“If I Only Knew”: Advice for New Penn State World Campus Students

Several of our students recently participated in a panel for Welcome Week 2020, discussing what they wish they had known when they started at Penn State World Campus. Read some excerpts below, and be sure to watch the full recorded panel when it is available to view January 6!

How do you get started in a new semester?

“I always go over the syllabus. I look at the syllabus of each and every one of my classes. And I particularly note when all of the major assignments are due, because the one thing I’ve found as very important as a student, and even more so as an online student, is pacing yourself throughout the semester. I go through and figure out where all the major assignments are — the tests, the quizzes — and I actually put those onto a calendar, so that it notifies me. I always know when there is something important coming up. And I always know when my major assignments are due, so that for me has become like my first week in a new semester ritual. Check out the syllabus because everything you need to know about that class is in the syllabus. Yes, every professor everywhere is clapping right now!” — Corey Wheeler, IST undergraduate student

What are some of the resources that you wish you knew about when you first started at Penn State World Campus?

“The Penn State Libraries have been huge for me. As a graduate student, [through the library] I can look up peer-reviewed journal articles online. We have access to tons of those things through the library system, and that has helped me specifically. And honestly, I think the other biggest resource that I didn’t know I had access to is Box. And I use that almost religiously. I store all my assignments in there. If I’m traveling and I won’t have access to Wi-Fi, I put them in a Box and make them available. I can do some readings wherever I’m at. And that has really saved me.” — Shonna Hemmis, community and economic development graduate student

Do you have time management strategies that you use to balance your work, family, and school?

“I have a very specific strategy that I use. I have kids and until eight o’clock at night, I’m on kid duty, and then I have to switch [to school] because I also work full time [during the day]. So I find it works for me to be a week ahead, because our all of our assignments are due on Sunday. On Saturday, I will start the next week’s stuff. By the time Sunday hits, I should have everything done and be on to the next assignments. I play like Friday is really my Sunday. And I find that gives me the time to adjust if I need more time. I can use that weekend, but I’m not behind every week because I am [usually] ahead.” — Rae Baker, IST undergraduate student