Dear Incoming Freshman

Photo by Amanda Hunt

Remember that night you spent cramming for an exam the next day, because you knew it would make or break your final grade? What about those endless SAT prep classes that would get you into a decent school? And that relentless voice inside your head nagging you about your GPA? Well, it all paid off! College isn’t some distant, far-off idea anymore; it’s here. The moment you’ve spent your entire life working towards has arrived, and we at Valley would like to say: congratulations! You made it!

You’ll no longer walk through the beloved halls of your high school shoulder-to-shoulder with your best friends and you won’t have a warm home-cooked meal waiting for you every night. No, you won’t have your own room, and yes, you and your roommate will share some awkward post-dispute passive-aggressive exchanges; but it’ll all be worth it. While college really can be as fun as everyone says, it also can be scarier than you might be led to believe. We at Valley have encountered our fair share of rookie mistakes and to help you guys out a bit, we’ve decided to compile a little list to help your transition in Happy Valley to be, well, as happy as possible!


1. When mom nagged about time management, she wasn’t kidding

Okay, so sooner rather than later you’ll find yourself wondering how you ever managed to wake up every morning at 630 during high school. How you did it is truly a mystery, but let us be the first to tell you that these days are long gone. For the majority of you, just know that it’s okay to be afraid of 8 AM’s; settle for the 945’s and 1015’s. You’ll be much happier, I promise.


2. OrderUp: your best friend, your worst enemy

If you’ve never heard of OrderUp, listen closely. OrderUp is State College’s online food delivery service which, quite literally, delivers directly to your dorm. The champs at OrderUp will deliver rain, snow, or sun, but beware; though the food at Findlay is soo delicious, OrderUp can become a crutch that’ll lead you right to the infamous Freshman 15.


3. Happy Valley winters will make you rethink the definition of “happy”

To make this clear as possible: get a coat, or two, or five, if you really want. Being decked out head-to-toe in winter gear isn’t cute, it’s true, but neither are wind burns. Just be prepared for this brutal winter, for those who are strangers to the region.


4. Swallow your pride and be the outgoing kid at all the club meetings

With over 40,000 undergrads it’s easy to feel lost and insignificant, especially without the comfort of your family and friends. PSU is a huge campus, but the best way to make it feel small is to join as many clubs as possible! Extracurriculars are an annoying concept, but they’ll pay off, I promise. There are a plethora of clubs and teams and anything else you’d like, and Greek life is not your only option if you’re not totally into it. Go out there and see what you find! Make this place your home.


Granted, the list goes on and on, and as your freshman year adventure begins, you’ll learn the in’s and out’s of school, State College, and everything else. Just remember that it’s your first year and you won’t experience anything like this again! Enjoy it, make the most of it, learn, and remember: WE ARE! (Again, deepest apologies for the cheesiness).






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