The time to have fun is today


Mark Rosman

I have the feeling once again that time is flying by. Wasn’t it just yesterday that I was taking my son, Nate, to Penn State University to begin his freshman year in Happy Valley? It sure seems that way.

But here I am, a couple of weeks after dropping him off in State College, Pa., to begin his sophomore year at Penn State. This year, I did not move him into a dormitory; instead, he moved into an apartment with a roommate.

Now you have two teenagers living on their own for the first time in an apartment that may have to be cleaned at least once over the next nine months, not to mention the fact that they may have to acquire and cook some type of food to survive.

The apartment building, which is a couple of blocks off the picturesque Penn State campus, is what I would call “industrial.” The hallways are painted a lovely battleship gray, but the building appears functional. At least the elevator works.

The apartment itself is OK, even if the refrigerator door opens in the wrong direction and the bathroom is so small that a person can just about touch all four walls at the same time. Lights were not a priority for the design team, and the two couches are a little — how shall I say this? — worn.

I am hoping that one lesson Nate will learn from his first foray into the world of independent living is that securing a degree and a good job could eventually lead to more upscale living accommodations.

Of course, his room at home is still available. During the move-in, we were so busy running back and forth to Wal-Mart for more supplies for the apartment that I never set foot on campus during my overnight stay.

The stop I was anticipating making at Penn State’s legendary ice cream parlor, the Creamery, will have to wait until a more leisurely visit to State College.

This is a particularly exciting week for some New Jersey residents who attend Penn State.

The Nittany Lions will be in Piscataway on the evening of Sept. 13 to play Rutgers in the Scarlet Knights’ first conference football game as a member of the Big Ten.

With a lot of their friends attending Rutgers, the Penn State students who hail from the Garden State know there are bragging rights on the line.

I am an Indiana University graduate. For me, there is nothing riding on the outcome of this week’s Penn State vs. Rutgers contest, but I will be rooting for the Hoosiers later in the football season when they play the Scarlet Knights and the Nittany Lions.

Although I live 240 miles from the Penn State campus, I am enjoying Nate’s college experience. I hope he has half the fun I had at Indiana and realizes that days like this will not come his way again. The time to have fun is when it is right in front of you, before it flies away in the blink of an eye.

Mark Rosman is a managing editor with Greater Media Newspapers. He may be reached at