Class Hacks Everyone Should Know

HacksPSU.Ponte-2Penn State is full of little gems that every student appreciates: pokey stix at midnight, the white loop when it’s too cold to walk back to your dorm and Irving’s when you just really need a good cup of coffee. But did anyone ever stop and take a look at the hidden gems offered to us on our actual campus?

State College’s treasures aren’t just limited to what’s downtown. Our school is world-renowned for a reason, after all. Whether you’re a naive freshmen or a seasoned senior, everyone can benefit from taking advantage of these class hacks.

Penn State Learning

If there were ever some sort of educational Holy Grail that was blessed by the learning Gods, Penn State Learning would be it. They have everything. Guided study groups, private tutors, designated study rooms – the whole nine yards. PSL offers help in most subjects – from languages to calculus – so there really is help for most students. And the best part? It’s all free.

They even have a website so you can get all the details about meeting times and locations. It honestly doesn’t get better than this. Check it out.

The Writing Center

A supplement to Penn State Learning, the Writing Center focuses on helping students improve and concentrate their writing skills. Whether you’re the next Shakespeare or have the writing skill of a shoe, there are always resources available for whatever suits your needs.

For those new to the Writing Center, peer tutor, Kyle Tresnan, offers some sound advice for what to expect.

“All the actual work is coming from the student. I always encourage people when I’m tutoring. If students have questions about something, or about whether or not their papers make sense, we can help,” says Tresnan.


Probably the most underrated people on campus. Having trouble finding a book? Ask a librarian. Writing a research paper and don’t know where to start? Ask a librarian. Still having trouble citing in MLA format because high school taught you nothing? There’s a librarian for that. Do you see a pattern here?

Office Hours 

This may seem obvious, but one of the most important hacks available is to go see your professor. Everyone always preaches you should take the time to stop in at office hours – but how often do you really do it? Start going now, and you can thank me later. If your class isn’t making sense or you’re finding the course load overwhelming, sometimes all it takes is a 15-minute meeting to get you back on track. Seriously, who knows the class better than the professor teaching it?

You may have heard of all these hacks, or maybe you didn’t know they existed. Either way, you’ll only help yourself by stopping in and taking a look. Happy hacking, y’all!

Photo by Jose Ponte

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