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Things Around The House That Remind Me Of Penn State

Day number Lord-knows-what of quarantine: everything reminds me of her.

Except “her” is actually Penn State, and I miss it so very much, to the point where basically everything in my house reminds me of Happy Valley. Some days I wake up in bliss, forgetting the coronavirus even exists and thinking I’m in my twin XL bed in Nittany Apartments.

Unfortunately, the coronavirus, stay-at-home orders, Zoom University, and other terms that I had no idea existed before February are very real, and I wake up in “just outside of Philly” instead of State College every day. Hearing a Beaver Stadium song or catching a flick of campus on Instagram is enough to make me a little emotional.

So, here are some things around my house that remind me of Dear Old State:

My Dog: The Nittany Lion

Maybe it’s just the scarf that my mom got her, but I can’t help but think about the Symbol of Our Best whenever I see my dog. Although my dog can’t do any one-armed pushups, she does wag her tail — which I guess is close enough to the Lion wagging his ears.

My Stairs: Mount Nittany

Although they’re a couple thousand feet shy of Mount Nittany’s elevation, the stairs in my house are quite the challenge to climb — although not nearly as bad as Mount Everest. Sometimes when I’m walking up to my room after a long day of quarantining, I’ll have flashbacks to one of the many good memories I have of hiking the actual Mount Nittany.

The Basketball Hoop In My Driveway: The BJC

I’ve been playing a lot of basketball alone in my driveway since quarantine started, and every time the Bryce Jordan Center crosses my mind. Home to the Lady Lions, THON, and Penn State men’s basketball (in that order), the BJC is honestly one of my favorite buildings on campus. I miss it.

Also: Pat Chambers, if you’re reading this, when I say I’ve been playing a lot of basketball, I mean a lot. I’m pretty good now, and I can send you some of my highlights if you want. Just something to chew on.

My Freezer: The Creamery

Although my family’s “ice cream parlor” only really carries Breyers ice cream, it’s still easy to be reminded of the creamery when eating any frozen dessert. Come summertime when water ice, popsicles, and ice cream cones are in full swing, I’m sure I’ll find myself even more Happy Valley homesick.

Coffee: Edge Coffee Shop

Since I’ve been home, I’ve been trying out different ways to brew coffee and make different espresso-type drinks myself. Although the coffee I make is almost certainly better than what Edge serves in East and Pollock, I still really miss getting drinks from there before or after class. Pain.

My Brother Deciding Where He’s Going To College: Penn State

My brother, who is a graduating high school senior, still hasn’t picked where he’s going to college yet. Penn State is on his list, so when my family has a discussion about his decision and they get to the “pros” part of his pros and cons list, it’s hard not to think about how amazing Happy Valley is.

If he does end up picking Penn State, I’m sure reliving the incoming freshman journey will make me even more sad and nostalgic.

The Beaver Stadium Puzzle My Dad Has Been Working On For A Month: Beaver Stadium

This one explains itself. Here’s to hoping we can pack 110,000 fans into this place sometime in the academic year.

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About the Author

Ryan Parsons

Ryan is a redshirt senior majoring in business and journalism from "Philadelphia" and mostly writes about football nowadays. You can follow him on Twitter @rjparsons9 or say hi via email at [email protected]

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