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Your 2016 Syllabus Week Survival Guide

Hey there, freshmen. Welcome to the start of the best four years of your life.

Syllabus Week is dedicated to new surroundings, new faces, and of course, new classes. If you didn’t already know, the majority of your professors dedicate this week to easing into new material and introducing the class in general. This means most of us will have plenty of time on our hands…and what do many Penn Staters do with that extra time? Celebrate, of course!

Sylly Week is meant to be cherished. But with the abundant partying, drinking, and catching up with friends, it’s a little  hard not to get in over our heads. That’s why we compiled some of our best advice and tips for how to survive your 2016 Syllabus week:

Embrace the Warm Weather

State College is notorious for its brutal, unpredictable weather in the late fall and winter. However, with a sliver of summer remaining, it’s time to embrace the elusive, sunny State College outdoors! Get your dose of the beautiful weather before the town resembles a desolate tundra. Though Uber is helpful, you might want to save those dollars for the winter and buy yourself some extra Canyon Pizza instead.

Actually Go To Class 

Yeah, yeah, we know. Classes are a joke during Syllabus Week and you may not even get any homework whatsoever. Despite these preconceived notions, make a point to at least attend the first session of each class you have. Getting to know your professor and future classmates will give you some insight into how the rest of the semester will pan out, or if you truly need to drop or add any classes. Speaking of professors, look them up on RateMyProfessors to ensure they don’t take syllabus week seriously. Also, by attending class, you’ll rid yourself of some dreaded hangover-induced guilt and set up at least one good habit in your life.

Never Put Your Drink Down

This is a basic one, but it’s necessary. Though Happy Valley is generally a safe place, you should always be wary of your surroundings, especially if you’re drinking and around new people. You might want to BYOB if you’re going to a particularly sketchy place.

Drink Water

Another painfully obvious one, but it’s critical. If you’re drinking heavily for extended periods of time, break up each drink with a glass of water. Encourage your friends to chug some good ole H20 with you, to avoid a horrendous hangover on your way to your first 8 a.m. Doesn’t sound realistic for you? Make a point to drink an entire bottle right before bed. You’ll thank yourself later. Protip: Pedialyte isn’t just for babies.

Try Something Different Every Night

Penn State has so much to offer, and that includes nightlife. Look, frats seem like the college experience you’ve seen in all the movies, but there’s so much else out there. If you exclusively attend fraternity houses all week, it may put you off from the greek scene for the entire semester. If you can, alternate between frats, apartment and house parties, and the bars.

Don’t Skip Dorm Events

If you’re living in a dorm, your RA probably has some events or meetings planned for your floor. Be sure to attend at least the first few, even if you think they sound lame. It’s not about the event, it’s about meeting new people. Go meet your floormates — being friendly with the neighbors will make the freshman living experience that much better. Heck, you may even meet some friends to go out with later.

It’s OK To Stay In 

Seriously! Syllabus Week is a marathon, not a sprint. You may need a Netflix and Chill night in the middle of it all to properly rest. Not much of a drinker? No worries. There are plenty of other ways to enjoy your nights in Happy Valley. Keep an eye out for SPA’s future Late Night events in The HUB, which can include anything from exciting concerts to a relaxed movie night. Explore downtown State College, try a new restaurant, go play laser tag, or even enjoy some karaoke at Icy Snow.

So there you have it. Just some of our major tips and tricks to surviving your 2016 Syllabus week. Try to make it to class, stay healthy, and most importantly — have an absolute blast. Make some memories you can look back on and smile come midterm season.

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About the Author

Carolyn Popescu

Current senior studying Advertising and Visual Arts, Carolyn has a passion for entertainment and music. She also loves photography, film, graphic design, social media, and all things in between. She's the current Sony Music Marketing Representative for State College, so be sure to reach out to her with any local music scene questions, ideas, proposals, or if you just need someone to geek out about music with.

(Contact her through [email protected] or [email protected])


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