Penn State Student Guide
for PSU Main Campus
Your Student Guide to All Things PSU Main Campus
Moving to any new place can be tough. Luckily, you chose to attend Penn State and live in the State College area, two of the most user-friendly places in the country. Another fortunate turn of events for you is that you've already found your way to StateCollege.com. Aside from holding your hand and walking you to your first day of class (We would if we could), StateCollege.com has all of the information, access, listings, message boards, and links you will need. We're here to offer you a guide and some suggestions for a smooth transition to your new home. Everyone at StateCollege.com would like to welcome you to Happy Valley.
Here's a rundown of a few of the most commonly used meeting/gathering places on campus. They're useful for when you need to meet for a group assignment, or when you just need a spot to waste some time between classes.
Located in the heart of Penn State, the HUB functions as one of the most useful meeting spots on campus. With plenty of seating, eateries, and a small convenient store, you and your friends shouldn't have much trouble finding a spot to sit, eat, study, or chat. Many prefer to use the fish tank as an easy meeting point. The lawn is fair game as well, and usually serves as a resting spot for innumerable students in the warmer weather. But that's obvious.
What ISN'T obvious are the smaller study nooks and lounging areas. On the second level near the big screen television there are some comfy chairs that are almost always being used (whether for a brief study session or a nap). There are more chairs, though, if you approach the central staircase and make a right or a left before descending. They may already be snatched up, but it's worth checking.
Last, the HUB has more than two floors. If you're feeling adventurous, try going up another floor or two and roving the halls. There are study carols and even a few open seating areas hidden up there. They're not usually in use, either.
Old Main Lawn
Another landmark, Old Main's lawn plays much the same role as the HUB lawn. Whether you're looking to play frisbee, get some sun, or take a nap, Old Main Lawn will welcome you with open arms. Some people prefer to meet on the steps, and others prefer to use the flag poles as reference points. Either way, it works.
Situated in one of the busiest sections of campus, Willard Building often functions as a meeting point. Many sit on the steps to chat and half-heartedly listen to the Willard Preacher, while others will make use of the recently added seating area just off of Pollock Road.
Life Sciences / Thomas Building Walkway
Another recent addition to campus, the Life Sciences Building area comes fully equipped with a pedestrian-only walkway and seating area. With an elevated lawn area, rows of benches, and pretty scenery, the structure provides an open, leisurely area to sip a coffee or read in the outdoors.
Allen St. Gates
As a Penn State student, you'll come to know Allen Street pretty quickly. If you walk toward downtown from the steps of the library (this area is known as "the mall"), you'll come to a set of gates where campus meets College Avenue. It's a quick reference point to meet up with a friend, whether they're downtown or heading that direction.
The Peace Garden
While not as spacious as the HUB or Old Main lawns, the Peace Garden offers a cozier respite from the bustle of campus. If facing the HUB from Pollock Road, the Peace Garden is situated on the right side of the HUB, between the HUB and Old Main. It's a small, shaded area that provides rocks, benches, and some small patches of lawn for sitting, as well as some smaller trees and shrubs for admiring.
The Alumni Center
With a generous portion of open lawn, a man-made pond and stream, and a small pedestrian bridge, the Alumni Center's landscaping has become one of the newest lounging areas for students. The trees, shrubs, and water provide a very natural setting for relaxation, for both students and animals. If you're lucky, you'll catch a family of ducks swimming in the pond, or a few turtles sunbathing on the rocks.
The Alumni Center is located just behind Sackett Building.
The Music Building/The Forum
If you're a freshman or a music/theatre student, you're very familiar with the North Halls region. But if you've somehow managed to avoid classes in that area, you should know that there is a space located just to the left of the Forum if you're facing it from Curtin Road. It has a fountain that runs in the early fall and late springtime, and plenty of shaded seating spread around an open concourse.
It goes without saying that the Creamery is an easy point of reference if you're in the East/North Halls area. Recently relocated to the ground floor of the new business building near East Halls, the Creamery is still a hotspot for killing time and pigging out.
The McLanahan's located on the corner of College Ave. and Garner St. serves as a great spot for not only your immediate grocery needs, but also as a point of reference for meeting up with people. You'll see plenty of people hanging around that corner, so don't be surprised if you have to search a bit for your group once you get there. Note, this is not to be confused with the other McLanahan's, which is called McLanahan's Downtown Market, located on Allen St.
The Corner Room
The Corner Room is one of those State College landmarks that everyone seems to know. Whether you're an occasional visitor to the area or a full-time student, you know where the Corner Room is, and so too does the person you're trying to meet up with. It's right on the corner of Allen and College. It's also useful because it's right in the heart of downtown, so there's plenty of eating or shopping to do once you get there.
Grace Lutheran Church
Ok, so you're probably wondering why I am putting a church on here. It's not to promote the Lutheran religion, but rather because it's a very noticeable and memorable landmark. The church is located on the corner of Garner St. and Beaver Ave. and is shaped like a large tortilla chip. Most students at PSU will refer to it as the "Dorito Church," and you should too. It's an easy way to gain an idea of where you're at (as it can be seen over certain buildings in the distance), and it's also an easy way to let your friends know where you are.
While most of you will come to realize that not many people venture too far toward Atherton St. unless there's a reason to (i.e. parties), Starbucks is one spot that'll provide a quick reference point for meeting up with a person or group. It's located just between Burrowes St. and Fraser St. on College Ave.
Another place that'll serve as a reference point and meeting place, Panera is a chain that offers sandwiches, soups, bagels, and pastries. They're a chain, so many of you are probably familiar with it, but it's worth noting that they have space to meet with your group, and they're located centrally in the downtown area. You can find it on the corner of Allen St. and Beaver Ave.
If you've had or heard of a Stickie, than you're already acquainted with The Diner. Located just past Allen St. and before Fraser St. on College Ave., The Diner, as it's so appropriately called, is just that: a diner. Quick food, endless coffee, and the delectable stickies are all worth the slight walk from the other end of downtown, but you should also know that they have a big study area in the back, and they stay open fairly late.