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Previewing The Enemy: Graduation

Penn State seniors will, once again, take on graduation en masse this spring. Stretching from Friday, May 3 to Sunday, May 5, the weekend we’ve all been dreading is creeping up on us like a thief in the night. Graduation enters the matchup with an undefeated record against Penn State seniors since 1855.

Graduation is the (hopefully) inescapable fate of Penn State students. There is no defying graduation, for it marches ever closer with each passing moment, each cold walk to class, each Gaff pitcher or Dirty Sprite or Cafe tea…

Accepting the inevitability of graduation is an important first step to enjoying your final semester in Happy Valley. Plus, there are probably aspects of life after college to look forward to.

The Good

Not. This section is basically a lie. Here’s what you have to look forward to after graduation:

  • Getting a full-time job
  • Going to bed at a reasonable hour and waking up like an adult
  • Paying for things like health insurance
  • Staying awake throughout the course of any given day
  • Having to dress like you have a job interview at the career services building, but now that job interview is every day and you are always under constant scrutiny
  • Dying

And if you’re one of those people who is looking forward to a fulfilling career or starting a family or any similar bullshit, get out of my face.

I’ll concede that feeling the worth of making your own money is nice and having the freedom to explore your new place of residence is exciting. In fact, you should probably take great pride in knowing that only about a third of Americans have a four-year college degree.

Having the discipline to get to class, do your work, and get involved at Penn State in an four-year span with pressure that can sometimes feel like its suffocating is a serious achievement. In fact, it will probably set you up for success throughout the rest of your life.

So celebrating all of this is great, but at what cost? Everything.

The Bad


The Instagram posts alone will be horrible. You’ll have to scroll through as seemingly every person you’ve ever met stands at the Lion Shrine or in front the of the “Pennsylvania State University” sign near Beaver Stadium. Come on, people, get creative.

The Lines At The Bars

One unfortunate side effect of graduation is that literally everyone and their mothers are trying to get into the local watering holes. Good luck getting into Champs along with every other person over the age of 21.

This Guy

Just get a load of this guy.

This mans is plastered on the commencement schedule page, and I’d like to point out that this is an unrealistic portrayal of a senior before graduation.

Leaving Everything You’ve Come To Know And Love

It’s ~not great~ having to leave the place you’ve come to love. College is a time when you have the chance to learn about yourself while taking in knowledge from professors and varying viewpoints from the people around you. All the while, you make friends with people who become as important as your own family members.

And to experience it all at Penn State is almost unfair. The opportunities to learn a lot and have a good time while doing it are seemingly endless.

I’ve never written a preview knowing so clearly who’d come out on top of the battle. Let’s hope Penn State has prepared us for this coming loss, seniors.

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About the Author

Derek Bannister

Derek is a senior majoring in Economics and History. He is legally required to tell you that he's from right outside of Philly. Email Derek compliments and dad-jokes at [email protected]


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