Four years goes by quickly.
After all, it probably seems like just a moment ago that you were saying goodbyes at Altoona, Berks, or University Park… and now, here you are getting ready for 2020 Penn State commencement, just a few short months away.
Yet for as fast as the college journey may have seemed like it went, the time between now and graduation weekend will go by in a heartbeat - and at a large university like Penn State, there can be a lot to navigate.
At Rent Like A Champion, we know how much this weekend means to you. After all, we’ve been helping parents and loved ones find great weekend home rentals for Penn State commencement since 2012…and we’ve got some tips to help make sure you get the most out of your trip to State College.
Here are a few of our most crucial things to keep in mind…
There are three full days of events
The first thing to know about commencement at Penn State is that you’re in for a full weekend of events.
Each school within the university will have its own graduation ceremony beginning Friday afternoon, totaling 14 spread out through the weekend. That’s also to say nothing of the individual majors and departments that each will have their own receptions, along with any Greek events, graduation parties thrown by friends, or extracurricular club celebrations you or your student may be attending.
Luckily, Penn State has already published their schedule for the weekend, so make sure to make your plans way in advance, to ensure you’re not scrambling once you arrive on campus.
Map out where you want to get pictures (and start early in the day)
No graduation weekend is complete without pictures, right?
And it’s not just about getting that once-in-a-lifetime photo of your child walking across the stage to get their diploma, it’s also about spending the day hitting all of your favorite sites around campus and getting those last memories to hold forever.
But at nearly 8,000 acres, Penn State is the fifth largest campus in the country, so make sure to consult a map beforehand to figure out where you’re going! After all, with so many iconic locations, from the Nittany Shrine, to Allen Street Mall, to the Old Main - along with any personally sentimental spots your child wants to make sure they see - putting together a list of locations to snag your photo ops will help make sure you get the perfect pictures, with time to spare.
And word to the wise: Penn State’s isn’t just one of the country’s biggest campuses, it’s also one of the biggest student bodies - so get up and get your pictures early in the day to beat the rush from like-minded graduates.
READ MORE: Your guide to State College neighborhoods
Make your dining reservations NOW
And hey, while you’re planning out those photo ops, why not think through where you’d like to eat throughout the weekend?
Iconic spots like the Original Waffle Shop and Berkey Creamery ice cream will fill up fast, but you can still reserve spots at some of our favorites, from pizza at Faccia Luna, to Ramen at Tadashi, to historic deliciousness at Duffy’s Tavern, to the “locally grown, Southern inspired” flare of Gigi’s.
No matter where you go, however, make sure you don’t get caught waiting in big lines throughout the weekend. Get those reservations going now, so you can get your grub on later…
READ MORE: Our Best Restaurants in State College 2019 list!
Stay in a home rental, and get the most out of your weekend
Of course, none of your preparation, planning, or mapping out matters if you don’t have a place to stay during your commencement trip - and as you can imagine, hotel prices absolutely skyrocket during graduation weekend as lodging becomes a hot commodity.
That’s why more and more Penn State parents and guests are bypassing hotels all together, and are instead utilizing home rental options within walking distance to campus - but it’s about more than just the money. With private space for your family, full kitchens to avoid having to go out to eat for every meal, and enough room to make sure you can keep everyone under the same roof - there’s a reason one Penn State parent said that using a home rental option “made graduation weekend even better.”
Don’t believe us? Try it for yourself!
We have nearly 100 weekend home rentals for Penn State commencement available right now. Click below to find your perfect place to stay!