A new campus can be intimidating at first to first-year students, especially a big one like Penn State; they might not know where to start. Here is a list of ways to get involved on campus to make it feel more like home:
1. Be a Part of One of the Best Student Sections in College Football
Penn State students bleed blue and white with respect to their “Dear Old State.” Just this year, Beaver Stadium had a record crowd of 110,823 fans during the annual White-Out Game. Grab your blue and white pom-pom and sing “Sweet Caroline” like there’s no tomorrow.
2. Join a Club (or Two)
There are over 900 clubs to join at Penn State! They can range from specific clubs involving your major to random interests like “Coffee Club” or “Quidditch.” Each semester, there is an Involvement Fair where students can walk around and see which clubs and organizations best fit their interests. However, if you still can’t find a club, you can always create your own!
3. Sign Up For an IM Sport
Don’t have time for a varsity or club sport? Penn State offers a variety of intramural sports, such as 3v3 Basketball or lawn games like Cornhole or Bocce, that students can sign up for. This option is a lot more flexible with leagues lasting only about 4 weeks. IM sports are a great way to meet new people and have a blast, all while trying to claim victory.
4. Participate in THON
Be a part of the largest student-run philanthropy in the world by dancing for 46 hours straight at the Bryce Jordan Center. THON helps support, emotionally and financially, families impacted by childhood cancer along with helping fund research. Why do we do this? We dance for a cure; we dance for the kids.
5. Go Greek
Penn State has a total of 76 fraternity and sorority chapters. Once students have at least 14 credits and at least a 2.5 cumulative GPA, they can participate in Formal Recruitment, or “rush,” an 8-day process where potential new members can find a chapter that best matches them. Recruitment occurs in the spring semester.
6. Visit The Berkey Creamery
Penn State actually makes their own ice cream, sherbet, and cheese through the Department of Food Science in the College of Agricultural Sciences. Students enjoy all the flavors The Creamery has to offer, such as Death By Chocolate and Mint Nittany. The Creamery is located very close to East Halls where the majority of freshmen live. There is only one rule: Never mix flavors! The only person to have ever mixed flavors was President Bill Clinton.
7. Guard The Lion Shrine
During Penn State’s homecoming celebration, live music, free food, and activities are centered around the Nittany Lion Shrine for students to enjoy. As a tradition, ROTC students guard the shrine against rival universities trying to vandalize the lion’s beauty. Other schools just hate us because they ain’t us!
8. Take Workout Classes
Penn State’s IM building and White building offer free weekly workout classes students can participate in with just a swipe of their ID cards. Workout classes can range from relaxing yoga classes to “Ab”solute core classes. Working out becomes a fun activity to look forward to every week, sweating to music alongside encouraging friends.
9. Become a Lab Rat
Thousands of studies are being conducted at Penn State every day. Studies require subjects to participant in all sorts of experiments, making the demand for volunteers very high. Some classes, such as Psych 100 (Introduction to Psychology), require a certain amount of research volunteering hours. Help these researchers out; many experiments only take 30 minutes to an hour of your time. Who knows, maybe you’ll find something new about yourself!
10. Get a Job
Let’s face it, college can be expensive. It’s always nice to have some money in your pocket, whether it’s paying for tuition or a midnight “pokey stick” run at Gumby’s Pizza. Penn State offers many job opportunities on campus where students can pick a job that is flexible with their class schedules. Wake up and work right in your common’s buffet or find another environment such as the library or The Creamery; the possibilities are endless!