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Your Penn State Fall 2022 Freshman Syllabus

Welcome, freshmen.

By now, you have likely completed the syllabus day for all your classes. Maybe you feel more comfortable on campus. Maybe you’ve even felt at home since move-in day.

But, it’s understandable if you don’t.

Arriving at a big, tradition-rich college like Penn State can be intimidating. But, once you grasp the basics, Happy Valley will become your favorite place. So, we’re here to bring you the basics.

Here’s your one-stop guide to everything you need to know about Penn State… your Freshman Syllabus.

Campus Rules:

1. If you’re only going one or two stops, don’t get on the bus. It slows down an already unideal process and everyone will hate you. East Halls aren’t that far from Forum, anyway.

2. Yell “We Are” at tour groups.

3. In the winter, look where you’re walking on campus. Ice likes to hide and ice likes to strike. Many students have fallen, and it’s really embarrassing…like really embarrassing.

4. Duo Mobile will become one of the most used apps on your phone. Choose your preferred dual-factor authentication method wisely.

5. Don’t step on the university seal on the floor of the HUB. The seal has been known to wreak havoc on anyone bold enough to trod on it. Tempt it if you wish, but the curse is real, and it sucks.

6. Don’t accost the Willard Preacher. More often than not, you’ll probably disagree with him, but good ol’ Gary Cattell has been standing on campus longer than some academic buildings. If you take the time to have a conversation, he’s a hell of a lot nicer than some of the other preachers who come to campus.

7. Sometimes bears show up. Avoid them.

Course Readings:

OnwardState.com — Your go-to outlet for breaking news, commentary, and general tomfoolery focused on the Penn State experience.

@OnwardState on Twitter — See above.

@OnwardStSports on Twitter — See above…but sports.

@THONwardState on Twitter — See above…but THON.

adobe.psu.edu — Students get free access to Adobe’s suite of creative tools. Access usually costs hundreds of dollars, so it’s definitely worth it.

Student Readership Program — Penn State students also get free access to the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal. Use them at no cost while you can.

@THON on Twitter — The biggest updates about the world’s largest student-run philanthropic organization can be found here.

@coachjfranklin on Twitter — Penn State football head coach James Franklin is very active on Twitter. When he’s not informing the world of new recruits (#WeAre…Better), he can be found taking time 2 wish members of his FAMILY a happy b-day.

Important Dates:

Wednesday, August 24: The Fall Involvement Fair — Go and meet the leaders of hundreds of campus organizations and try things that you normally wouldn’t. You can always change your mind if you find it’s not for you.

Thursday, September 1: Penn State vs. Purdue — Penn State is a strong football school. Even during away games, campus is bustling with spirit. Find a place to watch the game with friends or make new ones in a shared space like the HUB’s TV or in a common room.

Friday, September 2: Onward State Application Due Date — We here at Onward State put out lots of good work, if we do say so ourselves. We have alumni at outlets like the Wall Street JournalThe Athletic, the NFL, and more for a reason. But most of all, Onward State is a community. Who wants to miss out on that?

Inclement Weather:

Don’t count on it. There are times when classes get canceled, but it doesn’t happen as often as you’d think. It’s going to snow, and you’re going to like it.

Campus Objectives:

By the time you complete your time at Penn State, hopefully you’ll have tried a litany of new things, made groups of new friends, seen the Nittany Lions win many a football game, and built a bank of new memories.

While it doesn’t have to begin during your freshman year, it absolutely can. Ingrain yourself in the community as best you can, and it will return the favor tenfold. These are YOUR four years. Go out and take them.

And if you see any news, email us a tip at [email protected].

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About the Author

Sam Fremin

Sam is a senior from Ashburn, Virginia, majoring in journalism and political science & minoring in German and creative writing. He is a Dallas Cowboys fan who relishes the misery of Eagles fans. All hate messages can be sent to [email protected] or @SamFremin on Twitter.

He may or may not read every single comment he gets.

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