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Freshmen Experience

India2013India2013 Registered User Posts: 70 Junior Member
Could anyone give me more info on freshmen experience at Penn? I know that it is supposed to create a great sense of community for those involved and the participants lives in one of the high rises. Is it still possible to have the typical college experience living in high rises instead of the quad?

I know the quad is supposed to be very social and although I like that, I would like to keep my room like a quiet sanctuary where I can relax in (relative) peace and quiet. But I still want to be social.

Does anyone have any advice?
Post edited by India2013 on

Replies to: Freshmen Experience

  • burndtjamb2000burndtjamb2000 Registered User Posts: 52 Junior Member
    I would also appreciate any insight on doing freshman experience/living in a high rise as a freshman. Still debating where I should apply and the private bathrooms in Harrison appeal to me, but I don't want to miss out too much socially.
  • thej0kerthej0ker Registered User Posts: 79 Junior Member
    Live in the Quad, you'll be fine
  • kbolisetty23kbolisetty23 Registered User Posts: 455 Member
    ^I agree, especially if your priority is to be social.

    The thing with FreshEx is that it's in the high rises, which are just not particularly social in nature.
  • burndtjamb2000burndtjamb2000 Registered User Posts: 52 Junior Member
    Any insight on how being in Hill compares to being in the Quad? I'm attracted to Hill's Exploring Philadelphia residential program and like the idea of having a dining hall in the building. Is the atmosphere very different from the quad/are the rooms nicer in the quad? I know Hill doesn't have AC but I don't think that would be an issue for me.
  • porkpersonporkperson Registered User Posts: 2,071 Senior Member
    Some observations:

    1. From what I know about people in the FreshEx program, they are very close to each other and seem to really like it.
    2. The amount of social life is highly variable in the quad. It really depends on your luck with your hall. Some halls are super quiet while other always have people around. The quad DOES have air conditioning.
    3. Hill's dorms look like dungeons, but its supposed to be the closest of all of the college houses. This is because the lounges are integrated into the hallways and the small rooms force the students out of their rooms.

    So if you're looking for the best social life, I would rank your options like this.

    1. Hill
    2. Fresh Ex in Harrison
    ??? Quad is unpredictable
    999. Gregory. Don't go here.
  • trips22trips22 Registered User Posts: 28 New Member
    The freshman experience is LIVING in the quad, hands down. Also, having a quiet hall does not necessarily mean you won't be able to be sociable, considering the majority of freshman live there in a highly condensed environment.

    My rank:
    1. quad
    2. hill
    3. fresh ex
  • thej0kerthej0ker Registered User Posts: 79 Junior Member
    Live in the Quad, you'll be fine
  • laodiceanlaodicean Registered User Posts: 538 Member
    Hill is the closest of all the typical freshmen houses; the Quad is less predictable, but there are definitely some extremely social and close halls. I got unlucky with how unsocial my hall ended up, but because I lived in the Quad at all, proximity made it easy to make friends everywhere (and a lot of the time, the closer halls will 'adopt' you if you're friends with enough of the residents). You mentioned that one of your main concerns was having a quiet, sanctuary-like room; I had a hallmate that I saw exactly two times the entire year: the first day of school and once on the way to the bathroom. You can definitely make what you want out of living in the Quad, and a vast majority of people don't regret it. Most Hill residents would not trade their social experience and bonds of friendship for bigger rooms or the aesthetics and classic nature of the Quad, but you probably couldn't maintain a quiet room in Hill.

    That said, the FreshEx hall in Harrison is only truly close with the 50 or so kids that live in it. Out of the hundreds of people I met my freshman year, I don't think I met a single FreshEx kid. I don't recommend it simply because you will have other opportunities to live in a High Rise (not to mention that it's a nightmare to commute to class if you're an engineer), but only one realistic opportunity to live in Hill or the Quad (which, as trips22 said, IS the freshman experience).

    Do not live in Gregory if you plan on enjoying existence; Kings Court is only slightly better.
  • SeraphsMomSeraphsMom Registered User Posts: 29 New Member
    My daughter lived in Hill last year as a freshman and her dorm room was very quiet and most of her hallmates were able to study in their rooms just fine. There were, however, very close so I think that the fact that you have many friends living very close by can be a distraction. However, all of those issues are easily cured by a trip to the library for studying.
  • mandypandymandypandy Registered User Posts: 631 Member
    Do yourself a favor and put the quad first if you want the "freshman experience" here. Doing FreshEx is fine but there's no way you'll be that close with everybody. There are way more people than in a typical dorm and it's apartment style...so you can go days without seeing people on your floor. You have sophomore-senior year to live in a high-rise; def go with the quad your freshman year. You won't regret it!
  • futurepsych0808futurepsych0808 Registered User Posts: 14 New Member
    I am completing my housing application right now. I am interested in FreshEx, Hill and Gregory. I was looking at the previous posts and wondering why most people seem to hate Gregory. Any insights? Also, does anyone know which halls are not air-conditioned? I'm from FL and I kind of depend on it.
  • ovrseasmomovrseasmom Registered User Posts: 193 Junior Member
    Hill is not air conditioned.
  • coolweathercoolweather Registered User Posts: 5,744 Senior Member
    edited April 2014
    The hottest months in Philly are June-Sept.
    Do students really need air conditioner?
  • MadaboutxMadaboutx Registered User Posts: 1,592 Senior Member
    And winter ends in March but I'm glad I didn't put away the snow shovel, coat and boots this year.

    Typically, a kid can survive without AC but it can be pretty hot in September too. Plus, the AC is nice for people with allergies.
  • rainbowboywonderrainbowboywonder Registered User Posts: 70 Junior Member
    Many people don't enjoy living in the Quad, but they are afraid to admit it. Why do you think almost nobody wants to stay in the Quad for more than a year? For most people, it doesn't take as long as October to be tired of the constant noise and vomit. FreshEx, Kings Court, and Gregory are such a better way to go.
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