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My Experience Living In The Nittany Lion Inn

This past semester, I was able to fulfill my childhood dream of living in a hotel. Due to COVID, Penn State offered students the opportunity to live in a hotel on campus so that more students could have single rooms. My parents and I decided that it would be worth it to switch from the double dorm room I was planning on living in to a single room, and when we saw that The Nittany Lion Inn was being offered as student housing, we decided to go for it. 


Not long after I requested to change rooms, I received an email letting me know that I had been switched to a room in the Nittany Lion Inn, and that the room had a king size bed. I was so excited. Going from a tiny dorm room in Pollock with communal bathrooms to a king size bed and a bathroom all to myself sounded amazing. I enthusiastically told all my friends, and started getting ready to move into my hotel room. 


When move in day came, my family and I packed all my stuff into the car and then set out on our four hour drive to State College. Once we arrived, I went inside the hotel and checked in. I was allowed to bring one guest inside at a time to help me move in. My dad helped me lug my many bags up to the third floor of the hotel through a maze of hallways that all looked the same until we got to my room. The room didn’t look as I was expecting, but it was still nice and spacious. 


Once we brought up all my belongings my mom helped me unpack everything. That’s when I realized the lack of storage space in the room. The only drawers in the room that could possibly fit clothes were in the dresser the TV is on, and even those were still pretty small. I put a fraction of my clothes into the dresser, and then as much as I could in the closet. Unfortunately, the bulk of my clothes were still folded and sorted on the couch in the room because I had nowhere else to put them. 


Another give and take aspect of living in the Nittany Lion Inn was the laundry situation. There are no washers or dryers in the building for students to use, so each student who lives here is given a free 20 pounds of laundry per week done by Tide Cleaners laundry service. 


While it’s very convenient to have your laundry done for you, Tide isn’t always as good as it seems. When I tried to use the service they gave me half my clothes back, claiming they wouldn’t wash them due to the materials, so I had to use a friend’s washer and dryer to get all my clothes cleaned. I’ve also heard stories of people losing clothes through the laundry service.


The hotel isn’t a luxurious modern building; it’s very old-fashioned and pretty run down, but everything still functions. And I really have loved having my own bathroom and a giant bed all to myself. One thing I do wish was different is the community on the floor. I’ve never met or spoken to anyone else who lives here, and I’ve barely seen anyone in the halls. Living alone definitely has its benefits, but it can also feel really isolating at times. While it’s nice to have space to myself, I do find myself missing the company of a roommate. 


Overall, living in a hotel for a few months has definitely been an interesting experience. If the option continues for students at Penn State, I would recommend it, but try to find a friend to live on your floor so you can avoid loneliness.

Grace Martorano is a junior at Penn State studying Astronomy/Astrophysics. Outside of writing, Grace enjoys singing, loves the beach, and is a tour guide at PSU. You can find her on Instagram @grace.martorano
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