WE ARE…officially committed to Penn State! If you are a senior in high school and just committed to Penn State, this article is now your bible. Getting ready for college can be intense and overwhelming. Your to-do list may be long, and your anxiety may be high. To help a girl out, VALLEY has compiled a list of advice from current Penn State students with some things you need to know before you arrive in Happy Valley. Take this advice to heart; you’ll be more prepared and it will ease your transition into your new, exciting life at PSU!
Schmooze don’t lose, and get that work done!
Penn State first-year and biomedical engineering major, Riley Kracaw, says, “Get to know your professors!” This is extremely important, even in large classes. Penn State is a huge school and it is easy to get lost in a sea of students. Kracaw says that introducing herself to her professors made it easier to get help when she needed it and not just fall off track in class. This could mean simply introducing yourself at the end of class or coming to office hours or both. Having a relationship with your professor is vital to doing well and not falling behind in class. It can also make it easier for the future if you ever have to leave class or need help. “Make sure you do even the small assignments,” Kracaw says. You never know how much even small homework assignments will boost your grade. It could be the difference between a B and an A.
It’s all about balance and pressure.
Anna LeTendre, a first-year sociology and Spanish major, says, “Balance is key. At the beginning, it’s hard to balance school, social life and extracurriculars, but trust the process.” Balancing school work, friends and clubs can be tricky at first. Don’t try to do it all at once, start slow and make a schedule for yourself to follow. This can help manage stress and help you feel less overwhelmed. LeTendre also says, “You’re going to feel pressure to do and experience everything at once, but try not to rush it, and remember to enjoy each moment.” When you arrive, there will be lots of activities and events to go to, and you may feel pulled in every direction. Prioritize what you want to do, and let the FOMO pass.
Branch out, and create a routine!
Jessica Krieger, a first-year accounting major, says, “Branch out! Some of your closest friends may come from unexpected places, but be wary of forced connections that can drain your energy.” Everyone has heard that your first year is all about making friends; but how do you do it? You can meet people at first-year events, in clubs or really anywhere. Remember, everyone is nervous, excited and trying to make new friends. You’re not alone, however, be cautious of fast or forced friendships that may not be feeding your energy, but actually draining it. Not everyone is going to be you best friend, and that’s okay!
Creating a strong routine and schedule to manage stress can be crucial. But, Krieger also says, “Don’t get discouraged if you don’t have the perfect routine right away. Things will calm down after the first couple weeks.” College is all about finding your independence and what works for you. If you feel like you cannot get a hold on things in the first couple weeks, you’re not alone in that either. Give yourself time and grace.
VALLEY welcomes you to Penn State and hopes you can use this wisdom to ease your transition to college. Enjoy every new experience, and take it all in. Welcome, and WE ARE!
What are you most excited to experience at Penn State? Tweet us, @VALLEYmag, and let us know!