Penn State—the university filled with fantastic academics, competitive sports and plenty of alumni to go along with it. Sometimes we see them at school during football games. Other times we’ll notice them in a random city without even thinking we would. Either way, Penn State alumni are everywhere.
And these are the top ten ways that instantly give away your proud PSU alumni status.
10. Literally Every Part of Their Wardrobe is Penn State Attire
Key essentials in any wardrobe include hats, shoes, socks and shirts. But Penn State fans take this stuff seriously. No matter what, on game days you’ll see them rocking full Penn State outfits. Shirts with player’s names scripted across the back and pants with lion heads printed extra large, clothing exists for each and every kind of Penn Stater. As a real Nittany Lion, you’ll never have enough white and blue in your closet.
9. Your Kids Have More PSU Clothing than The School They Go To
Being a PSU fan comes as an unavoidable but fun-filled disease. From child to child, alumni try to pass on the Penn State fever to the next young ones in the group. Sometimes it starts literally right out of the womb. “They have more Penn State clothing and gear than the college they attend,” Penn State alumni Heidi Holly said. “They’ve been wearing PSU stuff since birth.” Truly, the PSU virus lives on and spreads to other campuses across the country.
8. Someone Gets Grossed Out by the Color Red
This is more of a rivalry thing. We Penn Stater’s don’t necessarily like the color red but not because bulls’ blood runs in our veins. This little tradition comes to us because the color red distinctly reminds us of a school that students and alumni don’t really like that much. If we can wear anything that might bring back memories of games with Ohio State, we choose not to wear it. Red also stands for Temple and Rutgers. Although not as competitive as Ohio State, the rivalry returns strong. Wearing that color out can qualify as a sin.
7. When The Nittany Lion Appears at a Wedding
Many love stories blossom during college. Some last shorter than expected. Others grow into marriages and loves that will last a lifetime. And when it comes to PSU, the lion always makes an appearance. “The Nittany Lion made an appearance at my brothers wedding,” said PSU alumni Janine Kaufman. It usually comes with a price, but no matter what, the Nittany Lion will never turn down a wedding invitation.
6. You Plan Events Around the Football Schedule
Football in general pairs easily with PSU. If you attend the school, no doubt the sport will consume you as soon as you step on campus. And that frenzy continues when you graduate as well, especially with weddings. You always try to plan on a bye weekend so you don’t miss the games. And with weddings, alumnus add special touches add to make their alma mater known.
“There were touches everywhere,” PSU alumni Laura Donaldson said. “My bridesmaid’s dresses were navy, my tables were named after spots on campus with pictures of us two at that spot, our entrance to our reception was the PSU version of Zombie Nation, and we had a JoePa cardboard cutout on the dance floor.”
5. You Have a Pet Named ‘Nittany’
Because why not? The Nittany Lion, although a mountain cat, belongs in the feline family. When you come across an animal, usually a cat named Nittany, the name sounds unusual at first. But nope. it’s just a telltale sign that your friend or family member went to Penn State. Because why not name an animal after the best mascot in the world? It’ll only make them cooler.
4. When People Get a Little Too Passionate About Certain Songs
We’ve heard of carpool karaoke, but have you ever heard of Penn State karaoke? This can range from classics like Sweet Caroline to newer songs such as Humble. When you attend a football game, you expect to hear certain songs bouncing through the stadium. When PSU alumni hear the songs that they love so much, tears may leak out of their eyes and their voices can crack, because no doubt we will sing along. And at very high volumes. Because who doesn’t want to do the “ba, ba, ba,” to Sweet Caroline?
3. When Nothing Can Stop You From Watching a Game
We Are Passionate. Maybe sometimes a little too passionate. Football season comes once a year, anyway. Might as well make the most of it. “My father snuck out during a Florida hurricane,” PSU alumni Linda Ann Boline Olson said. “When the roads were closed, he drove to the only Sport’s Bar that plays the Penn State games, and then didn’t tell anyone how the water got in his car. For years. It’s a family disease!” Water flooding a street? It can’t stop a loyal PSU football fan. Even if damage may occur afterwards. Oops.
2. When Parents Encourage Their Kids Not to Apply to ‘Certain’ Schools
Football rivalries present a serious commitment when joining a sports fandom. They can very well last until the day we die because of how we bleed the colors of our school. For alumni of PSU, our colors are blue and white. So you can imagine the disappointment if one child went to a school PSU parents don’t like that much (I’m talking about you, Pitt). Sometimes, parents might get a little too in on the college decision process of their children, but this happens with good fun, nothing truly vicious. We just want to share the same love for the same school with our family.
1. When You Hear ‘We Are’ And Instantly Reply ‘Penn State’
“You always shout a ‘We Are!’ when you see someone wearing PSU gear!” PSU alumni Kim Kulchycki said. “And they always answer back ‘Penn State!’” Ah, the ‘We Are’ chant. This makes Penn State, Penn State. The phrase comes written on our magnets, our shirts and even our acceptance letters. But no matter what, this phrase will always ring true to Penn Stater’s as the ultimate way to find our own. No matter what, We Are Penn State. Just shout it out in any single crowded spot, and you’ll surely hear someone reply back. It’s as easy as that to connect with alumni.