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University of Pennsylvania


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Paula
Here's your chance: Say anything about your college!

Even though Penn has a pretty big undergraduate program (about 2500 kids in my freshman class), it is still a surprisingly wa...

Here's your chance: Say anything about your college!

Even though Penn has a pretty big undergraduate program (about 2500 kids in my freshman class), it is still a surprisingly warm environment. Both the teachers and the students are friendly, welcoming, and generally happy to be in Penn.

What should every freshman at your school know before they start?

It's happened more often that I'd like to admit: on my way to class, on the main walk of campus, I feel a chilly wetness on my lower back. I turn around and see a trail of water on the brick pathway. I haven't wet my pants; rather, the water bottle in my bag has come open again. In an attempt to be more environmentally-friendly, I purchased a reusable water bottle at the beginning of the semester, and it simply refuses to stay closed. In a perpetual rush, I haphazardly shove the troublemaker into my backpack and dash of to my next lecture, never stopping to think about the last time I made the same mistake and had to leave my notes out to dry overnight. I don't regret buying the sustainable bottle, although it does make my water taste a little weird at times. But my first semster of college has taught me this: take a little time for yourself. Save yourself some stress and walk, don't run, to lecture. You will gain a lot from taking the extra minute to shut your water bottle properly. I guarantee it.

What kind of person should not attend this school?

Penn has something for everyone, for the most part. As a university, it has four undergrad programs - Arts and Sciences, Engineering, Nursing, and Business school. There are countless classes and seminars available in almost any topic imaginable. It's difficult to imagine someone coming here and not finding themselves really interested in what's going on.

Youssouf
What should every freshman at your school know before they start?

I would tell my younger self to stay motivated. As a senior, I had just gotten accepted into the Huntsman Program at Penn, on...

What should every freshman at your school know before they start?

I would tell my younger self to stay motivated. As a senior, I had just gotten accepted into the Huntsman Program at Penn, one of the country's most competitive college programs; and as a result, I decided that I had accomplished all of my goals. I relaxed. I did little more than was required for school for the rest of the year and I completely slacked off during the summer. I had no more goals. My GPA suffered during my first semester of school because of this. During the middle of the semester, I realized the importance of taking advantage of your college experience, if not only for the knowledge, then for the grades that will count in getting your first job. Being more motivated for the current semester, I am doing substantially better. I have no doubt that if I were as aware of the importance of the future the previous semester, I would have preformed superiorly. If I could, I would tell myself to think about the future and do what would benefit me in the long run. I would also tell myself to buy heavier coat, but for another reason altogether.

What's unique about your campus?

The dual degree programs here, especially the Huntsman program in International Studies and Business, provide a good blend of liberal arts and pre-professional study that will prove extremely beneficial in the future. Not only are these programs well-renowned and extremely competitive, but they provide students with an opportunity to break out of the generic college requirement schedule that defines the college career of most students. Someone can really differentiate themselves by entering one of these very selective and advantageous programs.

What do you brag about most when you tell your friends about your school?

The University of Pennsylvania is an Ivy League school that?s not as well-known as Harvard or Princeton and that means that students are here more because of the school's performance instead of the early name recognition. Penn's Wharton School of Business is the highest ranked and most competitive undergraduate business school in the country. The school was founded by Benjamin Franklin, the country's most accomplished founding father. Lastly, the study abroad program is great and huge here; there really is nowhere you aren't allowed to go.

Virginia
Describe how your school looks to someone who's never seen it.

Penn is career-focused with driven students who care more about money and status than anything else.

Describe how your school looks to someone who's never seen it.

Penn is career-focused with driven students who care more about money and status than anything else.

What should every freshman at your school know before they start?

As a committed athlete in high school, the whole point of going to college seemed to be volleyball. I would tell myself that volleyball really does not matter in the long run and should not be part of my decision. That being said, volleyball did allow me to go to an ivy league school and have opportunities that I would not have otherwise had. I would tell myself that it is difficult to know exactly what you want to do, because college is going to expose you to a lot of new things and you may change as a person. Choose a college that will challenge you and help you in that growing process. Choose a college that is big enough to expose you to new and not yet mainstream ideas. Choose a college that is in a different enviroment than what you grew up in. And trust yourself to make the right decision,. Because no matter what, you will gain experience and learn something and be forever changed. Challenge yourself to embrace this change and change as much as possible.

What do you brag about most when you tell your friends about your school?

THe city of Philadelphia and that I go to an ivy league school. Everyone is smart.

Mikeva
Describe how your school looks to someone who's never seen it.

Modern, but with a respect for its tradition and history, that values setting students up for success with various internship...

Describe how your school looks to someone who's never seen it.

Modern, but with a respect for its tradition and history, that values setting students up for success with various internship, job placement, research, and service programs.

What should every freshman at your school know before they start?

I would tell myself not to take my grades too seriously. The classes you take and the grades you earn ARE important, but your college experience is not solely academic. College is about managing a schedule of classes and homework assignments, social events, service programs, and projects. If you spend all your time in class, studying, or doing homework, then you won't make the most of your college years and you won't have a well rounded experience. Take your time on applications and essays; how you express your ideas isn't nearly as important as the ideas themselves. Take tours of schools that interest you, and talk to students you meet on campus. No one can tell you more about that college than an actual student; they'll tell you things info sessions and brochures won't. Take time to walk around campus and see places you don't hit on the tour. Watch how people carry themselves and interact with one another. The real essence of a school isn't in the admissions office.

What do you consider the worst thing about your school? Why?

Everyone is so preoccupied with academics, internships, and service programs that sometimes people don't take the time to interact in more social aspects as much as they should.

Samantha
Describe the students at your school.

My classmates are diverse overachievers who know how to study hard and play hard.

Describe the students at your school.

My classmates are diverse overachievers who know how to study hard and play hard.

What should every freshman at your school know before they start?

I would have told myself that everything would be fine. In college, you will inevitably face new challenges and pressures from the environment, but nothing is insurmountable. Stay grounded in your faith and have confidence. For most people, college only happens once, so don't waste your life. Push your limits, and don't let fear or self-doubt keep you from trying new things. After all, the sky's the limit! In everything, do your best, but don't stress over perfection. You learn more from your mistakes anyway. Be flexible. Things are susceptible to change, which can be a good thing. Above all else, live purposely and passionately. Spend time pursuing your current passions and exploring new ones. Get to know the vast and vibrant campus community, and care deeply for those around you. REmember at the end of the day, you are still unconditionally and deeply loved, so live much and regret nothing!Such advice would have sufficed for every circumstance. Perhaps, hearing these words would have changed the entire course of my first semester. For now, it is simply a kick-in-the-pants, nudging me in a better direction for 2010 and beyond.

What do you consider the worst thing about your school? Why?

The worst thing is that everyone is consumed by the ridiculous grading system.

Ben
What should every freshman at your school know before they start?

Go to a state school with friendly people, good sports, and strong academics. Don't fall for the prestige of an Ivy league s...

What should every freshman at your school know before they start?

Go to a state school with friendly people, good sports, and strong academics. Don't fall for the prestige of an Ivy league school.

What do you consider the worst thing about your school? Why?

The huge number of rich, entitled, spoiled brats who go here. Also, the greek dominance of Penn's social scene.

Yu
Describe the students at your school.

Many people here are relatively humble given their exceptional backgrounds., with the person next to you in line or in class ...

Describe the students at your school.

Many people here are relatively humble given their exceptional backgrounds., with the person next to you in line or in class most likely fitting one of these descriptions: valedictorian, athlete, entrepreneur, genius, hard worker, among others; but don't imply from friendly smiles that they will hold back from you in competition.

What should every freshman at your school know before they start?

Come hungry. Entering college in the US is a wonderful privilege in today's world, especially in light of the recent crisis. These upcoming years will expose you to people of similar interests and different backgrounds and place you next door to some of the world's most brilliant minds--the individuals that will shape our future. Set a goal for yourself to meet as many people as possible; don't be afraid to interact with fellow freshmen and upperclassmen, many of whom are in the same boat as you and just need someone to say "hi. " It is here you will meet your lifelong friends, the co-founder of your new company, or even the partner with whom you will exchange vows. They are all out there waiting for you. Make sure you step out of your comfort zone and fine them. Time is precious, so seize every chance to learn and work while you can. The biggest difference between you and upperclassmen is experience; every step to close that gap places you a step ahead. Take full advantage of this opportunity to learn more about yourself, your colleagues, and the world around you. Good luck! --JZ

What kind of person should attend this school?

Those unafraid to put forth their opinions, open to a fairly diverse community, and seeking to learn a broad base of knowledge will fit in well here. For those pursuing business, however, the ability to handle strong competition is a must, as a large component of a Wharton student's life is the fierce competition presented by his/her peers.

emily
What should every freshman at your school know before they start?

If I could give my younger self advice, I would definitely tell myself to try more things and take more risks. I've come to r...

What should every freshman at your school know before they start?

If I could give my younger self advice, I would definitely tell myself to try more things and take more risks. I've come to realize that nothing is ever a safe choice and that trying to choose the safest option leaves one cut off from opportunities. I first went to a college that I considered "safe," one that was not too challenging or scary. After freshman year, I regretted my choice and I transferred to my current school, which was the most frightening thing I've ever done. It felt like leaping off a cliff, but now that I am on the other side I'm so proud of myself for changing my life to go in the direction I want. I wish I could tell myself in highschool to go for the harder school in the first place, so I wouldn't have wasted a year in a safe but unhappy place.

What do you consider the worst thing about your school? Why?

People are uptight and its hard to make friends/

What's the most frustrating thing about your school?

There are so many opportunities that I feel overwhelmed.

Alexis
What should every freshman at your school know before they start?

Be practical. There is no need to spend $1000 trying to get the cutest things for your dorm or the most trendy outfits. In th...

What should every freshman at your school know before they start?

Be practical. There is no need to spend $1000 trying to get the cutest things for your dorm or the most trendy outfits. In the long run, it won't matter what you or your dorm room looked like. What matters is how prepared you are to devote 100% of yourself to your education.

What's the one thing you wish someone had told you about freshman year?

You're not cool unless you dress like a ****, get "drunk" off of 1 plastic cup of beer, and conform to all of the latest trends (ie. Blackberry, Uggs, Coach purse)

What do you brag about most when you tell your friends about your school?

The School of Nursing at the University of Pennsylvania is ranked the #1 private school for nursing in the nation and #3 overall.

Christopher
What should every freshman at your school know before they start?

Take a serious look at what you want, including doing things you didn't do in high school for fear of being caught, and recog...

What should every freshman at your school know before they start?

Take a serious look at what you want, including doing things you didn't do in high school for fear of being caught, and recognize that you are going to make mistakes; minimize the damage these mistakes do. Don't expect any college to be perfect for you, since every place has some sort of flaw. Get involved with campus communities earlier and don't be afraid to dedicate a lot of time to them. Stay close with your high school friends, or at least don't forget about them once you meet your college friends. Remember who you are at the core, and don't try to pretend to be someone else; not only will it not work, you will feel like an idiot doing it. Finally, appreciate each day... don't wait for the next break, the next weekend, the next whatever... when it comes you won't know what to do, and you'll go back to waiting. Every day gives you the chance to wake up and choose to be happy.

What's unique about your campus?

Penn gives stuents the opportunity to find their niche. There are over two hundred different clubs which receive more than 3 million dollars of university sponsored funding each academic year, so there is literally something for everyone. I have made my best friends, had the most fun, created the best memories and learned the most about myself and about the world through my extra curricular involvement.

What do you consider the worst thing about your school? Why?

Penn is a school without a face. It is almost impossible to escape the bureaucracy when an institution has 40,000 people actively affiliated with it, but I wish that Penn would be more understanding of students' individual needs; especially with regard to housing and dining Penn prioritizes money over student comfort. Somewhat related is the fact that even though there are 10,000 undergraduate students, our athletic teams are abysmal, and so camaraderie in the traditional American college sense just does not exist.

Details

  • Enrollment
  • 11,525
  • Tuition & Fees
  • $45,890
  • Acceptance rate
  • 13%

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