We Were

Penn State Bolstered My Sense of Identity, Under False Pretenses

Since I graduated from college in 2006, my winter weekend errands-and-lounging outfit has remained grubbily uniform: out-of-style jeans, sneakers, Penn State sweatshirt. The outfit is comfortable, and I am a sloppy dresser, yes, but there was another reason why I sported that sweatshirt so frequently. My neighborhood in the Virginia periphery of Washington, D.C. is so popular among Penn State alumni that it boasts not one but two bars for Nittany Lion football viewing–one rowdy and one low-key (in spite of bottomless mimosas during noon games).

I’ve never been terribly outgoing; …