Last week, my wife and I went on vacation to Aruba. It was our first time on that island and it was also the first time in over two years that we went away without our daughter. Needless to say, Aruba was amazing and is a place we will definitely be going back to at some point. So why I am I writing an article about Aruba on the Fantasy Judgment blog? The answer is simple…Penn State.
I graduated Penn State ten years ago…May of 2001. It is hard to believe it has been a whole decade since I left State College. The memories are firmly implanted in my head and I look back at that time of my life as being extremely fun and emotionally challenging. Penn State boasts one of the largest campuses, football fields, student bodies and alumni associations in the world. I truly had no concept of how big the PSU network really was until my father and I were able to score tickets to various sporting events throughout the country thanks to various local Penn State Alumni networks.
So one morning while in Aruba, I was wearing a Penn State tank top to the pool. Later that day, several members of a family sitting near us at the pool came up to me and asked if I went to Penn State. As it turns out, the Maryland family’s 18-year old son was going to be a freshmen at PSU this August. They had a million questions about the school, which I happily answered as best I could. Talking about Penn State and what he could expect made me miss it even more. It also demonstrated to me how vast the Penn State network is because I was having this conversation in Aruba of all places.
Throughout the rest of our vacation, I ran into several other alumni. Once I spotted the Penn State logo on a hat, shirt, or bag, all it took was one “WE ARE…” before getting a smile and the required response “PENN STATE!!!!” Little things like that really do bring out school spirit. And interestingly, I didn’t hear anyone bragging about being from Ohio State or Michigan. Yes, I just went there.