOD. Tide. Mom, I need Tide!

Guy studying a new TV: This is going to be sick in my dorm.
His brother: Yeah, okay. How about you try going out and socializing instead.

Boy standing on the cart like a sled: *Points forward as if he is Washington crossing the Delaware.* GO DAD. TO CHECKOUT.  MUSH!

Girl wearing her letters: Imagine wearing THIS to a frat party? Holds up a Frozen themed night gown.
Her friend: Hahaha! So hot.

Daughter to her mother, looking concerned: If I got these sheets with the blanket is it too matchy matchy?!
Her mother: No. I don’t think it’s too matchy matchy.

Father holds up boxed appliance: *Loudly attempts reading the directions in Spanish just for kicks.*
His son: Dad, why do you do that every time?

Girl in pink striped shirt: I reaaaally just need Starbs right now.
Her little sister: Stars? Stars for what?
Girl in pink striped shirt: No. Starbucks. *Rolls her eyes dramatically.*

The checkout guy to girl in line: I know this weekend is always crazy. It’s actually my birthday today. I haven’t seen my family for 14 years on my birthday because of this job! *Laughs sadly at his own misfortune.*
Girl in line: Oh no! *Nervously laughs back.*
Girl in PSU hoodie: Okay where is the car?!
Her mother: Where in the world did I park?
Girl in hoodie: *Sprints.* I found it! Yes… Wait. How does someone have the same beige van with a Penn State bumper sticker?

There you have it. Just some of the exchanges between families and friends at Walmart, in case you weren’t fortunate enough to hear some yourself. Hopefully the crazy process of back-to-school shopping is over for you, and you can finally get cozy and nestled back into Happy Valley. Welcome home, Penn State!

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About the Author

Carolyn Popescu

Current senior studying Advertising and Visual Arts, Carolyn has a passion for entertainment and music. She also loves photography, film, graphic design, social media, and all things in between. She's the current Sony Music Marketing Representative for State College, so be sure to reach out to her with any local music scene questions, ideas, proposals, or if you just need someone to geek out about music with.

(Contact her through [email protected] or [email protected])

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