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Page history last edited by PBworks 14 years, 8 months ago

Jack Ruppert

February 20, 2006

English 15

Evaluation Paper


The Best Choice


As a high school student, one of the most frequently asked question is “where do you plan to go to college?” This type of question usually becomes frequently asked during the student’s sophomore year of high school, and then more and more until the decision is finally made around the end of the second semester senior year. I remember going to family get-togethers and having to answer this same question six or seven times in the matter of an hour. It was annoying indeed, but I realize now how important the decision was and I understand why everyone would persist with their questions. Penn State was always high on my list because I was pretty convinced that it was a great school, especially for first year college students. Now that I am here at Penn State, I am truly convinced that this is a highly suitable school for all first year students.


For one, Penn State has a beautiful campus, especially in the fall. The autumn colors up here in happy valley almost appear to be one of a kind because they are so vivid. There are gigantic old trees scattered all over campus that seem to hold years of tradition within their branches. The landscape, hardscape, and the buildings are well maintained. The campus is clean and it promotes a feeling of order and organization essential for a place of education. This clean environment and image definitely appeals to the incoming freshman.


Another important attribute of Penn State is the town that surrounds it.

Penn State University was founded in 1855 as an agricultural school. In the beginning, there was nothing but farmland. Slowly a small town has evolved around the college:



As you can see, it was the school first and then the town. Therefore, the small town of State College has been slowly developed over the years to fit the student’s needs and interests. This fact makes it nice for the students because virtually anything they need or want is close by -and in a small proximity-. If Penn State was built in a city such as Philadelphia, the case would be much different. The surroundings would be defined by the large population of the city and would not be ideal for the student attending the university.


In downtown State College, everything necessary is there. There are grocery stores, clothing stores, hardware stores, cell phone stores, ice cream shops, and even movie theaters. On top of this, the bus systems are running long hours and prove to be reliable, easy, and time efficient transportation. These are three attributes that make the freshman year go smooth and easy.


Penn State has a prestigious academic program that contains a wide variety of majors and course selection. Penn State has been able to devise curriculums that are both demanding yet manageable at the same time. Thus, the students are motivated to learn and get their work done. The rate of drop outs and transfer students are both low, which by itself proves the first year students are succeeding academically.


Technology is strategically incorporated into the curriculums in order to promote success, but at the same time making the students strive for excellence in academic endeavors. For example, many of the language courses offer an online complement to the course study. This gives an extra reference or tool to further guarantee understanding and comprehension. There are interactive power point presentations, listening exercises for pronunciation, and even online videos downloadable by mainstream technology, and all of it is available via the World Wide Web.


The last and maybe most remarkable characteristic of Penn State is the sense of community. Penn State has approximately 35,000 undergraduates. This can be an intimidating number and may seem like too many. However, once the student is on the campus, the feeling is surprisingly contradicting. This is because the Penn State community is tightly knit. The general attitude is energetic, jovial, friendly, and polite. You can definitely expect the person ahead of you to hold the door for you to get in from the cold. The majority of the population at Penn State love meeting new people and developing meaningful relationships, so it is very easy to make friends.


The football games are an ideal example of the strong community. They are held at Beaver Stadium, which is “the second-largest college football stadium in the country, Beaver Stadium is one of the most impressive structures in college football.” The level of energy inside Beaver Stadium is like nowhere else. The freshman is able to experience it during the first several months of his/her college career. The student body comes into Beaver like a family and Joe Paterno (JoPa) is the grandfather. Anyone who knows about JoPa would agree: “if there were a model for coaches to follow, it should be Paterno’s. While Paterno’s teams hadn’t won many games over the past few years, he continued, it was what the coach represented to his players and the University Park community that truly made him irreplaceable.”


I feel very lucky and even blessed because I’m here at Penn State. I have had an amazing experience so far and I am still only a freshman. My first year experience is something that anyone can have, as long as they are here in Happy Valley.



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Lavender, David. "No Place Like Home." Rivals.com. 21 Aug. 2005. 24 Feb. 2006 <http://www.rivals.com/content.asp?SID=1014&CID=444097>.


"Let's Go To The Videotape!" Double-A-Zone. 16 Feb. 2006. NCAA. 24 Feb. 2006 <http://www.doubleazone.com/football/>.


Cooney, Kevin. "Paterno still able to excite an audience." Philly Burbs. 29 Jan. 2005. 24 Feb. 2006 <http://www.phillyburbs.com/pb-dyn/news/243-01292005-440729.html>.


Spanier, Graham. "A Strong Community Makes the University a Better Place." Pennsylvania State University. 24 Feb. 2006 <http://transcoder.usablenet.com/tt/http://president.psu.edu/editorials/articles/strongcommunity2003.html>.

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