Every time I enter Beaver Stadium, I feel at home. I finally feel as though I am not the only one in the world who bleeds blue and white 24 hours a day, seven days a week, every day of the year. When I am at Beaver Stadium for a Penn State football game, I know that I am with over 100,000 family members every time, many of them students, new bloods in the family.
Their initiation into the family is to cheer longer, louder and harder than any other student section in the country, as well as leading the entire stadium in cheers and waves. At Penn State we are all family, and the football team is what unites over 100,000 of us six to eight weekends every fall. Penn State is the largest family in the country, the largest alumni in the world.
Many members of my biological family are part of this great family, including my brother, my father, my sister-in-law and my father's ex-wife. Penn State has always been part of their lives; they have been raised to bleed blue and white and have done so as crazy, die-hard Penn State fans. I was raised in this same way, bred to go to Penn State my entire life. In every school I went to, I was known as the "Penn State kid" by those who weren't close friends with me.
My family had raised, trained and bred me for this moment forever, a moment that occurred just a few weeks ago. As I waited for months during my senior year to hear back from this great school, I grew anxious.
My life was destined for Penn State, I thought, but what if I didn't get in? I started hearing back from schools, getting accepted into Oregon and Illinois, wait-listed at Tulane and Wisconsin. But I didn't hear back from Penn State. I was the first to put in my application, but one of the last at my school to hear.
Eventually, that day came. It was a Sunday morning, and I checked the website. It said, "Congratulations on your acceptance to the Penn State University, University Park campus for the session of Summer 2011," or something to that effect. It was the most exciting day of my life, the day my family had bred me for. I had been invited into the family, I was finally a true Penn Stater. My initiation starts this summer, and lasts for the next four to five years of my life.
Now I am one of the family, and I cannot wait to begin. I was born bleeding blue and white, and I will remain this way until I die. Now I join my family in this tradition, as many others have joined their family and friends in the tradition of attending the Penn State University, where we all bleed blue and white.
My true initiation begins this fall, along with the rest of the Penn State Class of 2015, as we, the new freshmen, anxious yet ready, stand and yell above the tunnel as we watch our Nittany Lions storm out onto the field, seeking a victory for their family.
Now we join thousands more students and hundreds of thousands of alumni in the greatest family in the history of the world, the Penn State family. The family who constantly bleeds blue and white. The family who has cried "Fight On State" and "Hail to the Lion" for decades. The family that calls out to each other with a "WE ARE!" to which the rest of the family responds "PENN STATE!" because that's what this family is. We arePenn State.