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15 Photos We Think Will Cheer You Up

With campus moving to online instruction through the rest of the semester, most students (including us) are pretty bummed out. So we asked our staff to take pictures of things in their quarantine homes that bring them joy. Here’s an assortment of things that keep us happy at home.

Alysa Rubin: Magnolia tree

For as long as I’ve lived at my house, we’ve had a magnolia tree. I would always climb it when I was younger, and I feel as if I’ve grown up with it. The tree blossoms every spring, and I always look forward to it because not only is it beautiful, but it’s a sign that the weather is getting warmer, and that good times are ahead. The tree also attracts many different types of birds, and I’ve always loved seeing the birds build their nests and make the tree into a home. Although recent events have forced me to be home from school, I’m grateful I could be home to see my tree bloom. By blooming this early, my tree gives me hope that we can get through these tough times.

Dana Nunemacher: Northeastern Pennsylvania

It wasn’t until I went to college this summer that I realized how I lucky I am to have grown up in Northeastern Pennsylvania. It’s been hard to be away from Penn State, but I am so lucky to have these #Views everyday. This pond is my favorite place at home. Growing up, my brother and I would ice skate on it during the winter. In the spring, I used to come down every day to watch the turtles bask. Plus, I am thankful to have my pink boots that have been on all my outdoor adventures with me. They are really the true MVP of my wardrobe because they have seen and stepped in things that most shoes wouldn’t dare to venture in to.

Frank Scaramuzzo: Bella

This is Bella, my three-year-old black lab/pit bull mix pup! She’s the ultimate travel companion and friend to all. While I work, she’s sitting by my side or sunbathing by the window. We’re social distancing champs.”

Katie Moats: Homemade 55 Days of Cafe

Since I missed out on my first 55 Days of Cafe, my dad has been making me Cafe tea to make me feel better. It’s such a small gesture, but it reminds me of home.

Lauren Wysseier: Mini

Something I always look forward to coming home to is my family. My sister and best friend, Julia, never fails to keep me entertained, and I can always count on my dog, Mini, to comfort me with a quality cuddle sesh. I’m so glad that I have these people in my life that make coming home so enjoyable. Not to mention, being quarantined at home with my parents, my sister, and my dog has only brought us closer together, one board game at a time.

Lily Whitmoyer: Elvis

Elvis is my study buddy now that classes are online, and he’s always happy to sit on my keyboard while I’m trying to procrastinate type an essay.

Lindsay Tagliere: Loki

Loki’s my 10, almost-11-year-old Weimaraner. She was my mom’s 40th birthday present and she’s the one thing keeping me sane in quarantine (besides Mom’s banana bread).

Mackenzie Cullen: Siblings

While it sucks not being at Penn State, I’m happy I get to spend some ~ quality time ~ with my siblings (despite my brother’s expression). It’s rare that we’re all together in the same place so if any good has come out of this, it’s getting to be with them.

Matt DiSanto: Drums

The absolute best part of being quarantined at home for the next five months is being able to get some quality time with my drums rather than the dinky drum pad I keep in my dorm. I practice for at least an hour or two every day, usually playing along to Dave Matthews Band, Led Zeppelin, and The Beatles. It really helps to relieve stress and reignite a passion of mine from high school that I miss dearly when I’m up at school.

Matt Sniegowski: Charlie and Angus

Here is Charlie (ginger/white, 4 years old) and Angus (tri-color, 3 years old), they are my love and joy. They have their own room with stairs up to a queen size bed just for them. They deserve the world if I could give it to them. Angus has really been appreciative of the work-from-home period and all the extra ear rubs he’s been receiving. Charlie still spends most of her time on her bed, looking out the window and surveying her kingdom. During these pics, Charlie sat patiently and was a very good girl. Angus, on the other hand, whined and refused to sit still, hence why he’s still called “puppy.”

Michael Tauriello: Sudoku

While I was at school this semester, my parents decided to stop getting hard copies of the newspaper every day. My dad knew I would miss it, so he started printing out the sudoku puzzle every day, which I really appreciate!

Mira DiBattiste: Ruby

Ruby is my 12-year-old pug, and she’s been in my life since I was 7. I barely remember my life without her, and she’s been a constant source of happiness in my life every day since then. She’s getting old now, so I treasure the time I have left with her.

Ryen Gailey: Family

What brings me joy right now is my family. It is the time we are getting to spend together that is extremely valuable to me now more than ever before, whether it be through playing (and winning — shoutout to my the best teammate ever, my dad) cornhole in our backyard, to “Wheel of Fortune” and Mario Kart, to cooking dinner and dancing around the kitchen. We are appreciating the little things nowadays, and in this moment for me, that means an ESPN worthy trick shot made by my dad in this cornhole game to secure the win!

Teagan Staudenmeier: Seeley, Bjuki, Maisie, and Gatsby

When sitting at home self-isolating and and trying to focus on my class work, it can sometimes get a bit dreary. In these moments the happy presence of my four beautiful puppers instantly lifts my mood. They remind me that my home is their happy place and they couldn’t be more content with having the whole family under one roof 24/7. Their names (from left to right) are Seeley, Bjuki, Maisie, and Gatsby.


It’s easy to get wrapped up in only coronavirus news during this scary time, and it’s natural to want to be up-to-date on everything related to it. But it’s just as important to take some time in the day for yourself, to focus on the things that make you happy and make you feel better.

Spend some time with your loved ones. Give your pets some love. Enjoy your backyard. And stay positive.

We hope sharing some pictures of the things that bring us joy have done the same for you. And feel free to send us what’s been making you smile during this difficult time!

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Posts from the all-student staff of Onward State.

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