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If Campus Tours Were Completely Honest

Ah, the campus tour. Remember when you were a junior in high school with stars in your eyes, walking through University Park for the first time? You watched the current students walk by in their natural habitat and thought, “That could be me!”

Though campus tours may feel like a walk in the park, there’s plenty of preparation behind the magic. Tour guides, the students responsible for leading tours, must train extensively and memorize tons of trivia. Because, hey, not all of us are born knowing the complete history behind the Carnegie Building.

Though tour guides are knowledgeable about their surroundings, but there may be a few facts they leave unsaid. Here is some commentary you and your parents didn’t hear on your campus tour… but probably should have.

  1. You can’t actually make it to every class in 15 minutes. Maybe if you were maintaining a steady jog the entire way, but who wants to do that wearing a back pack?
  2. It’s cold and rainy here — often. Have an umbrella in your bag, even if the forecast predicts a sunny day.
  3. No matter how much snow is on the ground, you will have class.
  4. The food The Commons serves you during tours is better than usual days. Don’t get excited.
  5. The Commons has the potential to help you pack on 15 pounds, easily.
  6. Because Penn State is in rural Pennsylvania, we have many cows to thank for our dairy products. Subsequently, we also have days that reek of manure.
  7. The Cata Buses are often convenient. However, once the winter comes around they are entirely useless and you may have to fight to get on.
  8. The gyms will almost always be packed — especially after New Years.
  9. If you want to conserve meal points and not starve during finals week, don’t eat at the HUB.
  10. Yes, this is a dry campus. But for some mysterious reason, many students find themselves stumbling back to the dorms late at night.
  11. You may think this campus is huge, but somehow you’ll always run into those people you don’t want to see.
  12. There are many computers to use in the library, including Macs and PC. It doesn’t matter though, because you won’t be able to find an open one.
  13. Outside the Willard Building you will find the Willard Preacher arguing about religious topics with freshmen. Put him on your snap story and keep walking.
  14. No one cares about the history of these buildings, but you should care about the ones with the printers, best study spots, and proximity to food.
  15. Waking up for 8 a.m. classes will always be a struggle.
  16. As freshman, you’ll receive a convocation shirt. We suggest you never wear it again. Ever.
  17. The sidewalks are heated… is a common lie we tell you.
  18. No one will actually scream “We Are!” at you, unless you’re at a football game (or on the white loop on a Friday night.)
  19. There will always be some kind of construction that blocks you on the way to class.
  20. Most upperclassman choose to live off campus, which you absolutely should. Living on campus is expensive.
  21. Football tickets are worth it, even if you don’t like the sport. Saturdays at Beaver Stadium are unlike anything else.
  22. There’s no way of telling what type of RA you’ll have. They may be a complete asshole or a total ghost.
  23. There are many job opportunities on campus. You’ll probably need one eventually in order to keep up with your alcohol budget.
  24. Luckily, there are tons of ways to make quick money around campus.
  25. Doing laundry is a pain in the ass. You’ll probably never find an open washer. And if you leave your clothes in for a minute too long someone will move or steal them right away.


So there you have it, just some details your tour guide left out during your campus tour. Know a prospective student or soon-to-be freshman? Be sure to send this list their way.

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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