Well, we’re in the home stretch as yet another semester nears the end. For some of you (lucky) freshmen, that means packing up your dorm and gearing up for a summer filled with high school friends and part-time jobs that leave plenty of time for sunbathing and vacations. As for you sophomores and juniors, you’re probably frantically searching for last-minute internships… or gearing up for a summer filled with high school friends and part-time jobs.
But for those of you who are graduating, the end of this semester carries a whole different feeling. Don’t worry, we won’t get into all the depressing, reminiscent details of how college is unlike any other time in your life and now you’re just another average Joe in what they call “the real world.” Okay, so we did sort of rub salt in the wound there – but only to help you really live up these last four weeks (five if you’re staying the week after – hello, fake senior week), we’ve compiled a list of end-of-the-semester musts.
As for you freshmen, sophomores and juniors, feel free to join in! Better to start tacking things off your list early than to leave it all until your senior year. Although, at that point it’s not like class really matters all that much anymore anyways (you didn’t hear that from us).
Revisit Your Old Stomping Ground
If you’re a junior or senior, head back over to East Halls – or whatever you called home – for old time’s sake. Grab a bite to eat in one of the dining halls (Big O anyone?) or just walk around and relive the early days. And, if you’re lucky enough to still be friends (maybe even roommates) with your freshman year roommate, the two of you should definitely make a pit stop at your old dorm(s). Shout out to 509 Mifflin.
Lion Shrine Photo Op
It would be ideal to have a picture for each year of college, but regardless of whether you’re a freshmen or a senior, pictures at the lion shrine are a must. Seniors: Remember to get your cap and gown and take photos early – the line will be trickling down Burrowes come graduation weekend. But seriously, you’ve been warned.
Explore the Outdoors
Make sure to check out all the outdoor activities Happy Valley has to offer. Climbing Mt. Nittany is the obvious one, but you should also make sure to visit Whipple Dam, which is a 256-acre state park equipped with a lake and its very own slab of sand. While the beach doesn’t open until May, Whipple Dam is great for water sports like canoeing and fishing. The Arboretum (near the Dickinson School of Law) is another outdoor venue that’s perfect for a sunset walk or midday picnic.
Go Back to the HUB
Free movie night at the HUB is honestly the best thing our student activity fee could ever buy. Plus, remember all those Late Night activities? Even if you’re a junior or senior, don’t pretend like you’re too cool for arts and crafts. Cause you’re not.
Be a Good Sport
Located at the southwest corner of Beaver Stadium, you’ve probably walked past the All Sports Museum more times than you can count. So, be sure to actually pop in for visit while you’re here and check out the history of Penn State’s athletic achievements. And remember: Penn State athletics don’t end with football season! Make sure to take advantage of all of PSU’s sporting events. Baseball, softball, tennis, lacrosse and gymnastics are just a few of the sports currently in season.
Venture Outside of Town
Great things await beyond the borders of State College. Check out Myers Dairy (some say it rivals the Creamery, but we’ll let you be the judge) and restaurants like Kelly’s Steakhouse (in Boalsburg) and American Ale House (near Toftrees). Not having a car isn’t an excuse – CATA goes everywhere… literally. Speaking of, you haven’t really had the full Penn State experience until you’ve gotten lost via CATA. Or accidentally gotten on the “X” bus.
Brace yourselves – the annual Mifflin Road streak, which happens every spring on the Sunday night before finals week, is coming up. You don’t necessarily have to participate (disclosure: Valley takes no responsibility for your streaking shenanigans), but you could still spectate. From far away. Where you can’t really see anything. Or you could stand front and center and stock up on blackmail material. It’s your call, really.
Take Cookies to Someone
Bake some treats and deliver them to someone who positively impacted your Penn State experience. Your current/old RA, your favorite CATA bus driver (honestly, the nice ones are far and few between so they should really be acknowledged), Mike the Mailman or your favorite professor/TA. Not only will they appreciate the gesture, but you’ll probably get some brownie points (pun intended) should you ever need a reference or letter of recommendation. Skip the Willard Preacher – he doesn’t really do warm and fuzzy.
There are only four weeks left so get started ASAP. And yes, it’s perfectly acceptable to intentionally skip some of these so you have an excuse to come back.
Photo by Coco Chen