Pennsylvania State University
Pennsylvania State University - Comments and Student Experiences|
If you're an engineer, expect large gobs of work coming your way. The first sememster is manageable, but by second, you will find yourself irritated by the sheer amount of problem sets and design projects you will have to do. Make sure you schedule smaller classes with friends you've already met, or make friends with the people in your class. It will help a long way. Most people drop out of the hard sciences or engineering because of the sheer difficulty/workload involved, but if you can make it through this, you will probably find yourself with large piles of job offers in the mailbox during your senior year. Penn State has its strongest programs in Engineering, Buisness, and the pure sciences.
You may also want to incorporate the law of diminishing returns into an engineering cirriculum. If a 3.7 doesn't come to you easily and you end up with a 3.1, working twice as hard to get that 3.7 may not be worth it because of sacrifices in time, energy, social activites...You will work hard here if you choose to go into engineering, but few people are extremely competitive grade whores
Socially - if you're somewhat outgoing and sociable, you will find a good group of friends. During your first month, get to know the people on your floor and in class or else you will find yourself without a niche and have nothing to do on weekend nights later down the road. The sheer amount of people allows you to be exposed to a broad range of personalities. Finding a good group of friends, as anywhere, is almost essential to enjoying your experience at Penn State.
Parties and drinking are big. I personally like both a lot, but if you don't, expect to have more limited social options during the weekends OR be converted into a drinker by your friends (which happens a lot)
the girls here are pretty hot. Unfortunately, the average Penn State chick seems a bit more snobby than the average hometown chick. Expect a lot of eye candy...and if you're a half decent smooth talker, look foward to getting some nice random action.
Other things to expect:
-If you live in east halls freshman year, expect to walk 20 mins to your nearest class or wait 30 minutes to grab a bus
-Cold weather. Dreadfully cold weather.
-Rowdy floormates being loud until 3 am on weekdays, but this might only a freshman east halls sort of thing
-athletics. If you like sports, you'll find a lot of people who do (watching and playing)
-Video games - way bigger than people think...at least among guys. Floormates never stopped playing Halo 2
-Oddballs - I don't know if it's just the concentration of people, or if Penn State, for whatever reason, actually attracts oddballs to the school. They came in numbers I never would have expected.
But most importantly, do what you desire the most. Do your own thing, make your own friends, work hard during the week, and have a damn good time, whatever it is that you're doing. Even if you're not fond of the forementioned things, it's damn possible to still have the time of your life. The sheer size of the school makes a lot of things possible. Don't come here with a negative attitude. Give people the benefit of the doubt when trying to get to know them. Make your experience here a memorable one.
Pros that I have found: in general, people know PSU and are impressed based on what they know about the school, which doesn't hurt when job hunting in the future. There are a lot of majors to choose from, and many of them are known to be quite good, such as engineering and meteorology. Admissions is actually not too competitive ( I got in with an unweighted 3.17 gpa, 1980 SATs, 31 ACTS, not too many APs or extracurriculars. They say that for out of state, GPA is 2/3 of the decision...) Social life wise, if you are into huge parties with lots of alcohol, State is the place for you. If you tend to like smaller groups of people, or do not like to drink, you might find the herds of drunken kids that infest the streets of campus and town thursday through saturday annoyying.
If you are looking for a big school, PSU is definately one of the larger ones, which can be good or bad.
Cons: Very few people get scholarships, at least from what I know. I haven't really met anyone from the many people I've talked to who have gotten any aid from the school directly.
Being at a school with over 40,000 other undergrads is definately intimidating, as you can walk around for hours and not see anyone you know. However, if you are friendly and sociable of course you will make friends and it will seem like a smaller place after the first few weeks.
Diversity wise, Penn State is terrible. I am Asian, so I do notice the way different ethnic groups interract with each other, and I was disappointed to find out that white kids tend to hang out with whites, blacks with blacks, asians with asians, and so on. Of course, there are exceptions.