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PSU vs. Pitt: 5 Reasons Why State College is Better Than Pittsburgh

Here it is, the Penn State University vs. University of Pittsburgh debate. You’ve heard about it, you’ve seen it and you’ve probably shared your own opinion on it. Though there is no official sport or event credited for starting this classic rivalry, there is no denying its existence among the students and alumni. Maybe it’s the fact that so many Pittsburgh residents become Penn State grads, maybe it’s because we’re two of the most highly credited and academically distinguished universities in the state; but, whatever the reason, the chapters of Her Campus Penn State and Her Campus Pitt have decided it’s time to settle this controversy once and for all. This article will be the first of our PSU vs. Pitt series to let our readers decide who the real victor is. To start things off, here are 5 reasons why State College is better than Pittsburgh:

1. The small-town, friendly feel – Okay, with over 40,000 residents, most people might not consider State College a small town. However, when you’re comparing it to a city that harbors over 300,000, it certainly comes close. With local businesses, friendly residents and a community that fully supports the university it’s built around, State College has all the charm of a small town and then some; the perfect home away home for Penn State students to spend some of the most unforgettable years of their lives.

(Photo: Penn State News)

2. Its nickname is ‘Happy Valley’ – Though there has been debate over how we got the name and which areas it actually applies to, ask any resident of State College where Penn State University lives and they’ll tell you Happy Valley. We proudly wear the name because we know what it means. It’s a large part of a little thing we like to call Penn State pride. The only way for outsiders to truly understand it is if they come experience it themselves. We promise it won’t take you long to start feeling the happy.

(Photo: Penn State Clothes)

3. We stole Primanti Bros. – While many were disappointed after hearing news of the Gingerbread Man’s closing last spring, we were all quite anxious to see what would be replacing the old bar and whether or not it would live up to student expectations. To our surprise, a little sandwich shop called Primanti Bros. proudly announced they would be taking their business beyond the Pittsburgh borders and making their way to the happiest of valleys. While we cant be sure what brought them here, we’re more than happy to welcome them to the 814 and experience all the wonder the Pittsburghers rave about right in our own backyard. Looks like Pitt students won’t be the only ones collecting “drunk ducks” anymore.  

4. It’s surrounded by nature – Take a hike on Mt. Nittany, tour Shaver’s Creek or visit the Arboretum, and you will quickly realize how close you are to nature around here. The greatest thing about State College is, no matter how stressful the atmosphere of daily college life becomes, there is always a place to escape. Though most require a sunny day and above-freezing temperatures to fully appreciate the beauty, the experiences you get in the late spring and early fall are enough to make any city-goer want to take a trip to the great outdoors.

5. It’s close to campus – When it comes to navigating this campus, there’s no arguing that a walk to class can feel like a 10-mile journey. It’s not a small university, but the fact that crossing one street is all it takes for you to get from campus to downtown is pretty sweet. Think about it, you could be taking an exam in the Hammond Building one second, grabbing a coffee from Dunkin’ the next and joining your friend for happy hour at Café 210 West without leaving a single block. If there’s one thing any college student will appreciate, its convenience. With everything you could possibly need always within reach, State College is the place to get it.

(Photo: Schreyers Honors College)

Where do you stand on the PSU vs. Pitt debate? Check out the other side from our friends at Her Campus Pitt, and share this article to cast your vote for PSU!


Rachael David is currently a senior at Penn State University and serves as the Campus Correspondent for Her Campus Penn State. She is majoring in public relations and minoring in psychology. Her love of creative writing and all things Penn State is what inspired her to become a member of the HC team in the fall of 2013. Her background experience includes working for the Undergraduate Admissions Office at Penn State as a social media intern in the spring of 2014 and is currently working as a social media intern for an internet marketing company in Harrisburg called WebpageFX. This past summer she also served as a PR intern for Tierney Communications. Rachael enjoys anything media related especially catching up on her favorite shows, including Saturday Night Live and any show on Food Network. She has a passion for food but also loves being active and spending her free time running or hiking. She hopes to gain more experience in all aspects of the media industry during college and plans on pursuing a career writing for a life & style publication in the future.
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