Friday, June 22, 2012

University of Pennsylvania Review

I’ve decided that for each school I visit, I’m going to post a blog describing my experience there and my feelings towards it. I’ll go over different aspects and post plenty of pictures. As you may have guessed from the title, this one is about the University of Pennsylvania. I hope readers enjoy.

First Impression: We met with UPenn students and staff at Distrito, for lunch, before we saw the campus. They told us great things about the school, but it didn’t really register until I was there. UPenn grew on me throughout the day, and by the end of the tour it had definitely peaked my interest.

  • ·         At about 10,000 undergraduate students, it’s the right size for me. I’ll always be able to meet new people.
  • ·         Over 200 clubs and extracurricular activities on campus; it’s really easy to make new ones, too.
  • ·         The faculty seems very active in supporting and informing the student body.
  • ·         The interiors of buildings are top-of-the-line modern, while the exteriors are old and beautiful.
  • ·         The libraries are amazing.
  • ·         The professors are talented and approachable.
  • ·         Ivy League Financial aid is awesome.
  • ·         There’s great alumni support and school pride.
  • ·         There are plenty of housing options.
  • ·         It’s in the middle of Philly.
  • ·         It’s an hour from NYC.
  • ·         I have friends who go there.
  • ·         There’s good food on and around the campus.
  • ·         The campus isn’t too hilly or too flat.
  • ·         Greek life is available, but isn’t overwhelming.
  • ·         It’s incredibly safe, with one of the best private security forces in the country.
  • ·         Philadelphia has the largest urban park in the nation.
  • ·         There is a lot of diversity: racially, culturally and economically.
  • ·         13% of the students are international.
  • ·         Many facilities are open 24/7.
  • ·         There are departments to help with… well, everything.
  • ·         The sports teams are really good.
  • ·         As the oldest university in America, it has plenty of history.
  • ·         There are tons of on campus events and performances that are either free or offer student discounts.
  • ·         Restaurants in the area shouldn’t be too expensive.
  • ·         I have relatives nearby, in New York, Rhode Island, New Jersey and Washington D.C.
  • ·         The school will pay for most activity based events.
  • ·         The Ivy League has a partnership among study abroad programs.
  • ·         Football games are played at the old Eagles stadium.
  • ·         There’s flexibility among majors.
  • ·         I love Philly Cheesesteaks.
  • ·         I can’t drive, so it’s great that public transport is so prominent. I really like riding trains. 

  • ·         The weather enters extremes.
  • ·         I’ve never extensively experienced Philadelphia, so I don’t know for sure if I’ll enjoy it.
  • ·         I’m told that there is a bit of social segregation.
  • ·         The staff expects a lot of independence, self-motivation and resourcefulness from their students.
  • ·         I’m an outsider to East Coast, Pennsylvania and Philadelphia life. I don’t know if some things that I’m used to are very different there; I may commit social mistakes or be ignorant of pop culture. It’s not a huge problem, but it could make some things very awkward.
  • ·         This is true of all East Coast schools, but I don’t know how I’ll do, far from home. Until now, I’ve never spent more than two weeks away from California, and any number of factors could ruin my experience. I can’t know if I’d enjoy living at the school until I actually live at the school. I’ll just have to use this trip as much as I can to find out what kind of environment I thrive in.
  • ·         I won’t know my way around the city for quite some time.
  • ·         Although I don’t think I want to attend UC Berkeley, I took classes there for three summers in a row, and my big sister goes there. I feel a lot of pride for that school, and it’ll feel weird rooting for any other college team. Ironically, I’m also considering Stanford.

My thoughts: It should be obvious since there over 30 pros and only 8 cons that I like UPenn. Architecture is very important to me on a college campus, and I love the style of Penn buildings. The resources there sound fantastic, and the people seem intelligent and worldly. Not to mention, it’s one of the most prestigious schools in the world. I’ll definitely do some more research on it when I get back home.

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