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To The Friends We Lost Along The Way: An Ode To The White Loop

As we gear up to begin the fall semester in the middle of a global pandemic, it would be an understatement to say campus will look a little different once we find ourselves in State College again. Most classes seem to be online, football season remains up in the air, and a bunch of us will need to complete coronavirus tests before we return to campus.

Living through a pandemic that has killed nearly 160,000 people in the United States alone will make you realize you took a lot of your daily routine for granted back when college life was normal.

Unfortunately, two of these things are the Blue Loop and the White Loop. When the Centre Area Transportation Authority (CATA) announced that ot was suspending services for Penn State’s most iconic bus routes for the entirety of the fall semester, I’ll admit a piece of my heart shattered a little.

It wasn’t the online classes, the canceled plans, or the huge question mark that just became our futures that did it for me. It wasn’t the limited capacity to our favorite bars (though that did hit me right where it hurt) or not coming back to campus after Thanksgiving Break. While all of those things did, in fact, suck, they did not hold a candle to the suspension of those two CATA lines.

Before I get any further, a disclaimer: this article is absolutely satirical. While it does suck to lose these two routes and it will add an unfortunate amount of time to my commute to classes, in the grand scheme of things, it’s not all that important. Seriously, wear your mask and get those extra steps in.

Living off campus, I don’t typically use the Blue Loop, but the White Loop has made my life infinitely easier in the three years that I’ve been using it. Whether that’s saving me a 30-minute walk to the library that’s uphill both ways, carrying my exhausted body to THON on Sunday morning, or bringing me for a trip all the way around campus when I don’t want to walk back from Lot 83 after parking my car, the White Loop (and its drivers) have been there for me through it all.

The White Loop has seen me at my best and my worst. From weekend trips to Frat Row freshman year to squeezing *just* past the line to avoid walking in that harsh Pennsylvania winter, from stressed and teary-eyed finals week trips to the library to motivated journeys to the IM Building for a quick workout. From every friend I ran into and every ~acquaintance~ I pretended to be super interested on my phone in order to avoid. For every late night and early morning.

As a senior, by the time that the affectionately nicknamed Bloop and Whoop are back in service, I might not even be a student anymore. I might have pulled that cord for the last time before I graduate and not even known it. In a world where the things we’ve looked forward to since we moved into our dorms freshman year, like in-person commencement and 55 Days of Cafe, it seems weird to feel nostalgic over some old bus route, but I definitely do.

With that in mind, I invite you all to collectively pour one out for the Bloop and Whoop every time you’re forced to walk a little further to get to class, the library, or downtown. This year is going to be weird, to put it lightly, and the loss of two of our favorite bus systems only add to that list.

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About the Author

Katie Moats

Katie Moats is a senior majoring in English, and her goal this year is to get a big girl job. Seriously, though, if you're looking for someone who can write and edit like nobody's business, she's Katelyn Moats on LinkedIn and will literally interview with you tomorrow. You can follow her @k_moats24 on Twitter for stupid content, but if it's something serious, feel free to shoot her an email (preferably in the form of a poem) to [email protected]

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