What should I expect when I come to Penn State?

June 27, 2014

Question: Where is the best place to study on campus?
Answer: Everyone finds his or her own place. Some students try to study in the quiet areas in the HUB-Robeson Center, the student union building. During finals week, many students find a spot in the library and some like to go to open classrooms and do practice problems on the board.

Q: Which area has the best food?
A: University Park has more than 35 places to eat, and each of the five on-campus dining commons has its own signature best food. Findlay Commons in East Halls has Big Onion pizza and the West Food District has oven-fresh cookies.

Q: How often do you go home?
A: It really depends on the semester. Many students tend to stay at school over the weekends if they’re busy with schoolwork or involved in activities outside the classroom. The frequency also depends on how far away home is located.

Q: What do I do if my roommate and I don’t get along?
A: Talk to your Resident Assistant. They are a great resource for mediation and conflict resolution.

Q: Is East Halls really loud all the time?
A: Quiet hours exist in all residence halls so they stay quiet during appropriate times. The quiet hours are 8 p.m. to 8 a.m. Sunday through Thursday and 1 a.m. to 10 a.m. Friday and Saturday.

Q: Do most people live on or off campus after freshman year?
A: About three-fourths of students move off campus after their freshman year. It is more difficult to get a housing contract in the sophomore and junior years.

Q: How do you go about signing a lease?
A: You need to contact realtors or property managers about available locations and then follow through with the paperwork through their company. Penn State’s Office of Off-Campus Living is a resource.

Q: What are good places to eat?
A: Penn State and State College have tons of convenient and delicious dining options.

Q: Should I buy a printer to have in my room?
A: While it can be convenient to be able to print from your room, it is not a necessity. There are 24-hour computer labs on campus, and each student gets 110 sheets to print each semester. Additional sheets can be purchased as well.

Q: Mac or PC?
A: Talking to your academic adviser is really helpful here. It depends on your field of study and sometimes-personal preference.

Q: What should I do about textbooks: rent or buy? Online or physical copy?
A: It depends on each situation. Sometimes it's more cost effective to rent and sometimes to buy. In regards to physical copy versus e-text, it is up to the individual. E-books tend to be a bit cheaper, but some books aren't offered in electronic form.

Q: Is there wi-fi in the residence halls and campus buildings?
A: By fall 2014, all residence halls will have Penn State Wireless installed. All campus buildings currently have Penn State Wireless.

Q: How do you make this big campus small?
A: Get involved! Join an organization or club. See http://studentaffairs.psu.edu/hub/studentorgs/orgdirectory/ for a searchable list.

Q: Who is going to tell us what classes to take?
A: Your academic adviser is your best resource for anything regarding classes. If you have any questions, they are there to help!

Q: Should I bring a bike?
A: Biking is a great way to get around campus quickly, but it isn't a necessity. If you do bring a bike, be sure to register with Transportation Services at http://www.transportation.psu.edu/.

Q: What's the hardest transition in academics?
A: Knowing how much time to put into work and study. In high school, you may have time allotted to study and do work; in college the responsibility falls on the student. Check out http://istudy.psu.edu/tutorials/ for some available resources.

Q: How do I get involved in THON?
A: There are many ways to get involved in THON. You can join a committee, get involved in an organization or just attend the weekend. To check out more ways to get involved, go to THON.org and click on "Get Involved" under the "Students" tab.

Q: Should I rush?
A: It depends on your personal preferences. There are many ways to get involved at Penn State. Pledging a fraternity or sorority is a financial and social commitment, which may not be suitable for everyone. About 18 percent of students get involved in fraternity and sorority life at Penn State.

Q: Where can I get my prescription filled?
A: There are a few places to get prescriptions filled. There is the Student Health Center on campus and a few pharmacies downtown.

Last Updated May 12, 2016