Advice For Prospective Penn Students

Number one, every student at Penn knows you are a prospective student. Not because you are gawking at all the buildings or you're with your parents (although these are good indicators). It's because you all walk around with a little white bag with a blue Penn crest on it. If you want to look like you fit in, ditch the bag. Number two, don't take pictures next to the Ben Franklin on a Bench on 37th street and locust walk. We giggle when you do so. Frat boys get drunk on the weekends and decide Mr. Franklin would make a great urinal. Number three, realize that (almost) everyone at Penn is extremely career driven. In Wharton and in Engineering it's expected that you will get a high-powered internship every summer. Less so, but barely, in the College. A Penn degree is a means, not an end. Number four, when you are trying to get to know a school, the tour and the admissions lecture should be just a start. You are going to commit four years of your life to one school or another; make sure the choice is the right choice for you. Have a long talk with someone who goes to the school. If you don't know anyone, ask your parents politely to scram and then find someone to tell you about their experience at Penn. I would suggest going to the dining hall or the library. If you're a preppy, pick someone wearing Ralph Lauren. If you're a hipster, find someone who looks like they belong in GQ. If you're an athlete, find someone wearing sweats. Aim to get this person (or group) to talk to you for at least an hour, but don't tell them that up front. This is possibly the best way to find out if a school's right for you: to talk to someone that's been there. Bullshit testimonials or blogs on an admissions website don't count. (I would be more than happy to show you around and talk to you, especially if you are friendly. This is a photo of me: If you are resourceful you can get in touch with me.) Number five, make sure you are nice to your parents. They are paying for (most of) you and while they may be embarrassing you in front of your peers it's probably only because they are freaking out about only being able to coddle you for another year. Your parents have invested a lot in you, be nice to them. Best of luck! Let me know if you pick Penn for next year.

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4 thoughts on “Advice For Prospective Penn Students

  1. Joe

    What do you think are the negatives of Penn? I always hear that the administration is impersonal, the frats are everywhere, and that the facilities are run-down. Right now, I’m debating between Penn-Wharton and Harvard and I’m wondering if I would be able to get the same opportunities at both campuses, granted I sought them out, so I guess it’s a matter of whether it’s easier to find them on one campus or the other.

  2. Nicole

    I will be doing an exchange year at Penn, starting september. Any particularly useful advice for this case? Would French be of any help? ;)

  3. Max

    UPenn is my dream school. From the second I set foot on campus, I knew that’s where I belonged, so I’m committing everything I can to get in. I’ve visited already, and am visiting again soon, and I’d love to talk to some students there. It’d be great to get in touch.


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