- Class: Junior
- Major: Journalism
- Gender: F
- High School: Punxsutawney Area High School
- Transfer Student: N
The best thing about IUP is probably the way the campus looks during the autumn and spring seasons. The Oak Grove, which is the center of the campus, is so inviting when the weather is warm. The colorful leaves of the trees hang over and fall on the students as they walk by, and when the weather is warm enough, friends will sometimes gather in the Oak Grove to spend time with each other. Some will throw frisbee with one another, and some, surprising as this may sound, will act out World of War Craft and various other activites of the sort. Everyone is just happy when it's warm and spending time together in the Oak Grove. Anything unusual about IUP? Yes, there's an abundance of squirrels roaming around. Every now and then while walking through the Oak Grove, an acorn will fall on your head. I like to believe the squirrels throw them at us, but we all know it's just them rustling through the trees......right? For me, the size of IUP is just right. It's not too small, but it's not overbearing either. You can get from point A to point B by walking, some walks may be longer than others, and several housing options are generally located pretty close to campus. It's first come first serve, though, so you have to sign for a place quick if you want the best options. When I tell people I go to IUP, most automatically think about the stereotype of it being a party school. Some adults seem impressed and happy to hear of another student enrolled in college. (It's when I tell them what my major is that their faces look almost confused because most people don't know how many options there really are for a journalism major.) Other adults don't seem phased because IUP is not a really prominent school like Yale or Harvard. But I think it depends on your attitude about where you are attending. If you apply yourself and work hard, you can get just as good an education as a Yale student. Several success students come from IUP. I try to spend as much time on campus and in the library as I can these days. I am a fifteen minute walk from campus from my apartment, and with all the breaks in between my classes, it is a pain to walk back and forth all the time in the dead cold winter, not to mention the walk is usually always icy during these months. I will either go to the library in between classes to do homework, or I will run other errands if I need to. During the week and weekends on my free time, I will go to some friends' houses or to my boyfriend's place to relax and hang out. Other than that, I am in my apartment, hanging out with my roommate and realizing that I will not get work done unless I go to the library. Thus, my nights during the weekdays also usually end up at the library. I believe IUP is what is keeping Indiana alive. There are several small businesses located around this area, but many of them do so well because of the college students. For example, Sheetz, the bars and a local food favorite of the students, Pita Pit (a pita and gyro place) would not be as successful if it were not for the college students, especially the bars. This college pretty much makes the town what it is. I think everyone is always going to have something they'd change about their school. I think I would improve the main food diner, which is like a buffet where everything is on your meal plan, and the types of food you can get at the other diner options on meal plan. They do not give you many options and you end up having to pull out some cash in order to pay for the rest of your meal. Also, I'd change some of the registration's building policies. Sometimes the desk workers "helping" the student is not so friendly and only adds on to your stress. Other times they tell you you are in the wrong building, and when you end up going to the building they directed you to, those desk workers also tell you you are in the wrong building. It's just a crazy mess of confusion, and they need to get their information straight. The last biggest controversy we had on campus was deciding whether or not the campus police should be allowed to carry guns. So many articles were covered on that, and I completely understand and agree with the concerns. Another controversy that is continually rising under the surface of frustrated parents and college students not as financially stable as others are the new dorms they are building. IUP has been trying to expand its campus by improving the buildings and updating the dorms. While this is all nice and dandy, the new dorms cost about $2,000 a semester per student, and that is not even for the suites. A four person non-sweet is around $3,000 or so a semester. It is just ridiculous, and I'm just glad I'm not a freshman. But that doesn't mean I shouldn't care simply because I'm over halfway to graduating. I think school pride exists on campus, but I believe it could be improved. I am not one to talk because I do not attend any sports events, although I think about doing so all the time. I just never seem to have time, and I never know when the events are taking place; I'm sure this is a problem with other students as well. One experience I'll always remember is attending an event at IUP's Hadley Union Building where William Hung played, and they had bouncy boxing and blow-up twister available for people to particpate in. Some food was available, like popcorn and cotton candy, and games were also played like putting a condom on a cu***ber while having "beer goggles" on.
Because I am a nerd, most professors do know my name. I am studious, and I try to raise my hand when I know an answer to a question because I always feel bad for the professor when no one is talking while the teacher stands there looking dumbfounded and irritated. Almost all the professors that are within my major do know my name by heart because I have had them for several classes before. However, there are some classes where I seriously lack in participation and hardly feel like speaking in class. This occurs more-so in my larger classes. My least favorite class so far has been Computer Science 101. It was difficult for me to understand my professor's accent who was French and Egyptian, and some of the assignments did not print out right when I did them at home, which hurt my grade at times. I think students study more toward the end of their college years because they become more serious about their education. Prior to that, many students do not even know what they want to study as a major or know what they want to do for a career. All in all, though, the amount of studying and how often a student studies all depends on the student. Some take college more seriously than others, and some need a wake-up call. I enjoy a good debate in class, but I have not had a class where debates have really occurred since my freshman year. Smaller classes have more class participation, and will occur more when the teacher has a positive way of encouraging it. Professors want to see the students discuss class topics and share their opinion, but many times the students need a push in order to do so. They need to feel comfortable with their classmates, the professor and the class first. The journalism department is very good at IUP. One of my professors, Randy, in particular, pushes his students to do well and learn from their mistakes by having a tough grading system. I use to call him a point nazi, but it is all necessary in order for us to learn. We are taught that it is better for us to make mistakes now rather than in our careers and to learn from them so we don't get ourselves in trouble in the future. We are also shown the many possibilities that journalism majors can have for career choices. Randy also emails the journalism students internship and job opportunities that area available for all who are interested and able to apply. I do not spend time with professors outside of class. I think it'd be awkward if it were leisure time. However, if it is during their office hours and you are seeking help with class, that is not so weird. Probably most students at some point or another do have intellectual conversations. I know I do with some friends at times. I may be overestimating some college kids however... I believe the education at IUP is geared toward both learning for its own sake and getting a job. They want you to broaden your horizons and have an open mind, but they also do a lot of preparing in each of the concentrations to help students get a career.
I have interviewed certain people in different groups on campus for articles in my journalism classes or The Penn, and I know of some people in some religious groups. I also have some friends in sororeities and fraternaties. But I have not ever attended any meetings or been a part of any. Mostly, you can see some of the groups with tables set up around the Oak Grove during certain weather conditions and times promoting either their group or a charity event or something the group represents. I don't see how any student would feel out of place at IUP because I believe everyone has their own group of friends they hang out with. Friends are made within your major or through organizations and groups on campus. If you put yourself out there, you are bound to make friends. In every college setting it is always intimidating to meet new people, not only IUP. However, those coming in from other countries would have the most difficulty in any campus in the United States. Moving from a different country is like going to a completely different planet; everything is new, not just the education. But IUP has organizations and groups for those from other countries as well so that they can become comfortable with being so far away from home. Most IUP students are from Pennsylvania. Most people from other states rarely ever hear of IUP, unless it is a business of some kind that an IUP student has interned or previously worked. You still meet several people from other states, though, and most of those states are neighbors to Pennsylvania.
The Best Things
It is very easy to meet people and make friends.
The Worst Things
The Pennsylvania weather.