The “Big Move”

Hi Everyone!

So I’ve been on such a long hiatus because I recently packed up my life and moved out to Clifton Park, NY with my boyfriend, Matt. For those of you who don’t know, Clifton Park is a suburb of Albany or Saratoga Springs (depending on how you define the location).

The move was a BIG BIG decision for me, especially since I moved with no job, and only the money I made from my summer waitressing job. I always knew I wanted to move in with Matt after graduation and the fact that it was a place where I had never been before was an added bonus.

How many times in life is there so little holding you back that you can move with no strings attached? Being 22 years old, it seemed like the only option for me. I knew if I didn’t move here and move in with Matt, that I would always wonder and might find myself regretting it. Also, there was almost nothing keeping me in Rochester, other than my friends and family, most of which I know I’ll always have in my life no matter where I live. I had no job, and there is little to no opportunity for advertising, other than a few major agencies.

Anyways, I’ve been living here for almost 4 months now and things are going really well. Although I haven’t yet found my dream full-time job, I’m finally building a network and figuring out where I’ll fit in the landscape of the Capital District. In the meantime, I’m working at a daycare, mainly with 3 year-olds (who I LOVE) and with many women who have changed my outlook on life and I’m so happy to call my new friends. In the mornings, I work as a barista at Starbucks, which is turning out to be a pretty cool job.

Somehow, between my two part time jobs, I manage to pay the bills (well, half since Matt and I split everything 50/50). Including paying rent on a 750 square foot apartment. The good news is, I’ve finally got it close enough to acceptable to finally show pictures of my tiny closet-like domicile.

Here’s my little home. Let’s start wight he front door:

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Totally glamorous, right? Especially the shovel. We use that to unbury our cars. We do live in upstate, NY after all 🙂

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Love this little board and picture frames my sister gave us before we moved 🙂

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Our favorite thing about the apartment: the washer and dryer!

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My favorite picture of us 🙂

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Matt made this dining room table HIMSELF! I was so proud of him, especially since he had never built anything before. Isn’t it beautiful?

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NERD ALERT: My Harry Potter collection and other books 🙂

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If you live in a tinny apartment, I 100% suggest buying some cheap bookshelves from target like this one, it maximizes vertical space and creates a TON more storage, not to mention it looks cute.

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Again, LOVE the table.

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Throw pillows, throw pillows, throw pillows … I love them. They are a cheap way to dress up our old, worn out futon and make it a little more comfortable as well.

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Our floating shelves are from IKEA, as is our bed frame and dining chairs.

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My beautiful niece, Allison.

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Matt has a desktop computer, meaning we had to have a desk somewhere … unfortunately.

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The chair belonged to my grandmother and is not all that cute, but its comfortable, free, and kind of growing on me.

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We love boardgames!

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For all you CC grads, YUP that is an illustration of the high school circa 2009 (pre-renovations).

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Hit up Michaels for faux plants and other home decor items, there are always sales and coupons!

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The cut out between the living room and kitchen was another favorite thing about this place.

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Matt’s “sportchulas”

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Artwork by: Sammy Dwyer: finger-painting guru.

And that’s where I live now! It’s not much and it’s not ideal, but We’ve finally made it into a place where we feel at home and I think its not bad for the apartment of two 22 year olds! What do you think?

What “WE ARE PENN STATE” really means

When I was just dewey-eyed Junior in High-School, I came to visit my now alma mater, Penn State, in the tiny town of State College, Pennsylvania. I didn’t know much about what I wanted out of my college experience at the time, but I thought I knew that this football-crazed University was just not for me.

My dad eventually talked me into a last-minute visit on our way back from an edgy arts college in the middle of downtown Baltimore. When I arrived at Penn State I was immediately in awe of everything around me. In one of the larger tour groups for that day, tons of students yelled “WE ARE” at us as we passed the library, the HUB, and one of the many on-campus “beaches,” where students spend time between classes or just hanging out on the lawn outside of some old collegiate-esque buildings. I fell in love at first sight. Penn State captured my heart from the first time someone shouted “WE ARE …” at me. I was astounded by the school spirit, overcome by the possibilities, and dying to be a part of this amazing Penn State culture. I already thought I knew what “WE ARE PENN STATE” really meant.

Here’s what I thought …

Football

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and endless academic opportunities

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… and it is those things. However, as I reflect on my time at Penn State I have come to realize it is so much more than that. I never could have imagined the ways that this University has changed my life. It’s even crazier to think how different my life would be if I had chosen that small downtown arts college.

Now, when I say “WE ARE PENN STATE” it means so much more.

“WE ARE PENN STATE” means starting out small, and thanking God that he sent you somewhere else first …

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… because if he didn’t, you’re life never would have been the same.

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It’s the first time you’ll live away from home …Image… and the first person you’ll live with besides mom and dad …

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… and the girls on your floor who–if you’re lucky–become your best friends.

ImageBut, don’t worry, you’ll never let go of those friends at home …

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It means your first apartment …

ImageIt’s not much, but when its filled with the right people, it’s just enough.

ImageIt’s all the shenanigans you’ll get into …

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… and the PSU students who invented things to assist you in said schenaigans.

ImageIt’s that place where roommates become sisters.

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ImageIt’s a time of big changes at home too. It’s how your family keeps growing …

Image… and growing.

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The place where you’ll make SO many incredible friends.

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ImageIt’s happily ever after in the making …

Image… with someone you can laugh with …

Image…and grows you …

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… and inspires you …

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… and loves you just as much as you love him.

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He might just become part of your family …

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… both of your families …

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… and you part of his.

ImageHe’ll probably help you meet some of your new best friends …

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Image… but you’ll still keep the old.

ImageMostly, because they’re just as weird as you …

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… and you’ll take them with you wherever you go.

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ImageIt’s the place where you’re roommates change, and friends come and go …

Image… but you’ll always know in your heart who’s true.

ImageSo, you see Penn State isn’t just a late night CATA bus ride …

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… or a football game in the student section.

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Those things are just a bonus. The real Penn State is in the incredible journey that each past, present, and future Penn Stater takes. It’s a journey to find those girls you’ll never forget …

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… and where your dreams become a reality.

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” WE ARE PENN STATE” means knowing that lives can change in only 46 hours …

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… and pride in knowing that we are, always have been, and always will be.

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Its sitting on the Old Main lawn, studying and thinking about your future …

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… or the times you talk about your dreams and your future with that person you fell in love with a couple years back …

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… or just saying “screw that” and head to Cafe.

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Because life is too perfect in State College, where the real world doesn’t seem to exist and everyday feels like vacation. “WE ARE PENN STATE” means knowing that this place really is the Happiest Valley in the world.

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“WE ARE PENN STATE” is an acknowledgement of one big place, in one small town, leaving a permanent mark on everything you are.

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But most of all, “WE ARE PENN STATE” is in the people. It’s the people who made your experience everything it was supposed to be. The people who brought you to right here, and right now. It’s the people who were there in the beginning …

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Image… that stayed until the end.Image

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“WE ARE PENN STATE” isn’t just a battle cry during a football game, or something Penn Staters say to brag or boast. “WE ARE PENN STATE” is something we say out of pride. Being proud of Penn State means being proud of yourself. Because Penn Staters all know, deep down, that this University has made us who we are. Not just through the football, the culture, the textbooks and lectures. No, being a Penn Stater means that you’ve gone on that amazing, incredible, unreal, four-year journey that brought you to here and now and to those people who have touched your life forever.

The first tim I said “WE ARE PENN STATE” I never imagined that I would have ended up where I am today. I never knew that one small place could have such an impact on me, and that a group of people that define the “WE” in “WE ARE PENN STATE” could have shifted my life in such a way.

All I have to say is, thanks, Dad, for taking me to a place that I never wanted to be.

WE ARE …