Penn State Love Stories: A Spark From The Start

Most of us shudder when we think back to the day we had to schedule our freshman-year classes. The cramped room, the pressure to choose the right subjects, the fear of getting stuck with multiple 8 a.m. classes — it’s probably not the best memory most will make at Penn State. But for Mark Filandro, what was a grueling time for most would mark the beginning of something infinitely better than snagging the best class times.

It was 2010 when Filandro came to Penn State for his freshman orientation. When it finally came time to schedule his courses, he was surprised to find he was the only other student in the room. That is, until Nicole Adamski entered the room and caught his eye like no one ever had before.

The two students sat in silence as they attempted to plan out their schedules for the upcoming semester. Though he had a job to do, Filandro couldn’t help but think about the girl on the other side of the room.

“I couldn’t take my eyes off her,” Filandro said. “I remembered thinking about her after that day and she doesn’t remember me (a fact I tease her about every once in a while).”

Luckily, the small size of Penn State’s Forensic Science program ensured it wouldn’t be the last time the two students saw each other. Filandro and Adamski both ended up living on the Forensic Science Interest floor in Beaver Hall and even shared a few of the same classes.

Filandro suggested the two wait for each other after their evening lab class. He insisted it wasn’t necessarily the greatest idea to walk back to their rooms by themselves late at night.

“While that was true, I also wanted to talk to her alone,” Filandro said. Chem 111 hadn’t been the greatest place to strike up a conversation, so he figured this was his chance.

Shortly after beginning their usual walks home together, Filandro and Adamski grew closer and began talking and texting consistently. Though the two students themselves weren’t very aware of each other’s feelings, mutual friends began to notice their growing chemistry.

“We both liked each other but we didn’t really know how the other felt,” Filandro said. “But all of our friends knew how we both felt and wanted to try and help kick start our relationship.”

One evening, Filandro and Adamski were having a movie night with their group of friends. Filandro’s pal decided he had enough of the secretive crushes and took the matter (and the phone) into his own hands.

“[He] stole my phone and texted her saying that I liked her,” Filandro said.

Adamski, unaware that the phone had been stolen, responded by saying she felt the same way. But when she realized it wasn’t actually Filandro who sent the text, she was instantly mortified.

“She and I wrestled trying to gain control of [my] phone so I could see what this text was,” Filandro said. Little did Adamski know, however, that he had actually read her response early on in the struggle and was already grinning on the inside. From then on, he found every excuse he could to hang out with her.

It wasn’t long until the two went on their first official date at the Corner Room. The conversation flowed effortlessly, and both students felt as though they had already known each other for years.

“We talked for a long time and never felt any awkwardness. A few of her friends from high school went to Penn State with her and they actually decided to spy on our date to see how it was going,” Filandro said. “So twice during the date we saw her friends on the sidewalk outside of the Corner Room looking in to our table, which we still laugh about to this day.”

Filandro and Adamski made their relationship official in October of 2010 after knowing each other for only a month. Their instantaneous connection remained strong; the couple has now been together nearly six years.

Though Filandro and Adamski reside more than an hour away from each other, they have a newfound appreciation for their relationship.

“We are more in love now than we have ever been, because the saying absence makes the heart grow fonder is true.”

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About the Author

Claire Fountas

Claire Fountas is the student life editor for Onward State, as well as a junior pursuing a double major in journalism and psychology. She lives in a suburb of Chicago and strongly disagrees with anyone who hates the Cubs or the Blackhawks (so, pretty much anyone at Penn State). You can follow her @ClaireFountas or email her at [email protected]

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