Nice enough town, just not for me
Well, I've been in State College for about 6 months now, having relocated from Phoenix when my fiance got a job at Penn State. It's definitely got some good points: fairly nice looking town, people are friendly, schools are good, crime is low, etc... Now I keep hearing how wonderful it is here in "Happy Valley," since the area is supposedly immune to the bad economy. However, in almost a year of searching I've been unable to find a job here (I'm an engineer). I now regret having turned down New England area job offers to stay here.
Moving to State College is really kind of like stepping back in time 100 years or so. People's level of devotion to Penn State is almost frightening (the jokes about it being their religion aren't that far off), and there's a "y'all ain't from 'round here" mentality that I'm pretty sure has cost me some job interviews. Talk to the residents about life in other states, or even the fact that you didn't grow up here, and you might as well have told them you're from Mars. Not to mention that Pennsylvania's alcohol laws are the most conservative in the nation. It's easier to buy a 6-pack in the middle of Utah than it is here. And get used to the "P.A. Parades," a daily event in which you are stuck in a never-ending line on the freeway, not because it's busy, but because there are two seniors heading up the parade, taking up both lanes at blinding speeds of 35 miles per hour.
I know it's not really fair to rag on a small town, and that it shouldn't be held to big city standards. And it's too easy to let the little annoyances distract from all the good things a place like State College is capable of providing. It's a nice place, but it just wasn't what I was hoping for.
Bp | Bellefonte, PA