StudentsReview :: Pennsylvania State University - Extra Detail about the Comment
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Pennsylvania State University

How this student rated the school
Educational QualityA- Faculty AccessibilityB-
Useful SchoolworkB- Excess CompetitionA-
Academic SuccessB- Creativity/ InnovationB+
Individual ValueB+ University Resource UseA-
Campus Aesthetics/ BeautyA FriendlinessA-
Campus MaintenanceA- Social LifeA-
Surrounding CityB+ Extra CurricularsA
Describes the student body as:
Friendly, Approachable, Snooty

Describes the faculty as:
Friendly, Self Absorbed

Quite Bright
Lowest Rating
Faculty Accessibility
Highest Rating
Campus Aesthetics/ Beauty
She cares more about Faculty Accessibility than the average student.
Date: May 16 2010
Major: Video/Media (This Major's Salary over time)
This is a review coming from the perspective of a Schreyer Honors College Student.

Regarding Schreyer: If you think you at least have a SHOT at getting in, sit down, write the three essays, and apply. I really didn't think I would get in considering my GPA and SATs weren't crazy amazing, but it's the essays that get you in. Write amazing essays and you'll have a good chance. It's worth it.

I won't go on about the perks and requirements of Schreyer, because you can read those on the website. The perks are certainly nice, especially the scholarship, the priority registration, and the housing. There are also extra little perks such as double the amount of printing paper and the ability to check out a book from the library for an entire semester. The dean is also incredibly nice, and you should definitely get to know him.

What I love about Schreyer is that all of the kids like to have a good time, but they're serious about their grades at the same time. You'll find kids who like the typical Penn State party who also like to have lengthy discussions about a number of intellectual topics. The Schreyer community is also pretty tight, and I haven't met anyone who's stuck-up about being an honors student. Everyone is very modest! In general, Schreyer provides the small-school environment within the large opportunities of the big university. Part of the reason I came here was Schreyer, and I would say it's definitely a huge reason why I love it here.

Regarding the university in general: What I love the most about this place is that, save for a few exceptions, there aren't really cliques. There are groups of friends, but not really "cliques." There are so many people that you're meeting new people almost every day, and personally, coming from a small high school, that's really refreshing for me.

So. You've heard the rumors about Penn State? Just about all of them are true. You will find tons of drunk people screaming on College Ave at 2 AM (and hear them, too). I don't need to tell you that if you like that scene, you'll love it here. I'd recommend Greek life for that scene especially, but be warned: I have a friend who was a recruit in a sorority who had to attend socials every day from Wednesday to Sunday.

However, what people don't really mention is that you WILL find people who are not into that scene. There are over 40,000 students here. Anyone who tells you that you can't find people who don't party at all are lying. If you're worried that everyone will pressure you to drink, I can assure you they won't. You can still go to socials, not drink, and still have a good time. As for other activities, I promise if you look hard enough, you'll find something. If not, there is absolutely nothing wrong with hanging out with a bunch of friends and talking until the wee hours of the morning, and personally I actually enjoy that much more than drinking.

The challenge level of the academics depends on your major. I'm a Communications major, and I probably put in less effort than high school and get a pretty high GPA. However, if you decide to pursue a science or engineering major (especially the honors classes), prepare to WORK. I probably spend only a few hours a week studying. I had a friend who's an aerospace engineering major who worked his rear off all day. In my experience, the Gen Eds are, overall, pretty easy and mostly busywork. I'm crossing my fingers that my future classes for my major are a little harder. The Comm department in general has a pretty good reputation, but as a freshman, I would recommend getting involved in a related club. If I hadn't joined PSN-TV, as a film major, I wouldn't have touched a camera all year.

Also, when you're here, the LAST thing you want to do is sit in your dorm all day. There are a TON of activities, and I would say three clubs is a really nice balance. Pick one related to your major (example: PSN-TV), one that's pretty involved in THON (example: Springfield THON, AND OMG PLEASE DO THON), and one that is just plain cool (example: Traditional Chinese Tea Club). This is the main way you'll make friends, and the people I've met here are probably THE main reason I love it here so much. I love how I can walk around a campus of 40,000 students and bump into people I know almost everywhere I go.

The campus is beautiful, especially in the spring (although yes, it's usually bitter cold, but you get over it), and the facilities are overall nice and adequate.

And I guess I have to mention football. I came to Penn State not knowing what a "down" was. But the football fever is pretty contagious, and it's really amazing being in the student section and doing all the cheers. I think that's something really unique to Penn State. The school spirit here is unmatched.

Overall, I'm really glad I came to Penn State. Yes, there's a lot of drinking, but it's not all there is to do—I PROMISE. If you get into Schreyer the value is really amazing and you should do it. The academics are not stellar—but you already knew that. There is a reason they call it Happy Valley, and that's because a large amount of students are incredibly happy here!

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