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The HUB Seal Curse Is Real…Trust Us

For those who don’t know, there is a longstanding superstition surrounding the Penn State seal in the HUB. Positioned near Jamba Juice and the Penn State Bookstore’s top entrance, the seal is said to possess a malicious power of bad luck — possibly even the ability to make students graduate late.

I don’t know about graduating late, but I do believe in the curse of the HUB seal.

During my freshman year, I heard about the curse but didn’t put much stock into the myth. The first time I stepped on the seal, I immediately realized I was late for my first college exam. I haven’t stepped on the seal since…until this past Wednesday.

In an utterly selfless act of public service, I set out to discover the validity of the HUB seal’s curse. Boy, have these last couple of days been rough as a result. Here’s the story of everything that has happened to me since incurring the wrath of the HUB seal. Perhaps it will serve as a warning to those considering doing the same.

Despite stepping on the seal, my Wednesday wasn’t noticeably impacted by any curse. In fairness, I didn’t step on it until later in the day, so maybe the curse has a bit of a waiting period.

Thinking I was in the clear, I got cocky. I bragged to my friends about my callous decision. I ordered pizza to celebrate my perceived immortality. I decided to put off homework and celebrate one of my last days up at school before going home for the summer. Then came Thursday.

Although I had a class at 9:05 a.m. Thursday morning, it was an in-class work day for our final paper. Since my rough draft received such high praise from my professor (and I stayed up so late the night before), I decided not to set my alarm. If I naturally woke up in time, I would go to class. If I woke up too late, I would simply put the finishing touches on my project individually.

I woke up at 9:10 a.m., which was just barely after class had started. So, I skipped class for an extra 10 minutes of sleep. Not the most efficient decision to start the day. I rolled out of bed and opened my laptop to begin my final paper edits. My laptop didn’t turn on.

Don’t worry. We’ll return to that shortly.

Figuring the computer was dead, I let it be and left my room to brush my teeth. The tube of toothpaste was one brush away from being empty. After brushing my teeth, I needed to buy another tube. Now, that may not seem like a huge issue, but because the semester’s end is less than a week away, it feels wasteful to buy an entire new tube of toothpaste before returning home. Of course, I can just use it when I get home. But, the idea of needing to buy toothpaste myself a week before my parents would just buy it for me was painful.

My cheapness aside, I brushed my teeth and returned to my laptop, which should have had enough time to charge. Alas, it still wasn’t turning on. I could tell where this was heading.

After searching Apple Support tips for getting my Macbook to restart and attempting them (to no avail), I was forced to cut my losses and go to my second class of the day…laptop-less. My roommate, who majors in IST, said he would work through some preliminary ideas and it should be back online in no time. When I returned home from class, it still wasn’t working. I was forced to attend my third class without my laptop, too.

With final exams and projects approaching (not to mention deadlines for some top-notch content on a certain Penn State blog), I didn’t have a functioning computer. After an event ran late, I missed the first ten picks of the NFL Draft. Resigned to the disappointing nature of my day, I went to bed early.

When I woke up Friday morning, my laptop was still out of commission, but I still had classwork. So, I was off to the computer lab. Because I had too much work, I skipped breakfast, but I eventually bought three quesadillas to improve my mood.

Let me tell you — it is impossible to quietly open paper bags that hold Taco Bell’s quesadillas. As I sat in the packed computer lab, starving, I made an ungodly amount of noise trying to reach my food. Whether I ripped the packages slowly or quickly, the crinkling had to be distracting. I’m sorry to anyone who was sitting around me.

After spending three-and-a-half hours mustering up the courage to write my German essay (just 500 words) and a creative writing story (also only 500 words), I was able to go home, where my roommate had been working on my laptop all day.

On my walk back home, I received an Instagram message request from an account I didn’t recognize. After accepting the request, I was greeted by a set of insults and death threats. I can only conclude the HUB seal created an anonymous account to harass me.

When I arrived back home, my roommate was still frantically working on my computer. I offered help, but without any technical knowledge, I let him be, hopeful that my laptop would be active again by the end of the night.

I wrote this story from the Pollock Computer Lab. Any guesses about the state of my laptop?

I blame the HUB seal. No — more accurately, I blame myself for stepping on the HUB seal.

I’m one of the lucky ones. With no finals or projects due over finals week, I likely dodged a bullet. Some of you may not be so lucky. If you see the seal, I implore you to avoid stepping on it. The potential consequences are too high. It’s not worth the risk. Don’t underestimate the malicious intent hidden inside the seal. I did, and I’ll likely be buying a new laptop.

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About the Author

Sam Fremin

Sam is a senior from Ashburn, Virginia, majoring in journalism and political science & minoring in German and creative writing. He is a Dallas Cowboys fan who relishes the misery of Eagles fans. All hate messages can be sent to or @SamFremin on Twitter.

He may or may not read every single comment he gets.

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