Community 19

Does living in a single during freshman year hinder your social life at all?

Not at all. Almost all of my friends are from clubs or classes, so living in a single hasn't impacted me at all. It's true that having a roommate might make it easier to expand friend groups (although it's a 50/50 whether you like your roommate in the first place), but I don't think it's that important to having a good social life at Penn.

Absent Aardvark, April 15th 8:42 PM

I lived in a single my freshman year and it was a FANTASTIC choice. It was great to have my own space to go back to and just chill. If you can foster a close hall community (which is also 50/50) having a single makes no difference. I hung out with my hall literally everyday in our lounge and essentially was just back in my room to sleep.

Angsty Armadillo, April 16th 11:17 AM

What is the Science and Technology Wing? Are residential programs worth it?

The Science and Technology Wing is a residential program on the second floor of Kings Court College House.  STWing (as they call it) is the only mixed residence hall in Kings Court, meaning that freshmen and underclassmen can live there (all the other halls are freshman-only).  I lived elsewhere in Kings Court, but it seemed like a pretty tight-knit community interested in video games, nerdy things, etc.  I lived in residential programs for my first two years of college, and I personally think it's a strategic way to get a specific location and to have something in common with your hallmates.  However I would not expect too much from residential programs, because most people end up feeling like their program did not host many events.  

Friendly Fox, April 15 2019, 10:10 PM

Do I have to be a Wharton student to join Penn's Business Fraternities? (freshman year)

Nope! Two of my friends in Engineering received bids for business frats. Definitely not a requirement.

Zesty Zebra, April 15th 2019, 3:09 PM

Are residential programs worth it?

It's cool how many residential programs there are at Penn. :) I've heard that some are great; people become good friends, plus there are cool opportunities to explore your interests (trips, workshops, etc.). However, my experience was not amazing... I think it depends a bit on the RA (or whoever leads your residential program) and the size of your hall. I was happy that I got into a really competitive residential program in the Quad, but in the end, we only maybe had 2 events related to the program (besides free food every few weeks), and since my hall was so big, I felt a bit overwhelmed and didn't get close to anyone. The people in my hall are all unique and brilliant, so I regret not making more of an effort to get to know them.

Wallowing Whale, April 14, 2019, 6:50PM

Opinion on senior societies?

I recently joined a senior society - there are a good amount at Penn! But, I wasn't super attached to getting in. I found myself naturally wanting to reach out to the people who were already in this senior society because I thought what they've done / worked on at Penn is so cool! I've talked to my junior friends about their thoughts on senior societies as well, and generally all of us feel like it's a great way to get to meet new people in your last year at Penn, but none of us put too much pressure on ourselves on getting in. It's been a bit of an ongoing struggle for me to "find my community" at Penn, so I'll say that I am quite happy that I got into this senior society :) I feel accepted here.

Wallowing Whale, April 14, 2019 6:20PM

How are introverts treated at Penn (it's the "social ivy") and what suggestions do you have for making friends at Penn?

There's plenty of ways to hang out with friends without being in huge groups or going out/partying/drinking. I'm an introvert myself and I love having time to myself to do what I enjoy, whether it be watching TV, cooking, or having a spa night with friends! Penn being a "social ivy" just means you have more options for those instances when you do want to go out, but you can meet plenty of people with tendencies like you through clubs, mutual friends, your major, or even randomly hitting people up you don't know well to coffee chat :) I met the bulk of my friends through clubs!

Chunky Chipmunk, April 12 2019 8:05PM

Opinions on whether Penn students are really more depressed than students at other schools/Ivies?

Who can say, really? Maybe transfer students might know, but in truth, college is jut difficult. For most of us, it's the first time we've been away from home, and becoming an 'adult' can be terribly stressful and discouraging at times. I think if you asked your friends at other schools all across the country, they might think that they're more depressed than other students at other schools. It's all subjective: some people seem to be really enjoying their time here at Penn. But if you're like me (and you might be if you're asking this question), you might be having a really rough time.

In fairness, Penn does have the highest mental health rating of all the Ivies, boasting of a solid D+ (seriously, and do note the sarcasm: I'm sure there are things the university could be doing better to support the students attending it. But CAPS does exist, and when things get too hard, it is a great resource. Be open and honest about what you're dealing with with those you trust and that might help make a difficult experience a little easier.

Perky Puffin, April 9 2019 2:00 PM

How do I get involved with the Kelly Writers House?

There's lots of ways to get involved! I personally interned there in the summer through the CURF Humanities Internship Program, which was a great way to get immersed in the community for a couple months. During the year, KWH holds a lot of public events, from poetry readings to conversations with famous writers, which you can definitely attend. They also have work-study positions available for students. It's also just a nice space to chill and read at!

Laughing Llama, 4/8/19, 9:19 PM

Should I be involved in Greek Life? I'm a little hesitant / not sure if it's right for me.

When I got to Penn, I was also hesitant to become involved in Greek Life. I always thought Greek Life was very heteronormative and exclusive. When I got to Penn, I was pleasantly surprised to see that Greek Life was pretty accepting of all people and inclusive to those who wanted to give it a try.

In Freshman year, I joined a professional business fraternity because I wanted to be more exposed to a diverse group of individuals interested in business. I have absolutely loved this community and recommend rushing to my friends.

Only 25% of Penn students are a part of a Greek organization, so it definitely is not something you have to do; however, I'd say it's worth giving it a shot if you are looking for a new community.

Amazing Ant, April 8th 2019 3:25pm