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Getting Started 7

Is a 1-hr for lunch too short based on your experience?


No, that's a good time.

Absent Aardvark, July 1st 1:13 PM

Why do most Quakers recommend taking the BFF dining plan (most dining dollars/least swipes)?

// When I first read the dining plans, my first impression was that the AFK (16 swipes/week & $140 dining dollars) would be the wisest decision. I eat 2-3 meals a day and having 16 swipes would guarantee me that routine.

Upon reading some posts, I noticed that most (not all) Quakers recommend the plan with the most dining dollars & least swipes. I can't help but wonder the reasoning behind this. 8 swipes/week would get me 1 meal a day and $400 dining dollars doesn't seem enough to let me achieve my routine. Won't I end up having to spend out of my allowance/own money to do this? //


Honestly, dining dollars are the best investment because you can use them at anytime, you can buy a good variety of things, and usually you can spend them somewhere that's immediately close to you. Yes, dining halls are nice because the food is unlimited, but they also have weird hours that might not fit with your schedule. And unless it's NCH, the food is pretty meh. Chances are even if you get the plan with the least swipes, you're still not going to use all the swipes because of inconvenience, meh-quality food, or the fact that people at Penn love to eat out and bond over eating out.

Absent Aardvark, June 3rd 5:37 pm

Can anyone share/recommend great sample schedules for an incoming freshman? (not only major-entry courses)

If it's relevant, I plan to take either Economics/Psychology as a major & Chinese as a foreign language.

Can't find any solid sample schedules & the one on the Economics department page only includes major-entry courses.

Tips would also be appreciated!


Although this isn't directly major-specific tips, here are some of the things I keep in mind when picking classes and scheduling each semester:

  1. Be realistic - are you really going to wake up Mondays at 9? If there's a later section, it might be better to pick that one.
  2. Don't jam every day full - leave yourself a less busy day (most people to Fridays) so you can either spend time with friends, explore the city, or just catch up on work!
  3. How long of a day? - this is actually an important question! If you have 3 classes on TR, do you want them 9-6 with breaks, or 10:30-3 straight through? Some people prefer having space to catch a breath between classes, whereas on the other hand I prefer being done earlier and in a shorter amount of time!
  4. Course ratings - of course, ratings aren't everything (ex: a hard professor is definitely worth it if they're really well-rated! Professor quality makes such a difference in the experience), but if you're struggling to decide between different scheduling options maybe ratings can help influence your decisions (and hopefully get a better schedule).
  5. Don't forget to eat - this is actually stupidly easy to do when you have classes especially getting accustomed to Penn and full of excitement. Make sure you plan times to grab breakfast/lunch or have schedules where you can dip by Wawa, a food truck, or Pret in the middle!
Bovine Bear, May 26 2019, 5:58PM

If I get assigned a room (ex. too small) I don't like in the Quad freshman year, can I request to change or relocate to another room?


Yes but I think the chance of the request being granted is pretty low. I think once you see your room in person, regardless of where you're living, you'll find it to be decently sized. I lived in Hill double, which is one of the smallest rooms on campus, and it didn't feel small since you spend so much of your time outside of your room.

Zesty Zebra, May 23 2019, 4:57 PM

How hard is it to get a double in the Hill? (it's my first choice & I have a roommate already)


It's very hard to gauge. I went random and put a Hill double as my first choice and got it, but I've also heard of people getting deferred to their second or third choices. Just put your options in order of preference and submit; there isn't much more that you can do past that.

Greetings! I'm currently deciding on which house to rank as my #1 choice — the Quad or the Hill. One of my factors into consideration is the bathroom situation. While I know that the Hill have more spacious/private bathrooms, I'm curious to see those of the Quad.

If it's possible, can anyone take photos/a video of the entire Quad Bathroom?

It would truly help me! Thank you!


lol sure

Absent Aardvark, April 29th 4:17 AM

Smh can't believe this request was granted. Kids are spoiled these days.

Rumbling Raccoon, May 1 5:33 AM

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