Since I am a junior at Penn State, you may be surprised to hear that I went to my first White Out game this year.
This is actually the first year I got season tickets. I never had the money for it, and I thought I wouldn’t this year. My dad ended up getting them for me for my birthday, and I was extremely excited to go to all the games. I had been to a few, but none as exciting as the White Out. In fact, that was the first thing I thought about — I would finally get to go to a White Out.
There were so many things to think about — what would I wear? Where would I tailgate beforehand? How early should I go in? Luckily, my roommate and one of my best friends is a townie and knows all about the White Out, so I had her to guide me along.
I ended up wearing a white shirt — obviously — that I cut a “u” neck into. I had a tailgate planned, and I was ready to go.
I had a fun day, but the game was nothing I could have expected.
Again, I have been to games before, so I know what goes on. I know all the songs and chants, the famous chicken baskets and how loud us students can get. I was prepared for the White Out to be like a normal game — I was just looking forward to seeing the stadium in all white.
We got into the game a little over an hour early, and the student section was almost full, which is insane. Even though we got in early, we were towards the back of our section. I started to get the feeling of how crazy it was actually going to be. The student section quickly filled up, and I couldn’t believe the sea of white I was surrounded by.
The student section filled up so fast, they had to start turning people away. When I went to the concession stand to get food, I saw students crowded on top deck not able to sit in seat. As it was getting darker outside, and the stadium lights were becoming brighter, the white was becoming more prominent. I thought it was absolutely beautiful.
What was even more amazing was when everyone in the stadium turned on their phone flashlights, lighting up the stadium while “In the Air Tonight” by Phil Collins played. Then, the team came out, and I never heard the stadium so loud and energetic. Fireworks came from all corners of the stadium. That entire moment was electrifying; it actually gave me goosebumps.
The cheerleaders came out with huge signs and banners, and it was an overall atmosphere of celebration — a celebration of our school, our team and our home.
When the stadium cheered before the first kick, it was louder than I could have ever imagined. I heard from friends who were in the press box that the press box was literally vibrating. Yeah, that’s how loud we were.
The same volume continued throughout the entire game. I found myself laughing throughout, mostly because I couldn’t believe I was actually there. It literally felt like I was in a simulation and none of it was real.
The game was really stressful towards the end — that’s another part of what made the experience great. Not only the atmosphere was exciting, but so was the game itself.
One of my favorite parts was when we were running the clock with just a few seconds left in the game, the student section started singing “Goodbye” to Michigan. This is our house, you lost, so get out. It was like we were really lions shooing our opponent out of our territory.
Leaving the stadium, I was in awe of the experience. I was expecting a normal game like all the others, but something about the White Out was different. Everyone calls it the best atmosphere in the universe, and that’s honestly not an exaggeration. I’ve seen lots of things and been to a lot of places, and it was one of the most exciting experiences in my life.
There were of course some cons. People were trashed. There were a lot of fights. The student section was packed and I was very squished. That’s to be expected in a big football game like that.
However, it was more than just a football game. It was a celebration of Penn State in all our glory. I knew when I stepped foot on this campus that there was just something Penn State had that no other schools have. This just confirmed for me that I go to the most amazing school.
The cons I named are very well true, but despite that, there’s no other place like Beaver Stadium at Penn State.