Onward State Gives Thanks

Happy Thanksgiving from all of us at Onward State! Aside from you readers, here is what our staff is thankful for this year.

Ali Richards: I’m thankful for my supportive friends who put up with my venting, my instant pot for popping out hard boiled eggs in just five minutes, and the two snow days we had right before break — saving me from a series of exams.

Andy Mollenauer: I’m thankful for Penn State because it is a perfect example of how home doesn’t have to be where you come from. I’m grateful for my close friends who have stayed by my side through the past few years, and I truly believe that I wouldn’t feel at home like this anywhere else.

Annmarie Sorensen: I’m thankful for my mom for talking to me on the phone every single day, usually more than once, and for letting my brother come watch us lose to Michigan State with me. I am also thankful for the close friends I have made this semester on my floor and through Onward State. Most importantly, I am thankful to my dog for remembering me and not holding a grudge against me for abandoning her. Shoutout to you, Molly.

Anthony Colucci: As always, I’d like to give thanks for my family, friends, and another year of good health and blessings. This Thanksgiving, I’d also like to express my gratitude for a few more things, including but not limited to: each and every time that I watch Bo Nickal’s post-NCAA Championships interview to get some inspiration for getting this bread, Al Pacino as Joe Paterno, Jim Davidson’s impressions of Al Pacino as Joe Paterno, Jim Davidson’s impressions in general, Snap Pizza, Sean Clifford’s highlight reel, and most of all, the comfort of knowing Penn State Police is always vigilantly protecting students — come hell, high water, or tailgate — and through whatever means possible, even helicopters.

Anthony Fiset: This year, I am thankful for the Pittsburgh Steelers for reminding me that at least one of my favorite football teams can move the ball through the air.

Austin Smith: I’m thankful for my friends, family, and the New York Giants for taking Saquon Barkley in the NFL draft. Whether the team wins or loses, I still have the opportunity to watch him play for one of my favorite teams.

Carly Weiss: This year, I am thankful for my family, friends, and all of the experiences I’ve been lucky to have at Penn State. Also, Beaver Stadium chicken baskets are a given.

Cassady Potts: I’m thankful for snow days for allowing me to miss math class and iced caramel macchiatos for helping me stay awake when I actually have to attend. I’m also thankful for women’s volleyball for helping me realize what it’s like to actually care about sports. Oh, and I guess I’m thankful for my parents for not getting annoyed on our fifth phone call of the day.

Derek Bannister: This year, I am thankful the rumors linking James Franklin to USC. All year, Penn State fans have been complaining about Franklin and, specifically, his play-calling. Once his departure seemed like a possibility, Penn State fans flooded his Twitter mentions with pleas to stay. I’m just glad the perennially unsatisfied Penn State fanbase has finally come to appreciate the guy. Also, I’m thankful for Jimmy Butler.

Elissa Hill:
I’m so
for my
staff for not using this joke and saving it for me, family who brings wine to Thanksgiving and doesn’t mind too much when I use my laptop to finish a post at the dinner table, and friends who tell me when my jokes aren’t funny but also tell me my cooking is good even when it’s questionable. I’m thankful for life, love, laughter, and ten years of your favorite student news blog.

Emma Dieter: I’m thankful for Penn State football for teaching me love, patience, and pain all within a span of the past 3 seasons. As Ariana Grande said, “thank u, next.”

Ethan Kasales: I’m thankful for all the experiences I’ve had over the past five and a half years here at Penn State, but I’ll be even more thankful once I take my last final ever in a few weeks. I’m also thankful for yoga and how it’s helped me live a healthier life. Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

Frank Scaramuzzo: This year during Thanksgiving, I’m thankful for the people who continuously support me throughout my time here at Penn State. Without my support system I’m not sure how far I would get here and anywhere else. Find your support system, folks!

Hope Damato: I’m thankful for the Eagles for winning at least one Super Bowl in my lifetime. More importantly I’m thankful for my supportive and loving family, friends, and OS staff that keep me going!

Jim Davidson: Fiddlehead’s Backyard Barbecue Salad (Modified): Here’s my advice. Go to Fiddlehead on the corner of College Avenue and Pugh Street. Open the door and go to the back of the line, no matter how long it is. Pop open the fridge and snag a Tazo Green Tea. Look at the menu like you’re trying to decide even though you already know what perfect mixture you’re going to ask to be stuffed in that plastic bowl. Order a Backyard Barbecue. You’ll be asked: “Is everything in that ok?” “Actually,” you’ll say, “could I switch the tomatoes for those noodles you guys have?” The answer, of course, will be yes. Track the salad from start to finish — ask for medium dressing, toss some oregano on that — and pay quickly. As soon as they hand you that brown paper bag of leafy and carb-heavy goodness, get home fast and dig in. I’m bringing one of these to my family Thanksgiving celebration.

Jon Westlake: Sexy Willard Preacher

Mackenzie Cullen: I’m thankful for my family because all of you (except Alison) love Penn State as much as I now do and share all of my Onward State articles on social media. I’m thankful Evelyn Fonseca-Beltran, Chelsea Lewin, and Grace Miller; without the three of you, I wouldn’t survive Hastings Hall. That said, I’m thankful for Hastings Hall for being close to all of the necessities on campus: Beaver Stadium, the BJC, and the Creamery. I’m thankful for my Thespians family. Finally, I’m thankful for Onward State and the opportunities it has given me in only one semester.

Mary Frances Pillion: I am forever thankful for my wonderful family whose support means the world to me. I’m thankful that my mom will always dance around the kitchen with me while we bake cookies, and that my dad will shake his head and laugh at us while we do it. I’m thankful that I have an older brother who has been my best friend for 22 years. I’m incredibly thankful that I have a full time job for after graduation, and the fact that I still can’t stop smiling every time I think about it. I’m thankful for one last year of taking pictures for Onward State, especially because I get to keep #climbing with Penn State men’s basketball for the blog. Finally, I’m thankful for mac and cheese, weenie dogs, ice cream, JuJu Smith-Schuster, the Pittsburgh Penguins, and for all of the people who let me talk about those things a whole lot. Oh, and I’m always thankful for Nick Perry, who has loved and supported me for four and a half years and is the very best person I’ve ever known.

Matt DiSanto: I think I’m mainly thankful for the 2017 Philadelphia Eagles. Of course I’m thankful for my friends, family, and the opportunities I’ve been fortunate to have, but watching the 4-6 Eagles blow leads and lose games is a lot easier knowing they’re the defending Super Bowl champions. I’m also thankful for Jimmy Butler and the 76ers, my luck with fantasy football this year, and the fact that the Phillies season is only five months away.

Matt Fox: I’m thankful for the opportunity to go to Penn State. I grew up in a Penn State family, and my dream was always to go to this awesome university. I had to go to a branch campus my first two years of college, and now that I’m at main campus, Penn State has been everything I’ve ever dreamt it’d be.

Matt Paolizzi: I’m thankful for friends and family, who light my way and are always there for me. I’m thankful for Philly sports and Penn State football, even when they make me want to cry. I’m thankful for my new roommates who have welcomed me in with open arms and kind hearts. And lastly, I’m thankful for Red Dead Redemption 2, which has stolen so much of my life already.

Matthew Ogden: I am thankful for the force of nature that is Jimmy Butler for forcing his way out of Minnesota and into the loving arms of the Philadelphia 76ers.

Mikey Mandarino: This year, I’m thankful for my dad, my sister Emma (kinda), my brother Billy, and everybody else in my family. It’s really easy to get caught up in the grind of life sometimes — especially when you’re hundreds of miles away from the most important people in your life — so I’m definitely thankful for them. I was never super excited when Thanksgiving rolled around as a kid, but it’s one of my favorite holidays now that I’m in college because I get to kick back and spend a week with them. I love you guys.

Navin Zachariah: This year I’m thankful that Jason Garrett is on the cusp of being fired while Tony Romo is living his best life as the best football analyst on TV. I’m also thankful for having been able to write for Onward State the past two years. Not to mention that I finally decided to pursue medical school after college — that was big. Lastly, I’m thankful for these past four years in Happy Valley and everyone I’ve met here!

Noah Rogers: I’m thankful that I was able to attend Penn State and for all the opportunities it has given me already. I’m thankful for the friends I’ve made and more that I hope to meet. And I’m thankful for my mom and friends at home.

Riley Davies: This year I am thankful for my amazingly supportive family and my friends, whether they be new or old, and the laughs, tears, and memories we have shared. I am also especially thankful to be attending my dream university and all that has come with it: the opportunity to write for Onward State, tailgate season and the emotional stress Penn State football has given me, not being able to function without an iced vanilla latte from Au Bon Pain, the Creamery lemonade, and the luxury of living in a renovated dorm. But most importantly, I am thankful for my dogs.

Ryen Gailey: I’m thankful for naps, chocolate milkshakes, and Qdoba’s queso. I’m thankful for my mom, dad, and Caitlin. As a family, we have always bled blue and white and I am so thankful that they have supported my decision of continuing our Penn State tradition. I’m thankful for Lisa, the best roommate ever, and all of our late night and early mornings talks about everything the sun. Lastly, I’m thankful for Onward State for being an amazing second family, and all of the opportunities I have received from joining this little blog.

Shannon Soboslay: I’m thankful that ABBA and Queens music made itself relevant again (not that it ever wasn’t, some of us just weren’t paying attention), no classes before 10 a.m., online shopping, Korean skincare, and family dinners.

Steve Connelly: I’m thankful for Gaff: The Happiest Place on Earth ™, my body for running mostly on Chick-fil-A nuggets, that national title Penn State volleyball’s going to win in a little more than three weeks’ time (no pressure), and still having one last semester that better not go as fast as the first seven.

Tim Reams: Alex Bauer. Coffee. THON. Alex Bauer drinking coffee at THON. Degenerate bloggers who also enjoy coffee and drinking five nights a week. Irving’s breakfast special. Thankful for 402 forever.

Will Pegler: I’m thankful for my parents who gave me the opportunity to go to Penn State. I’m thankful for my brothers and my dog. I’m thankful that Saquon got drafted to the Giants. I’m thankful for the friends I’ve made here so far and the friends I have yet to meet. I’m thankful for tailgates. I’m thankful that College Gameday came in September so I didn’t freeze my ass off sitting on Old Main Lawn at 3 a.m. I’m extremely thankful for Trace McSorley; I’m going to miss that guy. My first few months at Penn State have been amazing and I couldn’t have asked for a better experience. I’m most thankful for that without a doubt.

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About the Author


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