As students began to filter back into town and on campus Sunday, many had stories to share about what they did for fun over the break between semesters.
As groups of students sat chatting in Waring Commons with friends about their break, Michael Phillips (junior-marketing), a State College resident, sat practicing piano in the nearby study lounge.
“I did go to First Night. It’s a family tradition,” he said.
Phillips added that he only goes because of the ice sculptures featured as part of the State College New Year’s Eve festival, but he said the event featured plenty of musical acts on Allen Street and entertainment in the Schlow Library.
He said the festival also included fire sculpting, where old New Year’s resolutions from 2012 were written on Popsicle sticks and cast into the flames in order for people to start anew in 2013.
Courtney Boehmer (junior-electrical engineering) said she returned home to Hershey to be with family and friends.
“I went to see the Hershey’s Kiss rise in downtown Hershey for New Year’s,” she said.
In lieu of the ball that drops at the same time in New York City, Hershey — home of Hershey’s chocolate — raises a giant mechanical Hershey’s Kiss to celebrate the arrival of the New Year.
Originally from the Pittsburgh area, Mark Bland (sophomore-architectural engineering) said he ventured downtown with friends to watch the Penn State men’s hockey team play in the Three Rivers Classic, the inaugural college hockey tournament played at Consol Energy Center on Dec. 28 and 29.
“[Penn State] beat Ohio State, which is a lot of fun,” he said.
Some students had a much longer haul home for the holidays. Lanre Odusote (senior-animal sciences)said he went to his home to Nashville, Tenn., to be with family and friends. Odusote said he went to a concert with his mom and his cousin from Nigeria.
“It was a send-off concert for the Vanderbilt University Orchestra because they’re doing a concert series in China,” he said.
One international student from Beijing, China, Yiyi Chanz (junior-actuarial science and mathematics) said she and her Penn State friends went on a long road trip through Kansas and Texas for the break.
“We drove down to Wichita, Kan., because that’s where I went to high school,” she said. “We spent Christmas Eve and Christmas there.”
Chanz said they drove to Houston and Dallas before flying to New York and arriving again in State College last night.