Savor The Student Section

It’s the best time of year — Penn State Football is finally back. After a long offseason, James Franklin and his Nittany Lions will kick off against Kent State at home in the best stadium in college football.

We can all admit Kent State isn’t the most exciting home game scheduled this season. It’s not a seasoned rival, it’s not a white out or stripe out and it’s not going to be shown on primetime television. Let’s be real, the best part is that football has returned and the game isn’t at noon. Although it won’t be the best game you’ve ever seen there is one reason to attend this home game and every other one like it: the student section.

The incredible Penn State student section is something many of us were aware of before we even stepped foot on Penn State soil. Sometimes we take it for granted. I was guilty of this, and heed my warning, you should savor every second in the student section you possibly can.

It’s something nostalgic seniors and alumni will tell you frequently, but in the moment it’s easy to forget. However I promise you this: No fraternity tailgate, no couple hours of sleep, no nonexistent Chipotle line is worth missing the chance to be in the stands.

Take it from someone who watched an entire season from the field. The opportunity to step on the turf at Beaver Stadium for every home game last season was something I will never forget. It was a chance of a lifetime and something few students are able to do. Although it was an incredible experience, there was something glaringly missing.

When Saquon Barkley hurdles a defensemen and dives into the end zone there is only one place to be, and that is standing next to your best friends shaking the stands in excitement the way only Penn State students know how. From the day you step on campus as a freshman until the day you walk the stage at graduation, the number of chances you get to experience those moments are limited.

There’s a magic to the student section, a camaraderie. In good times and bad, your peers will pick you up — be that a funny chant at the opposing team or throwing you into the air when Penn State scores a touchdown. The vast majority of students only get four years to swipe into Gate A and spend their day cheering alongside thousands of their classmates and peers, and once you leave you don’t really get to come back. Season tickets on your ID card turn into cheap seats in the upper levels with some of your friends from school post-graduation or watching from a bar because you can’t make it up to Happy Valley, and it’s just not the same.

So this weekend, put down the Natty, enter the stadium, and be apart of the best student section in the country. There will be other Saturdays full of frats, food, and bad decisions. Don’t waste the few you have left not taking full advantage of Beaver Stadium. I know I won’t.

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Posts from the all-student staff of Onward State.

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