- Class: Freshman
- Major: French Studies
- Gender: F
- High School: Mt. Mansfield Union High School
- Transfer Student: N
The best thing about Penn is the opportunity to do just about everything. My activities range from costume designing for musicals to singing light opera to the sport of curling to being a big sister for a student in West Philly. Being in the city provides a great outlet for many of the classes and extra curriculars - there are classes about the art, music, and architecture just to start. But there is enough going on on campus that you needn't go into center Philly if you don't want to. Penn is an Ivy, and a good one at that, so the work load is consistantly heavy. But, as evidenced from how involved everyone is, work rarely gets too overwhelming. And activity groups know that school wrok comes first, exxpecially during Mid-terms and Finals. One of the things I love most about Penn is the sense of community. The dorms have a lot of programming to get the Halls together and involved. Also, each activity gets you involved in a community. It's really easy to make really strong friendships this way.
As with any middle to large University, there are some large lecture classes. Introduction classes in Economics, Psychology, and Calculus can get up to 200 students. But all lectures ahve small recitation where once a week you meet in a group of about 15 to discuss the lecture and ask questions. All the professors and recitation leaders are available through office hours and before and after class to help you - they want to you to succeed. Most of the grades in most of the classes are normalized, but there is some competition to be above the average. Grades are most competitive in Wharton (the business school). Penn does have quite a few requirements, but most of them you can fill with classes you'd take anyway. They are distribution requirements, meaning a subject you can satisfy with one of twenty or so classes. The professors I've had have been very good and knowledgeable in their topics. Although they are some of the best in their fields, they have been willing to discuss with me after class or schedule a meeting with me. The only time I've had trouble with a teacher is in recitation, where many of the grad student teachers speak limited english.
The student body at Penn is diverse but excepting. On the whole the students are liberal, both in politics and acceptance of other students on campus. I think every and any person can find a place to fit in at Penn. Although some of the richest students stand out, there are litterally people from every class, every state, and most countries.
The Best Things
Stouffer College House
The Worst Things
The math building is old and ugly