I have spent 7 semesters so far at Penn State — countless hours in the library, the football stadium, dorm rooms, apartment hangouts, and recently, Zoom calls.
Now that I’m starting my final semester at Penn State and will be graduating in a few months, it seems like a good time to reflect on the last four years and offer some advice to current and incoming students on what I’ve learned.
I came to Penn State in the fall of 2017. Since then, I’ve learned a lot. One of the first things I learned was the importance of the blue and white loops. Although living in Pollock made it easier to get to my classes in Carnegie and Thomas Building, I learned pretty fast that some distances were just easier by bus. Especially when the classic Happy Valley windstorms start picking up and my fingers become numb while walking.
So, if you’re lazy like me and prefer full-feeling of your fingers once the temperature drops, I advise learning the routes and schedules of the blue and white loops.
Speaking of the blue loop, did you know that the bus runs right up to Beaver Stadium when it isn’t gameday? Some of my best memories were made there. Whether it was watching Saquon Barkley run up the field as a freshman or racing from the stands to the concessions and back in order to acquire some chicken baskets before halftime ends.
Even if you aren’t a big football fan (or if Penn State has a particularly bad season like this year – but it’s okay, I still love PSU football!) there’s nothing like cheering on your school’s team with 107k of your friends.
However, these were all memories that happened before we switched to Zoom University. Now that we’re living through a pandemic and a lot of these in person events can’t happen, things are way different now,
Yet, that doesn’t mean that I haven’t learned how to adjust to life online when it comes to college. One of the biggest things I’ve learned from moving online is how hard it can be to stay focused and on track.
When you never have to leave your room to get to class, it’s hard to differentiate between working time and relaxation time.
So, the biggest advice I would give now that we’re online is to try and schedule each day to stay on track of your schoolwork. Another really good tip is just to try and find a space in your living quarters that’s reserved for work and another that’s reserved for relaxation. For example, if you live in a dorm, do your classwork and Zoom calls at your desk and leave your bed or any chairs for sleeping and relaxing.
Although I never expected my time at Penn State to end this way — fully online, socially distanced, and a likely online graduation— I’m still glad to have spent the last four years as a Nittany Lion and I hope everyone reading this is happy about their time here too.