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Penn State Love Stories: A Surprise Meeting In The Schulze Hall Elevator

Sometimes love enters our lives when finding it is the last thing on our minds. For Alicia Shamus, it was three days into her junior year and her first year at University Park. It was also only a mere five minutes after a recent experience left her crumbled, and she swore off dating for good.  

Shamus’s roommate attempted to comfort her as she stood crying in the elevator of Schulze hall. Shortly after, another student stepped into the elevator with them. Shamus tried to hide her tears, avoiding eye contact with the stranger and staring at the ground. But before the elevator stopped, her roommate did the unthinkable.

“My roommate thought he was cute and pulled a “Have you met Tim Eroh?” on me and forced me to talk to him in all my boogery and snotty glory,” Shamus said. “All he remembers about that moment was the top of my head and wondering why I kept staring at my shoes.”

Despite the inconvenience of their meeting, something about Eroh caught her attention. The next time she saw him, she decided it was time to muster up the courage to start a conversation herself.

“That weekend I saw him playing hockey on the tennis courts. I put on my only hockey related article of clothing, a sweatshirt, and went out in 90-degree weather to talk to him,” Shamus said. “I made up some excuse about having allergies and getting the chills.”

(Photo: Alicia Shamus)
(Photo: Alicia Shamus)

And before she knew it, the two strangers hit it off perfectly. They decided to continue their conversation by grabbing dinner at the dining hall together that evening. Later that night, they sat watching TV in Eroh’s room. Shamus was perched on Eroh’s roommate’s bed and before she knew it, she began to feel extra sleepy.

“I was so comfortable that I actually dozed off (also partially due to the allergy medicine I took earlier in the day) and woke up to him making faces in the mirror about how he was going to welcome me after I woke up!” Shamus said. “We laughed so hard!”

From then on, they were inseparable. Their natural bond allowed their friendship to quickly morph into something more — the two students started officially dating just three weeks later.

The couple enjoyed each other’s company for the rest of their time at Penn State. But the looming task of planning what to do after graduation came more quickly than anticipated. The one thing Shamus and Eroh did know was that they wanted to make each other a permanent part of their lives.

However, for the first few years after graduation, various circumstances put a halt in their plans. Employment in separate towns, family illnesses, and other challenges prevented the couple from making any large milestones in their relationship. But eventually, Eroh decided he couldn’t wait any longer to ask the question he’d been waiting to ask for a very long time.

It was a seemingly typical day as the couple sat together to watch TV in the living room. Shamus had hurt her foot and was on crutches, so the two didn’t have any big plans in mind for the evening besides relaxing and enjoying each other’s company. But what Eroh did next would change their lives forever.

“He came out and got me off of the couch and pulled me into the middle of the living room,” Shamus said. “I wasn’t sure what was going on just yet until he started his speech. I don’t remember much of it because I was crying too hard.”

Tim Eroh surprised Alicia Shamus with a painting of a hummingbird he made himself. The gift holds a special place in her heart, as hummingbirds were her grandmother's favorite bird. (Photo: Alicia Shamus)
Tim Eroh surprised Alicia Shamus with a painting of a hummingbird he made himself. The gift holds a special place in her heart, as hummingbirds were her grandmother’s favorite bird. (Photo: Alicia Shamus)

The couple plans to marry on October 20, 2017. Despite experiencing situational rough patches over the years, their initial spark never burned out. Their willingness to support one another, to remember even the smallest of details about each other’s lives, and the joy they experience together have propelled their relationship far above any challenges they face.

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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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