As graduation approaches for many of us, we all face a dilemma that is unique to State College: where is the right place to celebrate our achievements on that special day with our loved ones?

It’s no secret that while this town sure has a whole lot of options to have a good time, the list for fancy-schmancy restaurants falls a little short. That’s why I, a senior myself, created a list of the best places to celebrate your special day based on your graduation ceremony.

1. Friday Night Graduates: College of Engineering and College of Earth and Mineral Sciences

Considering that the ceremony starts at 8 p.m. (which means it will probably end close to 11 p.m.) the best choice for our engineers to celebrate their debut towards adulthood is a late lunch on Friday afternoon before the ceremony.

Top Choices: Kelly's Steak & Seafood for a great steak or downtown State College's favorite, fancy dining option, Zola Kitchen and Wine Bar.

2. Early Saturday Graduates: Eberly College of Science, College of Communications and College of Arts and Architecture

pizza, cheese
Oriana Abreu

Lunch time is the best time for celebration for the early Saturday grads. And if you're not ready to stop the party, go ahead and check out the Saturday night recommendations below and treat yourself to a double celebration on this very special day.

Top Choices: Gigi's Southern Table with its incredible ambiance and lunch options or Spats Cafe, a downtown classic.

3. Saturday Afternoon Graduates: College of Health and Human Development and College of Information Sciences and Technology

Oriana Abreu

Your ceremony should be ending right around 6 p.m., so perfect for dinner time. Since our Saturday afternoon grads have the most ideal graduation ceremony time, they will have plenty of options. Only the best of State College dining is lined up for you.

Top Choices: The Carnegie Inn's Restaurant that features fine dining by an award-winning chef or the American Ale House that has everything from fancy small plates like tuna tartare to delicious burgers.

4. Saturday Night Graduates: College of Nursing and College of Liberal Arts

Oriana Abreu

A toast accompanied by late night small plates is the best option for our Saturday night grads that will be leaving their ceremony around 9 to 10 p.m.

Top Choices: Barrel 21 with its wide variety of small plates and wine and spirits or The Deli that is open late and has a little bit of everything on their menu.

5. Sunday Morning Graduates: Smeal College of Business

Oriana Abreu

Whoever decided to make this ceremony at 9 a.m. on a Sunday was probably thinking the same thing I’m thinking: brunch. My personal recommendation for all our future businessmen and women is to pick out a place from this detailed list of the best brunches in State College.

Top Choices: The Sunday Brunch Buffet at The Penn Stater which has everything you could ever dream of when it comes to brunch (including a complimentary mimosa) or Barrel 21’s Sunday Brunch Buffet that offers a Bloody Mary Bar.

6. Sunday Afternoon Graduates: College of Education and Agricultural Sciences

For our future educators and agriculture specialists, I recommend a Sunday night dinner to celebrate the end of your undergrad days.

Top Choices: The Allen Street Grill or The Tavern, both located in downtown State College.

So, there ya have it seniors. Call ahead for reservations and enjoy the rest of your stay in Happy Valley before it's time to head out to the real world.