I love my school. Going to Penn is actually one of the best decisions I have ever made. Everyone is smart. Plain and simple. ...
I love my school. Going to Penn is actually one of the best decisions I have ever made. Everyone is smart. Plain and simple. But not only are they smart, they're hard-working and actually doing exciting things. I just completed sophomore year. My friends and I are already making amazing things happen. This summer, I am going to study and travel in Argentina and Chile. I have friends that are working on cancer research, managing housing services on campus, travelling to France, working in bio labs, starting their first businesses, and working for nonprofit organizations. They're amazing. One of the most fun parts of going to school there is discovering the things people either have done or are planning to do. It's not about how smart they sound when they talk to you on the way to class... We talk about parties and movies and books like everyone else. It's about realizing that your friend is the Girls State Chess Champ or won national titles playing tennis. The people at Penn are amazing. That being said... if you're looking for constant recognition from others outside of the Ivy League you won't necessarily find it going to Penn. Very few people actually know what (or where) the school is. They all just say "Oh, that's nice." No one is going to gasp or "ooohhhhh" and "aaahhhh" like they will if you tell them you're going to Harvard. If that's the sort of thing you're looking for, you should look elsewhere. Among scholars and those who went to Ivy Leagues, it is well known. That's always a running joke with students. Everyone will think you go to Penn State.
There are so many groups on campus. It's overwhelming how many options a person has. I've been involved a lot with the Latino community on campus. La Casa Latina is a cultural center for the Latino kids on campus. It's great because it creates a sense of community and introduces us to one another. Through La Casa, I joined the Mentorship Pathways Program which paired me with a senior English major. We went to several programs about resumes, maximizing study times, bowling, and a play. It was great. I also joined the Penn Latin and Ballroom Dance team. I had so much fun on the team. I learned Cha-cha, Rumba, Waltz, Tango, Foxtrot, Samba, and others. It was a lot of fun. I plan on joining Onda Latina in the future. It's a dance team that performs as a show.
The academics vary greatly depending on the classes you take. I am an English major with a minor in Spanish and Fine Arts. All of my classes are small. All of my teachers know my name. I've had lunch with them or eaten dinner at their houses. My first big lecture class was taken to fulfill a requirement. It's the only class I've taken with more than 50 students in it. The majority of my classes range from 12-30. In my small classes, participation is very important. The classes are difficult. Even in a difficult school like Penn, some kids will always just skate by. Some people are just born so intelligently gifted that they face few challenges. I'm not one of those people. I do well but I work hard to do so. I spend a lot of time studying/reading/doing homework--hours per day but it's worth it. You won't find an experience like this in many other places.
The stereotype is that Wharton students are competitive and cutthroat, the Nursing kids have it too easy, the College of Arts...
The stereotype is that Wharton students are competitive and cutthroat, the Nursing kids have it too easy, the College of Arts and Sciences Kids are too lax, and the engineering kids have it rough and have no lives.
I knew that I wanted to be in a city, so I considered schools such as Harvard, Columbia, NYU, Georgetown, and University of C...
I knew that I wanted to be in a city, so I considered schools such as Harvard, Columbia, NYU, Georgetown, and University of Chicago. I visited all of these schools, knowing that the academics at all of these institutions were top notch, I decided to pick on other merits. After visiting all of these schools, Penn and Columbia had the kind of urban environments I was looking for. The thing that really swung it Penn's way was the social life. Penn has both an on-campus and off-campus social life centered around the Greek community, which Columbia lacks. Philadelphia was also a much more manageable city that New York, and seemed like a more moderate step-up from my hometown of Baltimore.
Study what you're passioante about. The money will come.
Study what you're passioante about. The money will come.
It's an amazing school, but extremely professionally oriented. Not a lot of room for exploration.
Overall, I find my school to be a great environment for college students. The University of Pennsylvania academically is one ...
Overall, I find my school to be a great environment for college students. The University of Pennsylvania academically is one of the best schools in the world, but unlike its Ivy League counterparts it has and is known for its strong social culture. This makes for the work hard, play hard attitude that so many of its students have. Many top tier schools have strong perceptions as being overly stressful and too work oriented. At Penn, we pride ourselves on having a strong work-life or school-fun balance. Also, the location is great as well. Penn is located in Philadelphia, but the school has its own campus, which many colleges in cities do not. So, if you are looking for the city life, you can walk just a few blocks off campus and be in the heart of Philly. But, if you prefer a traditional campus and college community, Penn offers that as well.
For the big lectures, it's really hard for the professors to know your name - unless you're always at their office hours. The...
For the big lectures, it's really hard for the professors to know your name - unless you're always at their office hours. The professors definitely know you by name and more in the smaller classes though. Before coming to Penn, I thought I prefer big lectures, but I definitely prefer smaller classes now. It's also a lot easier to meet others in a small class. With smaller classes though, of the classes I've taken so far, participation is a huge factor in final grades. Sometimes it can make up to 20% of your final grade. Professors not only expect you to come to every class, but contribute to class discussion. Speaking for the College, everyone is really nice and willing to help one another. No one's really out to get one another.
People tend to think that Penn has a lot of rich, snobby white folks. Though there are a number on campus, the majority of students are very nice. Penn is also considered the "social ivy" and that is definitely true. Everyone works hard, but they definitely know how to go out and have fun at the same time.
Penn is a virtual hotbed of over-achievers, so you better bring your A-game.
Penn is a virtual hotbed of over-achievers, so you better bring your A-game.
If I could go back in time to my senior year in high school, I would have one message to convey: time management is the key to success. While in college, it felt as if there was never enough time to get anything done. Never enough time for homework. Never enough time to properly train for the track and field season. Never enough time to get to my part-time job. Looking back, I realize that the real problem was that there was far too much time, and a good deal of it was squandered over-sleeping, watching my favorite television shows or spending far too many hours in online collegiate chat rooms. I would go back and tell myself to make sure I got to class on time, but also make sure I get in a good night's rest, allocate at least 4 hours a day to either studying, homework or both, and that it's okay to have a good time but you have to pace yourself. I'd tell myself that my college years are going to be some of the best years of my life, so make sure to make every second count.
The University of Pennsylvania has a well-earned reputation for being very academically competitive. Thus it is best suited for very driven students with a good work ethic. There is a good amount of diversity among the student body, however I'd like to see attendees who are more willing to think outside the box and bring fresher ideas into the classrooms.
I think most stereotypes, if any, that you'll find at a school like UPenn exists primarily within the Greek community. There ...
I think most stereotypes, if any, that you'll find at a school like UPenn exists primarily within the Greek community. There are certain fraternities and sororities that have developed reputations and seem to recruit students who fit that mold. For example, Delta Upsilon is often cited as the fraternity with the highest collective GPA on campus, recruiting ITAs (Information Technology Advisors) and Asian nerds. While this may not always be true, there seems to be a "type" of person that typically joins this fraternity. Futhermore, aside from stereotypes, UPenn is organized according to social circles. These circles are developed by people who all share a common interest. Whether its the Penn Democrats or the Latino Coalition, there is a support group for all types of people and a good chance that you'll meet someone just like you. Each circle elects its own leaders and these individuals act as representatives of these communities to higher university officials. This does not mean you are automatically placed within a specific group of people, however. It is very easy to navigate across social environments. There is room for everyone and anyone.
The most popular organization would have to be the Undergraduate Assembly. A group that I am involved with is the Society for Pre-Law Students of Color. We are hosting a conference next week (see tinyurl.com/RPAC2012 for more details). Students do not leave dorms open, typically. There are horror stories of thefts and no one wants to risk something being stolen. In smaller dorms, however, the culture may be a little different depending on the level of trust among hall mates. There is really good security everywhere as well. Athletic events are pretty popular, and there are a select few games that are promoted heavily, with free tickets given out on Locust Walk. Guest speakers come all the time, and shows presenting comedians and other artists are regularly planned as well. The dating scene is what you make of it. There are plenty of fish in the sea. I met my closest friends during my first year and continue to make friends now. when you live with a person you really get to know them. If I am awake at 2 AM on a Tuesday I am probably doing work that I procrastinated on. As with any college, people party all the time, but the majority of parties happen on the weekends. Fraternities and sororities are not that important. Only about 30% of the students here go greek, so don't feel any pressure to do so. Last weekend, I spent time with my girlfriend and went to North Philly to eat at an authentic Puerto Rican restaurant. You can do so much on a Saturday night that doesn't involve drinking: you can go to the Rave theater on 40th and Walnut, go out to dinner or bowling in Center City, or plan a trip to Penn's Landing to catch some fireworks. There is a lot of exploring to do. I live off campus so I have become a member of the greater Philadelphia community.
Penn is a great school with great people. Classes are really interesting and the professors are high-quality. It also has so ...
Penn is a great school with great people. Classes are really interesting and the professors are high-quality. It also has so many options for getting involved in activities outside of class. There are so many clubs and organizations that every person is bound to find something they are interested in. It also has a great social atmosphere and I always have something fun to do on the weekends.
Students here are highly diverse hailing from international and local places and being of all walks of life. No one would se...
Students here are highly diverse hailing from international and local places and being of all walks of life. No one would seem out of place. Mostly, people wear jeans and t-shirts, the usual attire, but the Wharton students might be clad in suits or business attire. The types of students are more or less divided according to the 4 schools within UPenn - College, Engineering, Nursing, and Wharton. They correlate more or less with Gryfindor, Ravenclaw, Hufflepuff, and Slytherin for those who are Potter saavy.
The professors are rather available and all highly proficient. Their styles vary depending on their personalities and the subject material. A wide range of experiences are available, ranging from lecture, to seminars, to office hour interactions. Class participation is common with many students asking clarifying questions and even better, professors apportioning time for students to do so. As said before, the academic standards are rather high and it's no uncommon for students do spend 3-4 hours per day on coursework.
People think that students who attend the University of Pennsylvania are more academically oriented, more competitive, and more presumptuous than the typical college student. Also, there is the notion of our being the party Ivy. Although it is true that students care about studying, there're many other causes and activities to which everyone dedicates their time. As for socializing, there's a healthy does of that.
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