Freshmen Reflect On Their First Penn State White Out

Beaver Stadium’s second-largest attendance made it into the stadium Saturday to watch Penn State football blank Iowa 31-0 in the 2023 White Out.

Exactly 110,830 folks were there for the Greatest Show in College Sports, and plenty of them were the university’s newest Nittany Lions.

Part of that crowd was made up of the newest Nittany Lions in the Class of 2027, who arrived on campus just a month ago. So we asked some of our freshman staff members to share how their first White Out experience went.

Michael Siroty

My first White Out was incredible. Before this year, the only Penn State football game I’d been to was a Blue-White Game, and I was so young that I don’t even remember it anymore, so being a part of an atmosphere like this was unbeatable.

So many fans get behind the team and all this excitement is shared between current students, alumni, parents, and even your dog’s friend’s owner’s uncle’s barber. All those people forgot about the cold, rainy weather and wore white to create the Greatest Show in College Sports. Being there for the first time was an unforgettable experience that made me certain I chose the right college. 

Ryan Smith

Going to my first White Out as a student was, you guessed it, ELECTRIC. Even though I’ve attended the White Out in the past, this one was by far the most special. I got to Gate A right when the gates opened and managed to make my way to the front row right behind Nittanyville. I was so close that the Nittany Lion jumped on the barricade and gave me a high five.

When James Franklin and the team ran out onto the field, I got chills. Maybe it was because it was raining and cold, but also because there is seriously nothing like a Penn State White Out. I had my first chicken basket, and after a long day of tailgating, it hit. Another highlight of my White Out experience was getting texts from my Penn State-loving grandparents telling me they saw me on CBS! I can’t wait to experience it all again next year!

Alex Smith

My first White Out was definitely one for the books. From shutting out the Hawkeyes to the girls next to me dropping acid, I really got the whole Penn State experience. Honestly, the White Out was one of the reasons why I really wanted to come to Penn State and it totally lived up to the hype.

As a Florida girl, I wasn’t really ready for such cool weather in September, but I was OK with looking like an idiot by wearing three layers and gloves. I’m already excited for the next one!

Collin Ward

From the moment you apply to Penn State, you are thinking about going to the White Out game. Finally getting to go to the game lived up to the hype. It all starts the week before the actual game where you can feel a shift in energy in the air. Then Thursday, the weekend really starts. For me, it was symbolized by hordes of non-Penn Staters or alumni traveling up to see their friends and family before they would join in on the Penn State experience on Saturday.

When you wake up in the morning, it is go time. Get in the shower, put on your white clothes, and get to the tailgates. It does not matter how early you do this, there will be thousands of people already starting the festivities. For the next number of hours, you will be hopping around the tailgates, laughing, eating, and drinking as you prepare for the game. With the energy at the tailgates and all the great people, it’s easy to forget that the most fun is still to come.

One of my favorite parts is singing the alma mater. Putting your arm around 110,000 people and singing one song in support of your school is an experience that everyone deserves in their life. The White Out version of this did not disappoint. The same goes for the rest of the songs played throughout the game — pure energy and I loved every bit of it. All this positivity and I haven’t even talked about the actual football game. Watching Penn State demolish Iowa was awesome. I know it raised my confidence in the team going forward, and I cannot wait for the rest of the season and my next White Out.

Cadyn Gill

The White Out was as advertised. I will admit that “Mo Bamba” was not played enough for my liking. The energy felt very similar to the West Virginia opener. I was super close to the field, so I could see everything and I got on the big screen multiple times with my friends which was dope. The weather was a non-factor since I was too locked in on the game and watching us dominate Iowa. I also had a blast spitting “Dreams and Nightmares” before kickoff.

Ally Eaton

My first White Out game experience was unlike any other. I had countless people tell me it was different than any other atmosphere, and boy, were they right. The roar of the crowd makes you realize that you, as a fan, can have an impact on the game. It really put everything in perspective when I looked around the rest of Beaver Stadium and saw a sea of white. We were all there for the same reason: we love Penn State football. This was hands down one of the best days of my life and to be able to seal the win with a 31-0 shutout was the cherry on top.

Ericka Apolskis 

After seeing the Penn State White Out on my TikTok “For You page” for forever, I can confidently say it fully lives up to the hype. From the multiple tailgates I attended to being in the student section for the actual game, the atmosphere was just absolutely insane and surreal.

From alumni to families to students, everyone just decked out head to toe in all white, and supporting the Nittany Lions was super cool to see. I definitely had fun yelling “WE ARE” at random dads because I have come to learn you will always get a response. Plus, seeing Penn State absolutely blow out a ranked Iowa football team definitely put the cherry on top of an already great day. I could have, however, gone without the cold and rain. This Texas girl was definitely not prepared for that.

Jessica Farhat

I wasn’t supposed to go to the game. My roommate texted me the night before and asked me if I wanted to go with her because she had an extra ticket. The morning of was crazy! The people on my floor were up pretty early playing music and everyone was getting ready.

Actually going to the game was insane. I never thought that many people could fit into one place, but the atmosphere was amazing. My roommate and I sat next to some really nice alumni and they told us all about their time at Penn State. I never really understood the hype around Penn State football, but now I get it.

Everyone around me was really happy to be there and I think that’s what made the experience 10 times better. From sun up to sun down, it was all back to back and there was never a dull moment. It was such a fun day, and I can’t wait for next year!

Sophia Monteforte 

My first White Out experience lived up to every expectation that other friends and alumni set. The tailgates were such a fun environment with so many familiar faces and the game was something I’d never seen before. Even the people not in the student section went along with every chant choreographed by the cheerleaders and Blue Band which made the energy in the stadium even higher.

Jamie Lynch

Growing up a Penn State fan, the White Out this past weekend wasn’t my first. But it was the first time I’ve been able to sit in the student section for it, and it didn’t disappoint. The rain only electrified the crowd even more, and being part of the second-largest attended Penn State game was really awesome. Plus, a shutout against Iowa was perfect revenge. It was electric, loud, pure white noise. My voice has yet to return two days later.

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About the Author


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