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Saying Goodbye: An Ode To East Halls

The semester is coming to an end and, much to my dismay, I must say goodbye to East Halls.

I vividly remember the hot August day when I walked into my seventh floor dorm for the first time. It was hard not to enjoy the nausea and dizziness I experienced from the sauna-like heat. My fondest memory of move-in day was not some boring activity like decorating my room or exploring campus with my family, but rather sweating through three t-shirts in four hours, giving me the chance to waste my first $2 on the industrial washers and dryers a floor below.

East Halls is a truly magical place filled with exciting surprises. Be it a used condom in the shower or a mysterious pool of blood on the tile floor, there’s adventure around every corner and in every bathroom. As for the rooms, I’m pretty impressed. I don’t know how it’s possible that the walls that separate me from my neighbors can actually amplify the sounds of their shrieking! Needless to say, I’m amazed by the first-rate infrastructure of my building.

Any other East Halls resident might tell you how horrible the food is, but not me. Findlay Commons provides a variety of satisfying entrée options, as well as a salad bar and sandwich station. Arguably the best part about Findlay food is its versatility. It’s really incredible how a meal from the commons can provide energy all day and still induce vomiting after a night of partying. Despite Findlay’s accommodating hours, which exclude two and half hours in the middle of the day, I usually stuck to dining at the Big Onion. Despite its huge popularity with students from all over campus, the adored eatery will close for good this semester due to renovations — yet another logical decision by Penn State.

If there’s one thing East Halls is really known for, it’s our beloved bus stop. You may groan at the thought of 30 freshmen piling onto one White Loop to get to class in the morning or avoid the walk to Fratland, but this process is the highlight of my day. It gives me the opportunity to make friends, talk to new people, and listen to mature upperclassmen chant “Freshmen! Freshmen!” as I get off the bus. If I’m lucky, I get to engage in conversation with a girl who is too drunk tired to know where she’s going and I get to help her find her friends. East Halls residents don’t care if it’s day or night — we’ll fill up a CATA bus like it’s our job, and that’s a guarantee.

It’s been quite the year in East Halls. Every morning I woke up to the construction of buildings I’ll never get to use was well worth it, just so I could live in the small, eastern corner of the Penn State universe. So here’s to the time that I slipped in someone’s puke and couldn’t complain because I chose to live here. Here’s to the days of sincere regret, the (few) days of pure joy, and to an experience I’ll never forget. Here’s to you, East Halls, and thanks for, uh… everything.

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About the Author

Gabriela Stevenson

Gabriela is a senior majoring in print and digital journalism and Onward State's student life editor. She is from Norristown, PA, which she normally refers to as "30 minutes outside of Philadelphia" (she looked up the exact driving time). She enjoys Broadway musicals, neck pillows, and eating cereal at night. To contact Gabriela, e-mail her at [email protected], or follow her on Twitter @GabiStevenson if you want to feel young again.

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