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Staff Picks: The Best Free Stuff You’ve Gotten At Penn State

Three things are certain in life for students who attend Penn State: death, taxes, and getting free stuff.

Freebies can come in all forms: lost items you just so happened to pick up, something you won, or maybe just something someone handed to you on the side of the street. Complimentary items are always fun, but what’s the absolute best free thing you’ve received at Penn State? Our staffers listed off some of their personal favorites.

Jordan Mansberger: ‘Despicable Me’ Minion Battery Charger

During my freshman year, I would often sit in a certain study room to complete work. One day, out of nowhere, this random minion charger showed up and was lying on the table. I originally ignored it, but it stayed there on the table for about three weeks. I almost felt like it was an honor system test to see if anyone would take it, but one day I snapped and decided to keep it. I have never actually used it once, but I like “Despicable Me,” so it is a staple within my backpack.

Matt DiSanto: Not Just *Any* Free T-Shirt

When I first came to Penn State, I was an anxious mess. I felt alone, had few friends, and couldn’t imagine making it through a semester, let alone an entire college degree.

However, I fondly remember attempting to break out of my shell a week after beginning my freshman year by going to a trivia night event with my roommate and some friends from my floor. We weren’t friends yet, but after a few hours of Penn State and pop culture trivia, things began clicking, and I finally, for the first time, felt at home at Penn State.

Oh, and we won the trivia night! Our grand prize: snazzy Penn State t-shirts from McLanahan’s. We later returned them to the store to pick out some cooler ones (read: tie-dye!). That night was the first time I enjoyed myself at Penn State, and I’ve still got that t-shirt to prove it.

Mackenna Yount: Mini Baking Spatula

I added a new item to my collection of free items from Penn State last week after I registered for a webinar for my food science major. Because I registered early, I received a swag bag that included the best free item I have gotten so far: a spatula.

Yes, I am now the proud owner of a mini baking spatula adorned with the Greek letters for the Food Science Honor Society. Obviously, I love it. It’s tiny, cute, and I can make a cake or something by using it.

Matt Rudisill: Amazon Gift Cards

To be completely honest, free stuff was not really something that I thought about when I came to Penn State. I came here to get a quality education at a renowned university (Editor’s note: Nerd.).

However, I recently received $63 in Amazon gift cards for participating in a Penn State research study. All I needed to do was fill out a few surveys over a 21-day period, and I walked away with a decent chunk of change that I turned into a brand new pair of shoes. Granted, it was technically an exchange of services that got me the gift cards, but relative to the time that it took me to complete the surveys, they were basically free. Thanks, Penn State!

Also, for future reference, don’t just walk by the bulletin boards in your commons buildings on campus. They are filled with wonderful opportunities for plenty of free stuff, so give them a look as you pass by.

Will Pegler: COVID-19 Testing T-Shirt

After I did my mandatory COVID-19 test upon my return to Penn State this spring, I received a free shirt. The guy giving them out made it clear to me that they only had a medium left (what’s that supposed to mean, dude?), but I still grabbed one for myself and a friend.

The shirt honestly looks great with the outline of Pennsylvania and the words to Alma Mater on the inside of it. I thank Penn State for allowing me to celebrate my negative COVID-19 test with this shirt. But I’m curious: Do you still get one if you test positive?

Michael Tauriello: Penn State Baseball Cap

One night, early on in my freshman year, I was walking through Forum Building looking for an empty room to do a photoshoot in. I stopped in 108 Forum and decided to walk to the front of the room just to see what it was like to be my CHEM 110 professor. On my way down, something caught my eye within the rows of seats: a hat! Not just any hat, a really high-quality hat made by Nike.

Unfortunately, the hat was fitted, and it fit even worse on me when I decided to wash and dry it. I recall trying to wear it at a football game where the wind was particularly bad and it blew right off my head and down nearly a dozen rows in front of me. I did, however, end up retrieving the hat. I can’t wear it, but it’s a nice-looking cap.

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Posts from the all-student staff of Onward State.


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