There’s a responsibility in upholding the name, “Happy Valley.” With a million reasons why Penn State University is one of a kind, but the school’s exceptionally spirited atmosphere undoubtedly sets it apart overall. The Nittany Lions know how to hustle, and their ventures extend far beyond the classroom. From Arts Fest to sporting events, State College remains anything but dull.
Check out the Top 10 FOMO Events at Penn State — WE ARE definitely not missing these.
1. Any Sporting Event
Penn State is known for the electricity that pulses through Beaver Stadium on a lovely fall Saturday, but this energy supports more teams than just football. Pep rallies as well as merchandise events take place during the days leading up to big games. Being a part of the Big 10, big expectations proceed Penn State sports, which they never fail to fulfill. From women’s volleyball at Rec Hall to men’s basketball at the BJC, nothing screams Penn State like a fiery student section (literally).
With a student population of over 45,000, PSU attracts a variety of entertainers to the Bryce Jordan Center or even the HUB Lawn to perform. It’s no secret that the Jonas Brothers couldn’t resist a tour stop in Happy Valley. Recent performers include The Chainsmokers, T-Pain, Thomas Rhett, Elton John, Lennon Stella and more. A full-sized arena filled with a fun-loving crowd? Sounds like every musician’s dream to me.
The perfect opportunity to turn the frats into your runway. Halloween is no joke at Penn State, so log onto Amazon and order that costume with Prime shipping. As soon as October hits the costume planning begins for PSU students, and you’ll need to assemble a killer look for Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Think you won’t go out all three nights? Please, we all know you will. Three costumes—get creative.
Frat Formal Friday, otherwise known as FFF, embodies the thrill of the unexpected. Is someone going to ask me? What frat is he in? Will my friends be there? And most importantly, what do I WEAR? Several aspects of Frat Formal Friday make it a PSU favorite. Maybe you are eager to doll up in a cute dress and heels, or spend all night with a special someone. FFF is the Friday of all Fridays at Penn State, so much so that it has the power to define a relationship. Is he into you? You’ll know as FFF approaches.
5. Sylly Week
Syllabus Week, nicknamed Sylly Week: otherwise known as what every PSU student dreams about all summer and craves all of Winter break. It’s a whole week of going out with your friends to the spots you missed most over the long break. Penn State sophomore Maddie McDougal said, “I would be very upset if I missed and part of Sylly Week. Scratch that, I would be crushed.” To many students, Sylly Week means more than an excuse to show up to your morning classes looking like you were hit by the White Loop. Some of them have actually appointed a ritual for the event. “Every night that we go out, my friends and I enjoy a slice of toast at the pregame. I have no idea why or when this started. But it did, and now it just makes sense to continue the tradition,” said McDougal. Sylly week is the best welcome back there is, and it would be a crime to miss a second of it.
6. State Patty’s Day
So egotistical that we created our own holiday. The last Saturday in February is dedicated to a Saint Patrick’s Day celebration in Happy Valley, and the students go all-out. Penn State junior Alex Khalaf appoints State Patty’s as his favorite day of the school year. “It’s awesome because downtown is crazy, lively and everyone is looking for a good time,” Khalaf said. However, the holiday’s renowned reputation comes with a price. Police patrol the town with the utmost attention, making fraternity houses turn radio silent. No worries, apartment parties become all the rage.
7. Blue & White Game
Nothing brightens up a rainy April in State College like bringing Penn State football back. The annual Blue & White Game presents a scrimmage between the football team itself, half of the team wearing blue and the other half wearing white. Nevertheless, PSU fans tailgate and relive the days of the fall season. “The game brings back the thrill and excitement of football season into Spring semester. My favorite part of fall here is football season, because of the time I get to spend with my friends and the student section,” said sophomore Lily AbiNader. After a long frigid winter, nothing warms the soul like the return of chicken baskets in Beaver Stadium.
8. Arts Fest
From near and far, students travel back to the Valley for Arts Fest in mid-July to… admire the local artworks. Just kidding. Arts Fest is a weekend-long social event and serves as a much-needed reunion with school friends. It’s a reminder of what you miss oh so much about State College while you’re away for the summer, and a rare chance to enjoy the heat in central PA. Daylongs, daylongs, daylongs. There’s not much else to say.
9. The Whiteout Game
The week, or even WEEKS leading up to the annual Whiteout football game, Penn State floods with a feeling of pure uproar. College’s most passionate fans can’t help but feel overwhelmed with love for their team as this weekend approaches. “The sense of pride that you get the day of the game and all the adrenaline is unmatched,” explained student Matt Murphy. Alumni of all ages flee back to Happy Valley for the Whiteout, bringing family and friends to experience the Whiteout. “I cannot imagine missing the whiteout game, this year when I did not get football tickets, I still could not come to terms with not going to the whiteout game and I knew I had to buy a ticket,” said Murphy. Standing in a sea of white chanting the PSU cheers with 106,572 of your closest friends, how could you not boast about Penn State?
The fight against pediatric cancer strikes differently in State College. Almost every student is a part of an organization or committee that raises for THON. The dance marathon, which is a total of 46 hours in the Bryce Jordan Center, is the largest student-run philanthropy in the world. Four Diamonds families from across the nation gather in the BJC to honor the kids that have fought and are fighting pediatric cancer. “Although our backgrounds and reasons for why we THON are different, we call come together to make this special happen,” expressed Family Relations Captain Lindsey Macrae. THON has raised a total of more than $167 million to date for the fight against childhood cancer.