How many times have you awkwardly shifted to the right or left when walking past Willard? How many times have you rolled your eyes because someone is walking up the right side of the HUB steps while you are headed down? Should I even mention the packed sardine feeling while leaving Forum? The average Penn State student encounters these inconveniences on the daily, but what happens after that last final on Friday?
When I’m on my way to class or to my apartment, I always try to avoid the most congested areas of campus: the HUB, Forum and College Avenue. Why? Not because I dislike students, but because I’m not a fan of crowds.
Since I was staying in State College for a portion of winter break, I decided to visit the places I try to avoid throughout the semester and see what they looked like empty.
As much as people try to avoid the HUB, it’s unavoidable. I always say, “Anywhere but the HUB,” but four days out of the week I’m there. Each time it’s the same story: me desperately trying to find a seat near an outlet. On my late December visit to the HUB I found out that finding a seat or an outlet is as easy as finding a Penn Stater on game day.
Without hundreds of college students eating Panda, waiting in line at Starbucks, or passing out flyers, the HUB is like an empty Beaver Stadium…unimaginable.
Ahh good old Forum. Everyone has had a class in there and everyone knows to stay far away when classes get out. I found myself outside of Forum around the time of an ending class time on Wednesday, Dec. 24 and there was only silence.
What would State College be without its notorious nightlife? Nothing – and that’s all I saw. Now College Avenue on Christmas Eve was not the setting of a zombie apocalypse movie but the few locals that filled the streets still made it seem bare.
As easy as it was driving through the downtown streets it was sad to drive down Frat Row and just see a bunch of Christmas lights on with no one inside. There was no line at Canyon Pizza or Chipotle (which I didn’t mind).
In short, as much as I enjoyed my stay in State College after finals and into the holidays without the constant shoulder bumps, flat tires and lines. I realized that as crowded and inconvenient as certain places on and off campus are, there still is no place I would rather be than with 40,000 of my closest friends.
Photo by Sabine Williams