If you've ever met me, it only makes sense that I live in a town often referred to as Happy Valley. Sure, it's not always as cheerful as its nickname implies, but it's home nonetheless.
You'll find us in Central Pennsylvania - right smack dab in the middle of the state. We're about 3 hours of Philly, Pittsburgh and D.C and about 5 hours from the Big Apple. There are certainly worse places one could be!
It's no secret that this town flourishes as it does for one reason: it's home to the third largest school in the nation, Penn State. PSU has approximately 45,000 students, making it half the size of the surrounding region, which is home to just over 92,000 people. Ironically, the University's football stadium has more seats in it than the region has residents. Crazy, right? This, of course, means that several weekends each fall, we are completely over-taken by 100,000+ rowdy football fans.
Being a thirtysomething in a small university town is a unique experience. Most shopping and entertainment is geared towards students in the their early 20's or retiree's who have returned to the region. Some days, I feel like a forgotten demographic.
Despite that, it's still a great place to live. Yes, it's a small town, but it has an amazing local community, making small businesses prosper and entrepreneurship a viable living. And for this girl, that's crucial!