From the outside looking in, you can't begin to understand it. From the inside looking out, you can't begin to explain it. We Are. Penn State! -Michele Roda
The Best Thing About State College?
A rural Appalachian paradise, the natural landscape of the area surrounding State College is some of the most beautiful in the region. With skiing, hunting, hiking, mountain biking, and some of the best fly fishing in the country, those who enjoy outdoor activities will find much to do. In addition, the university provides ample opportunities to enjoy college sports, particularly their legendary football team, as well as their art museum and the touring musicians who come through. And while the city itself can be somewhat expensive for homeowners, buying or renting in any of the surrounding towns is considered pleasantly affordable.
Here's a local on the outdoor experience here:
Basically the middle-west part of Pennsylvania where State College is located is the northern tip of the Appalachians. So it's a mountainous area (although if you're anywhere near the Rockies you may laugh at that description) that is largely surrounded by rural farming communities. State college is nicknamed Happy Valley because the city sits in between the mountains to the northwest and the mountains to the southeast. I really do think it's beautiful, and if you like outdoorsy stuff like hunting and fishing you will have plenty of opportunities.
For more reviews of what living in State College is like from locals check out: The Buzz
The Worst Thing About State College?
In many ways, State College is the quintessential college town, in that the local culture revolves heavily around the university, as well their sports teams and Greek Life; this means that, during the school year, and particularly during football season, much of the city is dominated by partying college students. Many apartments will rent primarily to undergraduate students, so if you choose to live in one, expect high levels of noise and frequent foot traffic from drunken young people. Additionally, for the more politically inclined, please be aware that State College itself is considered a highly liberal town surrounded by heavily conservative rural communities.
Note from a local about the school scene:
Town can be a bit hectic during school but it’s not terrible. When the kids are out of school the town is much more laid back. Lots of stuff to do in the area if you are the outdoors type. Night life is fun for a little bit but it gets old after while as it’s the same old thing. Campus is very nice place to hang out when the weather is nice
Lifestyle of State College
If you are a student or simply enjoy the house party and bar hopping scene, you will find State College accommodating to your social desires. Additionally, if you are a sports fan or an outdoorsman, the area will provide a plethora of activities. Furthermore, young families generally consider the local schools to be top-notch, though if you are a young professional without children, or are simply introverted, you may find the area somewhat isolating or even boring.
If you want to see what people get up to in State College check out the calendar of events: https://downtownstatecollege.com/events/
Worklife of State College
The local economy revolves heavily around the university. If you are an academic, or if you want to be a coach for college level athletics, you will find opportunities. If you want to work administrative or staff jobs at the university, you will also find opportunities. However, the main careers available outside of the university are generally limited to service jobs in town or farming jobs in the surrounding area, or possibly work from home options.
Why You Should Move Here Now?
football + clean air
If you crave clean Appalachian air, the thrills of Division One gridiron football, four full northeastern seasons of weather, a chance to test your mettle as an outdoorsman, or an opportunity to work at a renowned educational institution, you should move here now.