I’ve read and posted my fair share of listicles about what it means to be a Penn Stater. From participating in THON to getting season football tickets, to trying to revive State Patty’s Day, to taking pictures with the Nittany Lion statue, this is a school full of great traditions that are unique to Penn State.
Another one of these traditions: the institute of higher power, known as Chipotle. Yes, this is a franchise restaurant, and there are several other Mexican and Mexican-esque restaurants in State College and elsewhere, but this is different. Chipotle is different. The Chipotle at Penn State is different.
I’ve always thought that the State College Chipotle was the busiest one in the country, but I’m a girl with a tendency to be dramatic. Apparently, this is (was!?) not far from the truth.
Even as an alum, my social media feeds recently blew up with news that the Chipotle closed down and the employees left a note on the window, citing poor working conditions. How could this be?
Chipotle is just such an integral part of the Penn State student experience, which might sound ridiculous to say, given the plethora of restaurants and bars downtown, but it is actually far from it. You know Chipotle is an integral part of your Penn State experience when...
You have your two favorite workers
The first is the hottest employee whom you hope is there to help you pass the time in line. You even try to flirt your way to free guacamole and wonder if you would get a discount for dating a Chipotle employee.
Then, there’s that employee you spot as soon as you walk in and know you’re going to get the best burrito of your life. This stud burritoista always gives you extra chicken and never scoffs at you for getting every kind of salsa.
You’ve read those “How to get the most out of Chipotle” articles
...in hopes of getting the most burrito bang for your buck, and you’ve even contemplated ordering from the secret menu. But, you would never actually do that because you're faithful to your traditional order.
You have scheduled your classes based on building location
...so you end up near Chipotle for lunchtime. There’s no better way to get through that last wave of classes than fussing over a burrito instead of taking notes.
You narrowed down your housing options based on proximity
...to Chipotle. This also means you look for roommates who share your values.
You’ve waited in line for at least 20 minutes to get your food
...and thought nothing of it.
You brought everyone you were with at the daylong to wait in line with you
...drunk, in the middle of a Saturday afternoon. F*ck the maximum occupancy number. You want your Chipotle, and you want it now (with 100 of your closest friends and your new drunk BFF you just met a half hour ago).
You’ve contemplated utilizing the catering services for your student organization events
Of course, you believe it would be beneficial to have 300 Chipotle burritos at a Greek philanthropy event.
You know every song they play over the speakers by heart
Makes the 20-minute line a little less painful.
You're still stuck on the idea of their catering
...but figure it might be weird when they show up with the ingredients to make 200 burritos at your apartment... and you’re the only person there.
You’ve scheduled group project meetings at Chipotle to make them more bearable
Screw the library. Even if that annoying girl won’t shut up about the color scheme for your PowerPoint, you shove burrito bites into your mouth to stop yourself potential outbursts.
You included “Chipotle” as one of your favorite foods when you were dancing in THON
...just hoping your Moraler would get the hint to bring you a burrito bowl when you were seriously struggling.
You've gone beyond eating at Chipotle more than once a week
In fact, you have had Chipotle more than once a day — and you are not at all ashamed.
You are on a first-name basis with the staff
They already get your burrito started when you’re two people away from being next in line.
When your friends and family visit you, you include the Chipotle building as a part of the campus tour
A free Chipotle lunch tastes even better.
You get Chipotle to help you rally after that football-game drunk, before pregaming to go out again at night
Everyone needs nourishment.
Even when the line is out the door, and you have no one to talk with while you wait, you still stand in line
It’s so worth it.
After you graduate, you make it a point to go to Chipotle every single time you visit
You know that it is a franchise and there are several where you now live, but you can’t help but think that it’s just not the same thing as the Penn State Chipotle
Current student or alum, you feel lost knowing that the Chipotle employees quit and the location is temporarily shut down
Can we really say, “We are Penn State,” without Chipotle?
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