Advice For Incoming Penn State Freshman, From Someone Who Was Just In Your Shoes
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Advice For Incoming Penn State Freshman, From Someone Who Was Just In Your Shoes

Here are some things I wish I had known before going to college.

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Advice For Incoming Penn State Freshman, From Someone Who Was Just In Your Shoes
Lauren Smith

Being done with my freshman year and seeing all of the high school seniors who have committed to Penn State, I am so excited for them. It seems just like yesterday that I was in their shoes.

To those incoming freshman, here are some tips and advice for your first year... some things I wish I had known before coming to college:

1. Get the CATA app.

CATA is Penn State's bus service that is a lifesaver for all of those far classes and during the cold weather. But, it can get confusing. It took me a few weeks before I realized how CATA worked. But once I got the app, everything clicked, and I promise you that app will be your new best friend.

2. Going out will be rough first semester.

I know this isn't something you want to hear, but going to frats when you are a freshman and not in a sorority is really like a game of chance. One night you may get in, the next night maybe not, it really all depends. But I encourage you to just keep trying because, like I said, you never know what will happen, and you could end up having a really fun night.

3. Get the CANVAS app.

Canvas will run your life at school. It is where you will have all your classes listed, the syllabus for each, online quizzes, grades, homework, etc. You will spend a lot of time on and checking Canvas. So, with that said, I really advise you to get the app so you don't always have to keep logging in online. I didn't get the app until second semester, and it changed my life.

4. Go to the IM.

Starting in fall 2017, going to the intramural building (IM), which is the gym right next to East Halls, was free when you swipe your ID card. It used to cost extra just to go, but now the machines, facilities, and classes are free just with a swipe of your card! It was also recently renovated so it is really nice in there. I highly suggest going.

5. Rent your textbooks, but buy a iClicker.

ALWAYS rent your textbooks if you can. And ALWAYS rent them used. Textbooks cost a lot and the cheapest way to get them are to get them used and rent them. But the one thing you should definitely buy is a clicker. A clicker is a little remote that a lot of professors use for in-class participation. You will need it all four years of school, so you may as well buy it once rather than constantly pay for it each semester.

6. Buy gifts and shirts downtown.

Clothes in the HUB bookstore are expensive. Luckily, there are tons of stores downtown that sell all the clothes and gifts at a cheaper price. My all-time favorite store and go-to for anything I need is McLanahan's. It is right on College Ave, right across the street from Shortlidge Road, so it is super convenient. You will spend a lot of time and money there throughout the year, I promise.

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