- Class: Junior
- Major: Business
- Gender: F
- High School: La Jolla Country Day School
- Transfer Student: N
The best thing about Penn is its social scene - we have a great mixture of scenes and there's something for everyone. You can go downtown into downtown Philadelphia and party at a club, go to one of the many campus bars, or head to a frat party. Also there's always something going on, regardless of what day of the week it is. When I tell people I go to Penn, what they say really depends. The average person will immediately say, "Oh, Penn State?" or just assume that it's Penn State and ask me something about our football team. However, most people who "matter" (i.e. people who you want to know about Penn such as employers and what not) are always impressed, especially if you're in Wharton. I spend most of time either at the one or two frats in which I know the most guys or at one of two campus bars, Blarney and Smokes (when I go out). University City (aka West Philadelphia, where Penn is) is a great balance of college town/not college town. We have the city right there, within walking distance when it's nice out (or a 5 dollar cab ride when it's not!) so we can do that. But at the same time, Penn has a distinct campus and everyone living in this area is for the most part affiliated with the University. It's great to have bars to go to where everyone is in college. I think the administration of Penn is fine, but they're a little bureaucratic - but then again, what administration isn't? Change tends to take a long time around here, even if it seems it's something that should obviously be done. The biggest recent controversy is the departure of our Dean of Admissions, Lee Stetson. No one was told why he left - it's this giant secret - but everyone kind of assumes it was for something illegal, like sexual harassment or something. it's making the school look really bad because they're doing this giant cover up. I don't think Penn has that much school pride. As far as sports go, there are certain groups of people who get into it, and I definitely like going to football and basketball games(no one cares about any other sport). We have traditions that we do at each game, and Penn itself has some great traditions (i.e. Spring Fling, Hey Day, Senior Week, etc), but in general people are sort of apathetic about school spirit.
Professors can really go either way. The classes here range between huge lectures to tiny seminars. But, I've noticed that in medium-sized lectures (around 50-70 people), professors often require you to put a name tag on your desk so that they familiarize themselves with your name. And there are definitely professors who know everyone's name by the end of the semester. My favorite class here at Penn has been The Business of the Sports Industry. I don't particularly want to go into sports (although I might after this class), but I loved the way that the professor brought everything back to what we learn in our basic Wharton classes. He basically showed us that sport franchises are like any other business. It was really cool. I would say that most people at Penn have a very healthy work ethic - otherwise, how would they have gotten in? People are always at the library, or in coffee shops working. Still, we know how to let loose and have fun and I love that balance here. My two majors are Marketing and Retailing. I love that they're off the beaten path (most everyone in Wharton majors in Finance) and that they're more subjective, and not just number-based. It really allows me to think critically and think outside of the box. There's one professor that I spend time with out of class - he was my Econ 101 professor freshman year and I almost failed. Since then, we have been really close and he has become my mentor. We have lunch at least once a month to check in.
I think any student would fit in comfortably at Penn. I myself am multiracial and have found no problem fitting in. There are definitely distinct groups for every kind of race, religion, etc. There is a huge dichotomy in what kids wear to class - a lot of people show up in sweatpants and a fleece, but then there are the girls in skirts and heels. I'd say the average student just wears jeans and a tee shirt. Some groups at Penn definitely self-segregate. For example, there is a dorm that is predominantly African American, and I feel like that community sticks to itself. The same holds true for a lot of the Asians, South Asians, and Jewish people on campus. This is why I've avoided getting stuck in one group. In the dining hall, the four tables would be: a table of athletes, because they tend to stick together; a table of nerdy kids with textbooks out; a table of African American students; a table of random kids with seemingly nothing in common. I'd say the majority of people are from New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania. California, Texas, and Florida also have a large representation.
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