As the year drew to an end, Penn State students reminisced on the most memorable moments of 2018.
Julianna Simon’s favorite memory was a three-week mission trip to Ecuador— where she visited the Galápagos Islands and Cotopaxi, an active stratovolcano.
“I got to do a lot of hiking through the mountains, ate native food and spent time with my grandma,” Simon (freshman-biobehavioral health) said. “It really opened my eyes to a lot of different cultures.”
Another memorable moment for Simon was her first week as a freshman at Penn State.
“Situating my room, getting close with my roommate and meeting new people were all great parts of move-in week,” Simon said. “There was a lot going on the first week, but I feel like everyone was going through it so it really helped.”
Tyler Kohls’ favorite memory was his graduation party in the summer of 2018.
“I got to see all of my friends and family in one place together, which made it really special for me,” Kohls (freshman-kinesiology) said.
In the summer of 2018, Brennen White participated in the Penn State Aurora Hike.
“We spent five days in the woods without a phone, so I got to experience and interact without technology,” White (freshman-business) said.
In addition, during winter break, White reunited with long distance friends at their summer camp.
“I got to see all of the staff and supervisors that I don’t get to see often,” White said. “But the best part was working with the camp children the next morning.”
White described his 2018 as “exciting and busy.” Over the course of the year, he went from high school to summer session to his first fall semester at Penn State.
Awards show season has just begun, kicking off with the Golden Globes on Jan. 6.
Caroline Lane reminisced about the start of her sophomore year, which she said was much better than the beginning of her freshman year.
“I was really nervous freshman year being in a completely new environment,” Lane (sophomore-biobehavioral health) said. “So, coming back as a sophomore, I felt a lot better having a friend group already.”
Lucy Stone said 2018 was a significant year because she graduated from high school.
‘It was such an exciting day to have finished high school with all my friends and family there to watch,” Stone (freshman-biobehavioral health) said.
Upon coming to Penn State in the fall, Stone said she felt fully immersed in the Penn State culture during the first home football game.
“I was so excited, and I had been waiting all year to go to a football game as a student,” Stone said. “I went with all my best friends and it was so nice out, especially because we won.”
Penn State football played an important factor in other student lives, as well.
“Tailgating at the football games was a lot of fun,” Carly Palermo (sophomore-security and risk analysis) said. “Now that I’m a sophomore and have a more solid friend group it’s great because we always have somewhere to go.”
Matthew Gold said he enjoyed the game against Ohio State, despite the Nittany Lions’ loss.
“It was something I had been looking forward to for a long time,” Gold (freshman- business) said. “I’m a big Penn State football fan and the whole atmosphere was just unforgettable.”
Gold said he also joined the Penn State ski club this past year. He got to visit Quebec City in Canada with the club over the winter break.
Casey Johnson enjoyed 2018 because she celebrated her 21st birthday in October.
“My friends took me out on ‘Halloweekend’, so of course we were all dressed up,” Johnson said (senior-immunology and infectious disease). “We went to The Basement [Nightspot] and got to let loose and go crazy.”
Johnson also recalled the two-year anniversary of her father’s cancer recovery.
“After two years, there is a lot lower chance of it ever coming back,” Johnson said. “So that was a huge moment for me in 2018.”