It might have been 24 years ago, but I remember moving into Simmons Hall at Penn State just as if it were yesterday.  On Friday, my boyfriend and I moved his son, Jordan, into his dorm at the University of Nevada at Reno – I might have been more excited than him.  Months leading up to his move to UNR, I spent my spare time creating checklists for him and sharing stories with him about my time at Penn State and in the dorms.   There is nothing more exciting than going back to school or beginning your college career. 

 As a freshman at Penn State in 1988, I lucked out on levels when I got my dorm assignment.  First I was assigned to Simmons Hall which was located in the middle of campus a block away from College Avenue and directly across from the Hub.   I got the best roommate ever, Janice Appleby, who was  from Camp Hill, PA.  We also were on the fourth floor (top floor) and we got a corner room with two windows.  I thought I had it the jackpot and as I look back I did on all levels.  

Times have changed in regards to dorm rooms and college since I was a freshman such as: 

 Dorm rooms are definitely much bigger;

  • Dorm rooms now normally include a private a bathroom, no community bathroom down hall;
  • Dorm rooms now have cable;
  • Dorms rooms include carpet;
  • Dorms have free Wifi;
  • Convenience like none other, you can purchase all your dorm necessities at Bed, Bath & Beyond (or other retailers) online and merely have it shipped to your dorm room;
  • Most dining halls now resembles a Las Vegas buffet.

 But some things about moving into the dorms and being a freshman will never change such as: 

  • The anticipation of meeting your roommate, neighbors on the floor and your RA;
  • Decorating your dorm room;
  •  Memorizing your schedule;
  • Knowing where your classes are;
  • That first meal in the dining hall;
  • Saying goodbye to your parents. 

I know Jordan is doing great today at UNR as he starts classes and I hope he looks back on the past four days and his entire four years at UNR as fondly as I do 24 years later.   My four years at Penn State were some of the best years of my life and they truly had a huge impact on who I am today.