“I've just finished up the best school yearMay 09 2005Chemical Engineering
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.
“Penn State, like any school, is what youFeb 26 2010Geography and Geosciences
“learn how to work the system or elseDec 18 2007Mechanical Engineering
hardly any exams are partial credit- pretty much all multiple choice exams graded by a computer (HUGE NEGATIVE = no partial credit = 40% - 50% range for a grade). also, the teacher will usually NOT make up the exam- the head of the department will- which means your teacher may teach you material that is irrelevant because he/she does not know what type of questions are going to be on the exam either! most teachers do not speak english in the math/science/engineering departments. and if they do speak english, it is usually a graduate student who does not know HOW to teach.
students. slim pickings of the bright ones. not very competitive/smart unless in the honors college and a few engineering kids. not many kids know how to write here and they will NOT TEACH YOU. i turned in a high school paper for my freshman composition/english class and received an A (i received a B- in it in high school....).
social life is amazing if you come from a small town and drank in high school a ton. i am in a top notch sorority here and parties/bars are GREAT. but if you are coming from urban/metropolitan area the nightlife will get old because the bars are not trendy/hip and there is only one club that not many kids go to.overall, if you have the $ go to another top notch small college where you will learn material NOT learn how to beat the weed-out system.