Do you find the courseload at Penn to be more than your high school work? In terms of stress, is the pressure manageable and are the mental health resources on campus good at helping students through related issues? Thank you.


For some context: I went to a high school where each class had like one chapter test each week, so everyone was constantly inundated with exams. I'm also a Computer Science Major, a subject whose classes are generally project based where a large proportion of the grade is based on performance on several assignments throughout the semester rather than exams. HOWEVER, I did speak to friends of other majors who mostly agreed with this assessment.

Mr Quinn, my high school government teacher, put it best: "In college, the highs are high are the lows are definitely low. But it's still better than high school." This is a very abstract graph of high school versus college:

In my experience, high school was filled with irrelevant assignments and a barrage of exams that weren't incredibly hard, but when compounded resulted in a constant, dull stream of work that never felt personally relevant. The intense moments of college are manageable because you are learning about things you actually are interested in! While in high school there is a lot of busy work, college cuts out a lot of the B.S. There are weeks where I can coast and there are weeks where I'm filled to the brim with work, but I find that the utility of what I'm learning heavily compensates for this stress.

As for mental health for resources: Many people complain about CAPS (Counseling and Psychological Services), and my time spent with them wasn't amazing, but it was certainly a help for someone who was in a place of need like I was.

Zesty Zebra, 1/27/20 11:46 AM