5 Winter Activities at PSU

Ah winter time, football season is over and it’s very cold. But no worries! Penn State offers many activities to keep students busy and happy throughout the chilly season. The good news is that these activities are very convenient so there’s no long travel necessary in the snow. Instead of being trapped in your dorm all day here are some few examples of what PSU students can do:

1. Ice-skating

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At Pengula Ice Arena, there is public skating available on the weekends. Times run from 1 to 3 p.m. with an additional session from 8 to 10 p.m. on some Saturdays. The cost is fairly cheap, $5.50, for students that bring their IDs. Rental skates cost an additional amount. Come bring your friends and skate to a variety of fun songs. And while you’re there, check out some hockey games!

2. Snowmen/Snowball Fights

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Penn State just experienced something that we won’t see in a long time: a snow day. Instead of staying in the dorms as requested, students like to celebrate the idea of cancelled classes by going around and making snowmen like their childhood. Some even like to have friendly snowball fights. Popular spots include the HUB Lawn and in front of Old Main. It’s a fun way to deal with snow instead of just walking threw it.

3. Men’s Volleyball

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The sad news is that women’s volleyball is done for the season, but men’s volleyball has just begun! Students can go to Rec Hall to support their Nittany Lions win against rival opponents. Come join the best volleyball student section, the wRECing Crew, and cheer with pom poms while dancing to Lets Go State!

4. Basketball Season!

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Take everyone from the volleyball games and go to the BJC to support the basketball team! There’s many fun opportunities for students, such as free food and merchandise along with the atmosphere of Penn State basketball. Sometimes a surprise appearance of the Nittany Lion shows up so you can cheer alongside him and have plenty of photo opportunities. Come sing the Alma Mater and support your team that represents blue and white!

5. Join Ski Club!

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Have you noticed that PSU is in a valley? That means we have a lot of mountains, and where there’s mountains, there’s skiing. Meet people with similar interests as you as you guys travel to places like Mt. Snow where you’ll have fun and meet a lot of people! There are weekly meetings located on campus to get to know everyone and plan for great adventures. Make the continuous snowfall fun with skiing on top of it.

With these ideas and more, students have plenty of opportunities to participate on campus during the harsh winters. It makes waiting for spring and warmth a little more fun. Participate on your own or make a couple of friends along the way! WE ARE trying to survive this winter together.

5 Ways to Get Ready for THON at PSU

THON is just around the corner at PSU! This is a student-run philanthropy consisting of a 46 hour dance marathon. May I mention that this is the largest student-run philanthropy in the world! Our goal is to raise money to help find a cure for childhood cancer; we THON for a cure and for the kids. At the BJC, thousands of PSU students participate in this fun and tiring couple days. Here are some ways to physically and mentally prepare for the best days of your life:

1. Fundraisers

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There are multiple fundraisers throughout the semester to participate in. Some include spaghetti dinners, going to places like Insomnia Cookies or Dunkin Donuts and contributing some of your purchase to THON. Some get creative and sells pies to throw at faces or host a 5k race. If you think there should be more fundraising you can always come up with your own!

2. Become a Dancer

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Since this is a dance marathon, we need certain participants to lead and encourage the crowd to continue moving. You are not allowed to sit during THON so it does get tiring, but these dancers will make you forget about this and make sure you’re having the time of your life. Months before THON, students sign up and explain why they want to become a dancer. Students get chosen and practice throughout the semester so they are ready for the big day.

3. Sign up for Entry Plan

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Since you’ll be at the BJC for 46 hours, it would be nice to get an ideal spot for that time. Before THON, a group of students from each club signs up to get to THON early and rush in when the doors open. This is an exciting start to the 46 hours and if you manage to get a good spot by the stage then you’ll be good to go. Last year Joe Jonas made a surprise appearance and lets the say the people who got to the front had a great time.

4. Purchase Merchandise

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There’s no such thing as having too much clothes. Everybody purchases their THON gear before the big weekend. THON stores are opened with the latest merchandise. Clothes are usually tank tops because it gets pretty hot at the BJC with the millions of people in there moving. Fanny packs are also popular so you don’t have to worry about your belongings. The colors are bright and fun making the atmosphere very live like and colorful.

5. Prepare the Night Before

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This is very important to get you mentally ready for this weekend. Definitely get a good sleep the night before, you’ll be up for 46 hours soon so you don’t want to be tired at the start. Make sure you’re eating healthy and just relaxing. It’s also important to eat a good meal before so you’re full of energy and ready to dance. Go out to eat with other friends participating in THON so you guys can prepare together.

With these tips, you’ll be ready to go the best weekend of your life. Dance and watch everyone around you having fun and be excited for the final four hours of THON. There they will present the total amount of money PSU raised to help the path to curing childhood cancer. This is a very happy and accomplished moment you will never forget. THON FTK.

5 Best Workout Classes at Penn State

At PSU, the majority of students attempt to stay in shape, whether it’s walking from class to class instead of taking the bus, or playing a sport. The recommended hours for working out is 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous activity per week. With that, there is also a recommendation of 2 days per week of muscle strength training. In the workout buildings, they provide multiple ways of getting your weekly exercise hours in plus they are really enjoyable to participate in.

1. Calorie Killer

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This is a 45 minute class of high interval training. Students will start with a quick warmup to get the blood pumping. Then the first interval (about 3 minutes) will consist of aerobic exercises such as jumping jacks, burpees, etc. leaving you sweating. After this interval is an interval of active recovery consisting of hand weights. Then they switch back to aerobic activities and the cycle continues two more times.

2. ABsoule Core

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This is a 20-30 minutes class that focuses on all the core muscles and back muscle. Loud music is played while an instructor helps you out to find the best ways to workout your core. Participants perform a variety of crunches (regular, reverse, side etc), planks (regular, side etc). At the end, back muscles exercises are performed after working out the abs. You will leave sore but proud.

3. Power Remix!

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This is a 45 minute class that mimics a “Zumba” like feel with dancing to the latest music. People come ready to have a good time moving their bodies with the intention of getting a great workout. This is a great atmosphere with smiles on everyones face as they dance and sweat together. Who knew dancing could be a good exercise!

4. Cycling

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This hour long class consists of stationary bikes participants ride on. Resistance can be changed on the bike so it feels like you’re riding on a flat road or a steep hill. Students usually pedal to the beat of the music the instructor plays. Sometimes the lights are turned off and colorful lights are around so it turns into a fun atmosphere. The workout is challenging but the people around you are cheering you on so you can all accomplish this workout together.

5. Barre Fitness

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This is an hour long class that focuses on resistance and tone training. Exercises incorporate light weights, barres, balls to target specific muscle groups. The goal is to increase heart rate with each exercise and when muscle fatigue occurs, stretching is immediately followed so the workout can continue. Also, people can also participate in their bare feet, which is always a fun little plus.

With these exercise classes, Penn State students will always have a variety of ways to exercise and get their weekly hours accomplished. Soon students will try out a lot of the classes provided or continue with their favorites. Their workouts will become a part of their regular schedule. They’ll leave happy and always come back wanting more.

 

5 Ways to Study for Anatomy (Bio 129) Exam 1 at Penn State University

Ah anatomy, the class where you see bones everywhere and cadavers up close. Exam one consists of pretty much every bone in the body, along with its correct position. When it comes to memorizing the entire skeleton, it can be tough. To make things easier here are some techniques to studying bones so the exam is a breeze when you take it.

1. 4th Floor Paterno Library

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This floor is the life sciences library. Here you can have access to actual bones. Instead of looking at pictures online, you can study hands on, feeling all the parts of the bone. Its good to know what the bones look like, because actual bones are used on the exam instead of just pictures. The exam will be like a practical. Make sure you go to the library days before the exam because everyone will be there right before it. It’s the weekend with the bones

2. Use the Entire Lab Time

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Labs are usually two hours, but some students leave beforehand. It’s important (especially when you’re behind) to stay as long as you can. The lab has access to all the bones you will see on the exam plus lab assistants that will help you. You also have an anatomy coloring book where you color in parts of the bones. In lab, you can compare your colorings to the actual bones and see how they connect.

3. Office Hours!

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If you stay the whole time but are still confused on certain parts of the bones, our lab assistants HIGHLY encourage going to office hours. They were once students in the class too so they know how to teach in the best way for you. Each assistant has there own little way of memorizing and the more time you go to office hours, the more you’ll gain those tricks and tips.

4. Draw Diagrams

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It gets hard to memorize all the bones in your head, so drawing them out really helps! It gives you a nice visual and you can picture it in your mind when taking the exam. Our lab assistants like to draw diagrams during lab and highly encourage students to copy them down. It also helps to write down wordplays to help you memorize. Ever need help knowing the parts in the Sphenoid bone? Just remember the Cowboy Story.

5. Amazon Prime

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Use that beautiful Amazon Prime deal Penn State gives to students and purchase a skeleton. I asked my Lab assistants and they both purchased a skull which helped them a lot for the exam. Most are just under $15 and health related majors probably will reuse that skull a lot for future studying. Just make sure to warn your roommate so they don’t walk in on you with a bunch of random bones.

With this variety of study methods, you’ll be prepared and ready to take that exam with ease. Soon, the bones in the body will always be on your mind making memorization a lot more easy. Anatomy will turn into your best friend rather than worst enemy (hopefully).

 

 

6 Ways to Deal with Stress for Finals Week at PSU

The whole school, including the Nittany Lion, knows that Finals Week is approaching fast, leaving PSU students in a huge ball of stress . Yet, there are many ways that students can de-stress just in time to ace their exams. Here are some examples to conquer this stressful week:

1. Destress Fest

The Pattee Library and Paterno Library provide fun and relaxing activities for students to participate and help them relax for upcoming finals. Activities include different puzzles and games, along with head massages, music, and even stress management workbooks. Did we mention that there is also free coffee and food?!

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2. Walk at The Arboretum

Penn State has beautiful gardens that students can visit, free of charge. You can get away from all the chaos and enjoy the beauty of nature, leaving calmed and relax. Go through the gardens with your friends or even go by yourself and have time to think. You can even bring your studying supplies there to study in a quiet environment.

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3. Treat Yourself to The Creamery

You’ve been studying a lot. You definitely deserve a treat. Forget about the horrors of the “Freshman 15” and stop by the Berkey Creamery for a delicious treat. The Creamery has well over 50 flavors of ice cream. Just get there on time because many students will have the same idea as you. Don’t forget your blue and white sprinkles!

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4. Exercise/Yoga

The IM Building and White Building provide multiple exercise classes for students to enjoy. They also have a variety of machines, including different weight machines, treadmills, ellipticals, etc. There is also a track, rock climbing wall, courts, ping pong tables, … basically any recreational activity you can think of. There is even a room in the IM building specific for relaxing. This room has games, puzzles, sand trays, etc. Yoga in particular is a great way to relieve stress. Both buildings provide Fitness Yoga, Hatha Yoga, and Vinyasa Yoga.

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5. Take Two Deep Breaths

Some professors at PSU tell their students to take a couple deep breaths before they tell them to begin the exam. Deep breaths calm the students down because stress really peaks when they know they are about to take an exam. Feeling relaxed will reduce rushing through the exam and minimize simple mistakes students might have made if they were stressed out. Keeping cool, calm, and collective will get you through any type of exam.

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6. Get Plenty of Sleep

During Finals Week, all dorms have 24/7 quiet hours so students have the opportunity to sleep without constant disruption from noisy neighbors. The ideal amount of sleep students should get is between 7-9 hours. A good amount of sleep increases memory and reduces stress. A key tip is to look at your notes right before bed, and you will be more likely to remember what you studied the next day. This method of studying and a good night’s sleep will prepare you for finals, leaving you with less stress and more smiles.

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With these techniques, finals week will seem like a breeze. And after Finals Week, you are even less stressed and can now enjoy a long break because you deserve it!

7 Ways to Ace a Psych 100 at Penn State

Even at the introduction level, psychology has a lot of information students need to understand in order to pass the class. This course consists of 3 exams and one final exam that covers over 20 lectures; that’s a lot of information to process! Luckily, there are helpful strategies to make sure you have a way to ace the class with no problem.

1. Go To Class

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You’re paying to go here so you might as well go to class. The majority of exam questions are based on the discussion in the lecture. Prior to class, students should skim the book on the lecture that will be discussed that day, along with some definitions of terms so they aren’t totally clueless during the lecture. Along with attending the lectures, students should actively participate in class, such as paying attention, answering clicker questions, and taking notes. The professor even creates an outline of each lecture to help students stay on track and have sufficient notes to study for the exam. He also hints at important topics that might be on the test and puts extra information in the color green meaning it won’t be on the test. He really knows how to help you out if you pay attention!

2. Explain the Concepts in Your Own Words

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Students should avoid memorizing what they wrote down word for word and instead think about the topics discussed in class in their own words. If you can teach yourself the topics (either speaking out loud or internally) without looking at the notes, it is more likely you will remember the information for the exam. If you’re ever bored or waiting for something, just start teaching yourself the difference between classical conditioning and operant conditioning to keep your mind busy. You will be learning and the time will fly by until you find something to do. Bonus: if you can relate the concepts to your own life, you’ll be able to remember it even more.

3. Create Your Own Exam Questions

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The professor creates a study guide for students to help with studying, but he highly suggests students to create their own question. This is because students often just look for the answers in the lecture notes and copy word for word in the study guide without actually thinking about the concept. Creating exam questions forces students to think of every possible question the professor could ask. This way of thinking will help students understand the concepts’ meaning and not just its definition.

4. Don’t Rely on Flashcards

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You probably know a person who carries stacks of flashcards everywhere they go, constantly flipping through cards trying to memorize concepts. Yet, previous research on Psych 100 exams have shown that students who used flashcards to study actually performed worse than students who didn’t use flashcards. Flashcards can help you memorize the definition of a topic but it doesn’t help you understand the meaning of the topic, let alone apply it to real-life situations. Exam questions will never ask for the definition of a word, but rather apply the concept in a real-life situation.

5. Connect Concepts Together

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This is a strategy to connect similar concepts together. For example, pretend you just learned that neurotransmitters get reabsorbed back into the pre-synaptic nerve in the process known as reuptake You know that serotonin is a neurotransmitter that affects mood, sleep, appetite, etc. Depression can cause a change in sleep, appetite, and mood so it has something to do with low levels of serotonin. Soon the concept SSRI makes sense because that stands for Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor, meaning reuptake will be blocked, so serotonin has more opportunities to connect to receptors on the postsynaptic cell to help with depression. I know, it’s a lot to think about, but that’s what your brain needs to do to make concepts make more sense.

6. Don’t Study All in One Night!

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Pulling an all-nighter is never the answer for studying for this or any exam. You’re supposed to study for at least 30 minutes several days prior to the exam. The professor suggests that students just skim the lecture notes for about five minutes after every lecture to keep the information fresh in their brain. Students who study longer don’t necessarily get higher grades. Higher grades usually go to students who are smarter in their study time, spreading it out over multiple days. An hour of studying each day for a week is a lot better than 7 hours of studying for one day.

7. Talk to Your Professor!

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If you’re still not understanding the information, go talk to your professor. They are just bored sitting in their room during office hours waiting for students to come and ask questions. The professor is more than happy to help you fully understand a concept by giving you multiple examples and strategies to help you remember the information. They do not want students to fail their class and will do what it takes to make sure you are ready to ace their exam.

With these strategies, students have no problem taking the psych exams and feel great after receiving their grade. A great strategy is to try these study methods together as this is a way to use concepts in a lot of different ways. This can further increase your memory and have a higher chance of acing the psych exams.

 

 

7 Ways Penn State Students Get to Class

Penn State is a beautiful campus, but it is enormous. This size is good for all the opportunities to meet people and go places, but it can be tiring to travel. Because of this, each student has their own preferences for transportation. Here are some travel options students here take in order to get to class on time:

1. Walking (Occasionally Running)

Students get their daily dose of exercise by walking from building to building, leaving them happy and healthy. Since many students don’t have a car on campus, there are a ton of people on the sidewalks. You’ll even notice the same people walking the same pathway you take every day, so you can form the occasional “nod and smile” friendships. Walking never disappointed anyone, well unless they overslept and have to sprint across campus in the harsh, Pennsylvania winter weather; yikes!

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2. The Blue Loop or White Loop

Penn State has a free bus system that transports students around campus in a continuous loop. They keep the buses clean and warm, especially during the winter season. Students can sit back and relax before they have to start studying again. Check out the CATA app to see which buses are active, their location, and even how many people are currently on the buses!

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3. Zagster Bikes

Forgot your bike at home? No worries, Penn State has Zagster Bikes, a rent-a-bike system. Students can buy a membership on the Zagster app for $25 annually or $3 an hour. When they’re done with the bike, students can lock them at convenient Zagster bike stations located all over campus. If you use the bike for less than an hour it’s free!

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4. Lion Chariot Man 

Vamos! Lion Chariot is a tour system that takes people all over campus via chariot. Their goal is to make sure people leave with a big smile. With their joyful atmosphere of music, good conversations, and high fives, they leave people in a great mood. During game days, you can see them all dressed up in blue and white, blasting Penn State-themed pep songs, and spreading cheer to all they pass by. No wonder Penn State’s nickname is Happy Valley.

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5. Unicycle 

Some students show their originality through their choice of transportation. It is definitely more entertaining than walking and can be stored easily. Maybe they are trying to reduce their carbon footprint; maybe they just want to show off their mad skills.

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6. Hoverboard

Tired of getting caught behind slow students walking to class. Just zip right past them on your Marty Mcfly inspired board. You’ll get to class on time and feel cool while getting there. It is also a great conversation starter when you bring in your hoverboard to class with curious eyes staring at it and occasional people attempting to try it out. Maybe your professor might even want to give it a spin.

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7. Car  

Students that have 29.5 approved credits have the opportunity to keep their car on campus. It is always nice to have your car with you, it’s like a little piece of home. Students can now casually drive past the crowd of freshmen walking to class; maybe they’ll be nice enough to offer a ride.

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With these options, students have many ways to get to class on time that best fit their preference. This campus is big, but these transportation choices make travel very easy. This results in more opportunities to learn and explore what Penn State has to offer. Now students don’t have any excuses to skip class because of a far destination.

 

10 Ways Freshmen Can Get Involved On Campus at Penn State University

A new campus can be intimidating at first to first-year students, especially a big one like Penn State; they might not know where to start. Here is a list of ways to get involved on campus to make it feel more like home:

1.  Be a Part of One of the Best Student Sections in College Football 

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Penn State students bleed blue and white with respect to their “Dear Old State.” Just this year, Beaver Stadium had a record crowd of 110,823 fans during the annual White-Out Game. Grab your blue and white pom-pom and sing “Sweet Caroline” like there’s no tomorrow.

2. Join a Club (or Two)

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There are over 900 clubs to join at Penn State! They can range from specific clubs involving your major to random interests like “Coffee Club” or “Quidditch.” Each semester, there is an Involvement Fair where students can walk around and see which clubs and organizations best fit their interests.  However, if you still can’t find a club, you can always create your own!

3.  Sign Up For an IM Sport

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Don’t have time for a varsity or club sport? Penn State offers a variety of intramural sports, such as 3v3 Basketball or lawn games like Cornhole or Bocce, that students can sign up for. This option is a lot more flexible with leagues lasting only about 4 weeks. IM sports are a great way to meet new people and have a blast, all while trying to claim victory.

4. Participate in THON

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Be a part of the largest student-run philanthropy in the world by dancing for 46 hours straight at the Bryce Jordan Center. THON helps support, emotionally and financially, families impacted by childhood cancer along with helping fund research. Why do we do this? We dance for a cure; we dance for the kids.

5. Go Greek

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Penn State has a total of 76 fraternity and sorority chapters. Once students have at least 14 credits and at least a 2.5 cumulative GPA, they can participate in Formal Recruitment, or “rush,” an 8-day process where potential new members can find a chapter that best matches them. Recruitment occurs in the spring semester.

6. Visit The Berkey Creamery 

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Penn State actually makes their own ice cream, sherbet, and cheese through the Department of Food Science in the College of Agricultural Sciences. Students enjoy all the flavors The Creamery has to offer, such as Death By Chocolate and Mint Nittany. The Creamery is located very close to East Halls where the majority of freshmen live. There is only one rule: Never mix flavors! The only person to have ever mixed flavors was President Bill Clinton.

7. Guard The Lion Shrine  

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During Penn State’s homecoming celebration, live music, free food, and activities are centered around the Nittany Lion Shrine for students to enjoy. As a tradition, ROTC students guard the shrine against rival universities trying to vandalize the lion’s beauty. Other schools just hate us because they ain’t us!

8. Take Workout Classes 

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Penn State’s IM building and White building offer free weekly workout classes students can participate in with just a swipe of their ID cards. Workout classes can range from relaxing yoga classes to “Ab”solute core classes. Working out becomes a fun activity to look forward to every week, sweating to music alongside encouraging friends.

9. Become a Lab Rat

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Thousands of studies are being conducted at Penn State every day. Studies require subjects to participant in all sorts of experiments, making the demand for volunteers very high. Some classes, such as Psych 100 (Introduction to Psychology), require a certain amount of research volunteering hours. Help these researchers out; many experiments only take 30 minutes to an hour of your time. Who knows, maybe you’ll find something new about yourself!

10. Get a Job 

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Let’s face it, college can be expensive. It’s always nice to have some money in your pocket, whether it’s paying for tuition or a midnight “pokey stick” run at Gumby’s Pizza. Penn State offers many job opportunities on campus where students can pick a job that is flexible with their class schedules. Wake up and work right in your common’s buffet or find another environment such as the library or The Creamery; the possibilities are endless!