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You’re In The Good Times: Frankie Marzano’s Senior Column

Back in February, the New York Rangers made a big splash at the NHL trade deadline to acquire legends Vladimir Tarasenko and Patrick Kane in order to make a strong push for the Stanley Cup, solidifying their lineup as one of the best in franchise history. 

For those of you who don’t know me, the New York Rangers are my pride and joy. For 10 years, I have watched almost every single game. It feels amazing when they win, and the highs are high, but not so much when they lose. Nothing frustrates me more than when they have to get bailed out by a generational goaltender for subpar play at even strength. The story of my life.

Once the Rangers got Kane, my eyes were set on the Stanley Cup Playoffs that were six weeks away at the time. It was exciting to think about, but the fear of losing stressed me out just as much. The Rangers had all the pressure to win after making those two massive moves. 

Watching games became less enjoyable when the team didn’t look good. I found myself getting stressed out more than I’d like to admit, until Ryan Mead, host of Blueshirts Breakaway, tweeted out something I probably took to heart way too much: “You’re in the good times.”

He was right. Enjoy watching the team that’s in front of you and live in the moment. Don’t worry about what’s going to happen six weeks from now.

I kept that mentality in mind not only when I was watching the Rangers, but also as I went through the last days before some of my best friends at Penn State graduated. It’s something I wish I was better at doing in my college career, but also in my life.

College is a grind, and it gets tough at times. It’s so easy to get caught up in stressing about a project you have due next week or a bad grade you got on an exam a few hours ago. Trust me, ending up at Doggie’s and panicking an hour after blowing up an auditing exam is no fun. I wish I could go back in time and enjoy those moments more because those are times you will rarely get back when you graduate college.

Grades always ended up working out, projects always got done, and everything was OK in the end. There’s no need to stress about the little things. If you put the work in, it will always work out. You’re not going to remember the B- you got on an exam 10 years from now.

One of the broader lessons I learned over the last few years is not to be afraid to celebrate the good moments life has to give you. It is full of good and bad moments, but what’s the point of going through life if you don’t enjoy the good ones?

I’ll put it in the context of being a, of course, New York Rangers fan. My friends think I’m a psychopath for watching that team as religiously as I do and celebrating hard for goals in the middle of January. In December, Kaapo Kakko scored a late game-winning goal that led to a Rangers win over the New York Islanders, and I jumped around and went crazy with my brothers. My Dad said, “Wow, he’s celebrating like they just won the Stanley Cup.” Yeah, I was celebrating hard, because why not? In my opinion, there’s no point in being a sports fan if you can’t enjoy the good times your team has to give you, and it’s the same thing in life.

My point from that anecdote is don’t be afraid to celly hard or rejoice over something that means a lot to you. Whether it’s getting a good grade, watching your favorite team win, or even draining a 50-foot putt for birdie, if you care about it, good for you. You have the right to enjoy it how you want to.

Now, I’m not a big advice giver. I mean, I’m only a naive, 22-year-old college senior from Long Island. What do I know, right? But this is something I think goes along well with the theme of this column: Put down your damn phones.

I know my friends who are reading this are definitely rolling their eyes because that’s something I struggle with a ton, but you can’t live in the moment if your head is buried in your phone. It’s crazy to see a Penn State football game when everyone has their phone out as the team comes in with Zombie Nation blaring over the speakers. Coming from someone who has done that way too much in the past, stop the video and just look at what’s in front of you.

I can show you the video I took from the student section when Michigan had to burn a timeout before the White Out started in 2019, but I can’t remember experiencing that in front of me. When something cool is right in front of you, actually look at it and take that moment in. Hell, even James Franklin does that with the team before running onto the field at Beaver Stadium.

Two weeks ago, I went to The Masters. For those of you who don’t know the strict rules, there are no phones allowed on the property. You might think that’s barbaric, but it turned out to be the best two days of golf I watched in my life. I was completely trapped in the moment, not worrying about what was going on elsewhere. Quite frankly, it was awesome.

Anyways, back to the show.

Life is all about moments. So here are some of my favorite ones from my last four years. “The good times,” if you will:

Finding out I got into the Schreyer Honors College
Our first College GameDay
Discovering a newfound love for Penn State men’s hockey
The return to Beaver Stadium
The fam
More lads
Graveyard gang forever
couples and jesse
The fellas at Luella’s
James Franklin’s three favorite beat writers, probably
Isn’t she beautiful?
Covering Penn State men’s hockey
Covering the Rose Bowl and finishing the job
Even more lads
Say it with me, B-BALL SCHOOL
Going out and arguing with Adam about the Mets
My last Snarkies

Now, I want to take this chance to thank a lot of people who made all the photos above possible.

  • Dad, Uncle Angelo, and Uncle Michael, you guys are the reason I’m here in the first place. I fell in love with Penn State through you guys, and, I know I’ve said this before but I’ll say it again — literally walking in your footsteps these last four years has been a tremendous honor and means the world to me.
  • Mom, as always, you probably deserve the most credit. You’ve given me more emotional support than you probably know, and you helped make all this possible with how much you sacrificed raising me and my siblings.
  • Alex Petersen and Andrew Ferreri, for being my first two roommates at Penn State. I’m very excited that we have one more year of cutting the mozzarella together.
  • Ryan Parsons and Sam Fremin, for being beside me while I lived out some of the best experiences of my life covering Penn State football. I learned so much from both of you and the way you guys helped Onward State dominate the beat. I hope we can all meet back at Luella’s someday.
  • Men of MAcc, for getting me through the MAcc program with a little bit of fun in between. You guys are some of my best friends, and I can’t wait to keep meatballing with you all next year.
  • Devon Craley, Adam Babetski, and Tobey Prime, for being some of my best blog friends. Going out with the three of you never disappointed, even if it was just listening to Adam and Devon argue about baseball.
  • Gabe Angieri, for leading this mighty blog this year. I can’t believe we started our relationship in Anne Ferrara’s AP World class, and we somehow ended up here. That’s freaking awesome. We’ve been through a lot together, so all I can say is this: #ThankYouGabe.
  • Last, but not least, this blog and everyone that was involved over the last four years. Joining Onward State was, without a doubt, the best decision I made in college. I came to Penn State in 2019 as an accounting major who didn’t know how to write, and I ended up covering the football team I grew up watching in just a few years. I did some pretty cool things here. I ran walked 18 holes at the Penn State White Course in one hour and 52 minutes (and still shot a 77!). I wrote about hockey, football, cocktagons, and everything in between, all while watching the blog dominate The Daily Collegian in pretty much everything we did. That’s a feeling that will never get old.

All in all, I couldn’t be more grateful for the last four years of college. Last week, my esteemed colleague and one of my best friends, Adam Babetski, said in his senior column, “College, in my eyes, is a launching pad. It sets you up to be great as long as you use your time here for the right things…” I couldn’t have said it better myself, which is why I am taking that line from his column. Thanks, Adam!

I have zero doubt in my mind that I made the most of my time at Penn State and used it for the right things and with the right people. I’ve met some of my best friends at this kick-ass school and had some of the best experiences of my life.

Looking back on it, it was the little things that I’ll cherish most. Whether it was chilling out front at Cafe 210 West with the Men of MAcc or sitting in Carnegie Cinema and listening to Gabe Angieri go through story ideas for the 15th week in a row, those are the moments I will miss.

I’m not a big fan of the saying, “College is the best four years of your life.” But, I will say, it has been the best time of my life, so far. Going to Penn State has been everything I ever thought it could be and more, and I couldn’t be more thankful and proud to go to the best school on earth.

Luckily, I’m not graduating, technically. I’ll be here one more year for my graduate degree. But, I am leaving this blog after being a part of it for almost four years. So, in a way, it feels like I am graduating, because nothing will ever mean as much to me as being a part of the world’s best student media outlet.

Well, that’s a lot to take away from a tweet by a Rangers podcaster. But, looking back at my four years of college, he couldn’t have been more right. Life is a crazy thing, and you never know when it’s going to end. You can’t waste it stressing too much about the past or the future. All you can do is live in the moment, control what you can control, and enjoy the good times.

And with that, I leave you all with the last three words I’ll ever write on this site:

Rangers in seven.

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About the Author

Frankie Marzano

Frankie is a senior accounting and economics major from Long Island, NY. You can probably recognize him as the typical Italian-American with slicked back black hair. He is an avid fan of the New York Rangers and Mets, along with every Penn State Athletics team. Follow him on Twitter @frankiemarzano for obnoxious amounts of Rangers and Penn State content or email him at [email protected].

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