How To Make It Your Semester At Penn State | Blog | Way of life


Hannah Wood (Freshman-Undergraduate Studies Division), left, Julia DeFabio (Freshman-French and Francophone Studies), front, and Kylie Rupp (Freshman-Undergraduate Studies Division), behind, study outside Old Main in University Park, Pennsylvania. Tuesday, March 15, 2022.

Now that the sylly week is over, it’s time to start balancing classes, clubs, a social life, and maybe even a job.

Coming from someone who is a senior, I can help get you on the right track and give you my thoughts on how to pass this semester – after all, I’ve had four years of practice.

Everyone has their own college life, so don’t think you have to follow this advice. But, if you’re having a tough start to the semester, stick around to see what resonates with you.

Buy a diary

I’m sure most students have an agenda, but do you know how to use it?

Yes, write down your due dates for homework and exams, but I recommend buying a planner that has a day-to-day agenda with an hourly schedule.

It has really helped me to plan my days because I know exactly when I want to wake up, when I have to have my breakfast or my meals for the day and what task I have to work on first.

I also know when I have to go to work, what time I hang out with my friends, and when I have to study. It’s a good visual reminder.

One thing that can be tricky is working on several large assignments at once, so having the schedule planner can help you break down the work into designated hours to help you stay on track.

Join a club or activity

If you attended this year’s Commitment Fair and signed up for a club, you may be settling in, meeting new people, and learning your position.

Please try to stick to it. Penn State offers many different organizations for all interests, and they can benefit you as a person and your passions.

Clubs also help you branch out and learn more about yourself and your abilities. This is essential after graduation because you can use these skills for your career or your life in general.

I also recommend trying to make as many friends as possible through club meetings and activities. I made most of my friends through THON and The Daily Collegian, so it’s worth it.

Engagement Fair 2022

Students gather on the lawn of the HUB-Robeson Center for the Engagement Fair in University Park, Pa., Wednesday, August 24, 2022.

Take time for a social life

Trying to balance a social life while in college can be quite difficult.

There have been too many times when I have been somewhere with my friends and realized that I had an assignment due at 11:59 that night. It happens.

I think it’s important to try to find a group of people that you will resonate with during your studies, as it will make you enjoy your time here and make it harder to want to go back home.

It took me a while to find my group of people, but that only happened because I forced myself to interact with people at club meetings, in my classes, and once I had 21, in downtown bars.

It’s a great school, and there’s a lot going on here every day, so do yourself a favor and try to make at least one friend this semester. You’ll feel so much better if you just do the damn thing.

Take a Mental Health Day

I can’t tell you how crucial taking a day off during college is.

I like to use Sunday as my personal day during the week. I like to sleep in, do laundry, or just be lazy.

Some days you might have a nervous breakdown and want to throw your laptop across the room because you just can’t handle another duty.

Head to a cafe or Playa Bowls for a treat. I will always preach healing you because you know yourself better than anyone.

Just hitting the gym or walking around campus to exercise is a good way to get your body moving.

Go to a football match or sporting event

If you’ve never been to a Penn State football game or any other Penn State sporting event, you really need this.

Even if you weren’t able to get season football tickets, try to buy at least one of the home game tickets to experience the student section. It is a life changing experience.

Also, try going to a soccer game or girls’ volleyball game this semester. They are super fun and the energy of the student section makes the event really fun.

Ultimately, have as much fun as possible this semester, seriously. You only get so much time here, so make it worth living.


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