You wake up to music blasting at 7 a.m., students screaming “It’s game day!” from the apartment next door … and an overwhelming sense of dread. What is the most exciting day of the week for many, is also a tough one for other students at Penn State. If you’re not a die-hard football fan, or find it hard to stay energized through those long game days, VALLEY is here to give you some fun and relaxing ways to spend your football Saturdays.
Fall in central Pennsylvania is probably the most beautiful time of year, so why not go out and experience it? Instead of hiking up to Beaver Stadium, head over to a local hiking spot to get some exercise while seeing some beautiful views.
If you’re looking for a more intense hike, Mount Nittany is a great option for you, and it provides an incredible view of Happy Valley. If you’re looking for something more relaxing, try the main path at Shingletown. Surrounded by trees and wildlife, it’s the perfect spot to admire the fall foliage. Jo Hays Vista is another nearby hiking spot, that provides a shorter hike with breathtaking views.
Participate in Fall Festivities
Especially during October, there are so many fall festivities to check out in the State College area. Harner Farm and Way Fruit Farm are some of the most beloved places in the community and they’re great spots to go to with friends, or for a fall date. Enjoy pumpkin picking, apple picking, corn mazes, and some of the best apple cider donuts, just a short drive away from campus.
“Being from State College can make the football environment hard to embrace sometimes, so it’s really nice to get away, even if it’s just the 20 minute drive out to Way Fruit farm,” Colleen Jones, a junior studying finance, said.
If you’re someone who gets excited about Halloween, you can also spend your game day taking a trip to a nearby haunted house attraction, or spending some time at Spirit Halloween to pick out some new Halloween costumes.
Catch Up on Sleep
At this point in the semester, everyone is a little behind on sleep. From late nights studying, to nights out with friends, there’s very little time to get the proper rest you need to stay energized for the week. Even though it can be hard to designate time to rest, you’ll thank yourself if you use game day as a time to relax and rejuvenate, rather than trying to stick it out through the game if you aren’t having fun.
“I want to go in when it’s a good game, but sometimes after tailgating all day, I just want to go home and catch up on sleep before the week ahead,” Megan Starr, junior early education major, said.
Go on a Day Trip
If you’re not a fan of football games, but are worried that you’ll still have some FOMO, take a day trip! It’ll be hard to feel left out when you’re enjoying a new place away from the busy game day atmosphere.
Although they’re a few hours away, Pittsburgh and Philadelphia are both day trip options if you’re looking for a city environment. If you want a more nature related day trip, Ricketts Glen State Park is a must see, or check out the Fallingwater house, designed by a famous architect southeast of Pittsburgh. There are so many great places to adventure to in Pennsylvania, so you’ll have no problem planning out a great Saturday day trip if you decide you don’t want to go to the game.
How do you like spending your game days? Tweet us, @VALLEYmag, on Twitter and let us know!