Student Login


Freshman Files: First year at an Ivy League university

January 23rd, 2017

In our second installment of “Freshman Files” for 2017, Abigail L. reports in from the University of Pennsylvania, a renowned private research university located in a very lively section of Philadelphia. We were delighted to hear about Abigail’s academic, social, and even political experiences and appreciate her willingness to share so much with the Shrop Ed community.

“Penn has been fantastic so far. I couldn’t really ask for anything more. … Although the classes were pretty demanding, I was happy to find the work load easier than expected. I was left with more free time than I was used to and was able to join … Social Planning and Events Committee, and Penn Dance Marathon. SPEC develops marketing campaigns for student events on Penn’s campus and helps to plan the logistics and marketing for Spring Fling: a multi-day festival event occurring across several venues. Dance Marathon is a club that partners with Children’s Hospital of PA for a fund raising event to support childhood cancer research. These two clubs have kept me pretty busy. In addition to these clubs, I plan to rush this semester and am excited to see what opportunities arise from being a part of Greek life.

I would say that the most challenging thing was getting used to how college professors grade. I was used to my high school teachers not really expecting a lot from their students and not really grading us to our full potential. At Penn, however, the professors really hold you to a higher standard and expect a lot from you. I was a tad frustrated at first for I felt I was giving my all, but my professors helped me realize the mistakes I was making and helped me grow as a student and as a learner overall.

You could definitely say that my world view is changing thanks to Penn. For example, there were many events that occurred on campus after Trump was elected (protests, cancelled classes, the creation of “safe spaces,” etc.) and it opened my eyes to how people react in different ways to unexpected events. Although something I’m not used to, I’m very glad to be on a campus where I am exposed to these types of reactions.

I would have to say that my favorite class was my Spanish class. The main reason was because my professor was incredible. I have never had a professor who exuded so much passion. I could tell he loved teaching and watching us learn, and he was incredibly helpful whenever I had questions. … I also enjoyed the class because of its size. It was an intimate class with only 12 students! This allowed me to participate in class regularly and get to know my fellow classmates on a personal level.”

Best of luck, Abigail, as you continue your studies, your service and your social engagement.  We are always delighted when students are so well matched!

Tagged: , ,