|Academic skills||Adjusting to college||Feeling left out||Feeling stressed out||Financial difficulties||Personal identification|
Adjusting to College
Now that you're a student at Penn State, how is college life different than you expected it to be? The items listed below address some common concerns of students who see differences between their expectations and what's happening in their lives at Penn State.
You can identify your adviser on eLion using Adviser Information. If there is no adviser listed for you, contact the advising center in your college or at your campus.
Many college students experience the same feelings. You may need to learn new strategies for studying in college. Start by reviewing Academic Skills.
Make a list of questions to ask you instructor and meet with him or her to discuss your concerns. Your adviser can help you generate some helpful questions to ask your instructors.
Sometimes these feeling can be alleviated by getting more involved in a variety of activities. If these feelings persist, however, you may want to meet with a counselor to discuss other ways to overcome feelings of unhappiness and lack of motivation. Counseling services are available at University Park and at other campuses.
The first step is to talk to your resident assistant (RA) to try to help you resolve the problems with your roommate and discuss other options. You can also check the following resources for suggestions about getting along with your roommate.
Penn State Residence Life: Roommates
Under certain circumstances, you may be able to change roommates/rooms during the semester. Contact the Housing Office at your campus for details.
One thing you can do is to learn more about the career opportunities that are available for any major so that you can educate your parents about job possibilities. You may want to use the resources at Career Services or any academic advising center to get this type of information. Your academic adviser might also be able to give you some suggestions about how to discuss this situation with your family.
If this situation with your family is causing you a great deal of emotional stress, you may want to meet with a counselor. Counseling services are available at University Park through Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) or the Multicultural Resource Center (MRC) and at other campuses.
Most majors are designed to be completed in four years. However, some students take longer because they enrich their educational experience by participating in internships and co-ops and/or study abroad, completing more than one major, adding one or more minors, and choosing to take extra courses.
Some students take longer than four years because they experience academic difficulties by not completing required courses (failing courses, dropping courses, withdrawing from a semester, etc.) or by scheduling inappropriate courses. These problems can be lessened by improving study skills and working carefully with an adviser to plan appropriate schedules.
Check Penn State's University Bulletin to see how many credits each major requires. You will need to take a minimum of 120 credits, but some majors require more. Meet with your adviser to discuss your plans and concerns.
Sometimes students are needed at home to help out with a family business, to baby-sit younger brothers and sisters, or to take care of a sick parent or other family member. If your family expects you to go home often for these or similar reasons, you may want to think about reducing your credit load for the semester. You should also let your adviser and your instructors know so they can help you make necessary adjustments. If you need to travel home often and/or for extended periods of time, you may want to think about transferring to a Penn State campus that is closer to home, at least for a semester or two.
If, on the other hand, your family would just like to have you home more often for social reasons, you may need to talk to them about your need to spend more time studying than you did in high school as well as wanting to spend most of your free time with your friends. You can still stay in touch with your family by calling or texting them on the phone, sending e-mail, instant messaging, or through social networking sites like Facebook and MySpace.
When students talk about courses that they think don't relate to their major, they usually mean General Education courses. There might not be any reason to take these courses if the purpose of a university education were just to train you for a job. But a university education is more than about preparing for a career. It's about helping you to learn more about yourself and others, to think critically, to solve problems, to prepare to become a knowledgeable citizen in a democracy, to help you learn about the wide range of educational opportunities at Penn State, to value the contributions of other cultures and societies, and to provide other information and experiences that will help you become a better-educated person.
Check out the websites below to learn more about Penn State's General Education program.
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