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  1. jlt646

    State College, PA

    Hey @othersamantha! There's a FB group for PSU housing that's actually pretty active, as well as a Free & For Sale group- both require PSU email validation to join, so they are populated only by students and community-members. Craigslist is also a really good option- it's used widely here, and is less sketchy than it can be in larger urban areas. Of course, use your best judgment, be careful, bring a friend to check places out (all the same apartment hunting tips as always apply), but lots of people post on CL looking to fill houses. Yes, it's true that some realtors and property managers will assist with roommate matching, but it's not usually about personality matching- mostly it's just about two people who need housing. Your mileage with that route may vary- if you have few needs when it comes to a living space, and require little of a potential housemate, it might work out well for you, but if you are particular about keeping the house clean, and hope that your roommate shares that trait, or some other similar kind of thing, use caution. Your department may know of students in the department or surrounding departments who are looking for housing, and could hook you up with contact information- that varies by department, for sure. Some are closer than others. Finally, the off-campus housing website through student affairs on the Penn State website has some listings- it's not great, but it's there, and worth looking through. Good luck!
  2. jlt646

    State College, PA

    @BelAir4 My 1br is beautiful, $950, allows pets, and includes all utilities. I'm in the Holmes-Foster neighborhood, southwest of campus. I walk to work/class every day, and I'm outside of downtown. I didn't find my apartment until May, also. It isn't in a complex, but rather is attached to a house! Craigslist was good to me. All this is to say, widen your search to outside of the big complexes, and YMMV with regard to what "walking distance" means. Good luck!
  3. jlt646

    State College, PA

    Hey! The soc department seems to be a little to the left compared to lots of other parts of the university and the rest of the town. My gal and I (both cis but super "queer looking," whatever that means) have had an okay time here- there are pockets of awful, but I don't hang with undergrads, I don't go to the bars (because they're full of undergrads), and I stay away from meetings of the Campus Republicans. The student health center is decent re: queer competency, and I have heard okay things about a few of the docs and their knowledge of hormones. Our insurance is good. I get more judgy looks from people for being heavily tattooed than for being a gay lady. It's a weird place. I'm happy to answer more specific questions if you have them- message me. (: Edit: @scarvesandcardigans Heck yeah to Webster's. Chumley's has Jeopardy every night, and it's usually fairly empty that early in the evening, which is nice. The bartenders are great. Also check out Uncle Eli's, cute art store that has a great stationery section. If you are outdoorsy, head to Millcreek Marsh. It's my fave place in town. Chronic Town has a great music selection, and a fun monthly drag show. I second @hippyscientist- avoid the Waffle Shop. I just don't get it. For a further discussion on that point, see this hilarious reddit thread that I started (it seems that grad students are largely united on this point, unless they also did undergrad here):
  4. @Pink Fuzzy Bunny It's due Tuesday at noon! Research is done, I just have to write the thing. I took a break today to make shortbread and go for a run, and I'm about to hunker down again.
  5. I've got one paper left and I'm so tired that I keep passing out in my house at weird hours. Almost there! We can do it!
  6. This was so many pages ago already, but omg- I feel this so hard. I got my first publication, yay, sure. It was a giant book review- about 4 pages single spaced. It was entirely unnecessary. Wanted to scoop my eyes out with spoons by the end.
  7. Hi everyone! I'm super late to this party- old poster, current doctoral student (thanks in part to folks here!). I came back to see if anyone in this particular group is applying to my program, and read a lot of posts about international ed interests. Quick plug- Penn State (#11 for Ed. Policy- 2016 US News) has a dual Ed. Policy/ Comparative International program, and it's amazing. I'm not doing it, my research interests are primarily US-based, but a large number of people in my program are. Folks don't tend to think about PSU for CIED, but the program gets a lot of research published, and the professors are extremely active. Also, the deadline is later than most- January 1st. Sorry if this isn't okay! Good luck to all of you. You're almost to the other side. (: And happy to answer any questions, if you have them.
  8. I am a US doctoral student, and my institution is in a rural area. I'm gay, and while my department is supportive, the election has brought out the worst in people in town (undergrads and locals, mostly). I am even more fearful now that Trump has won, and his VP actively believes in conversion therapy. This win is validation for large groups of people who believe my life to be worthless. It's terrifying. I don't know if the quality of the program (top 10 in my subfield) is worth the quality of life I may be facing over the next few years. Have any of you ever navigated the transfer process for reasons like this? I just got my first publication, my profs are great, and I love the department, but I feel scared and I don't know that my best work will be produced with this kind of anxiety. I'm not decided either way...just keeping my options open.
  9. Oh my gosh, that is the question I am asking myself constantly. I am keeping up now, but between courses, my assistantship, and taking on (whoops) two TA loads, and extracurricular committees...I'm definitely not doing dissertation research yet, or following up on sources, or managing my bibliography very well. Oof.
  10. That all sounds really amazing (excepting, of course, the potentially awk labmate situation)! I'm glad Penn State is treating you well, too. (: One of my profs has asked me to help her teach a course that I'm taking, in preparation of taking it over for her during Summer Session. I'm excited, because there aren't a ton of teaching opportunities in our department, but a little nervous, too- I've been in grad school for like five minutes! Eep! Have an incredible time at the presentation today!
  11. For those kinds of things it's usually appreciated if say a little bit about what you're researching, and thank the donor for providing the funds to enable you to continue your studies at the institution. If they're interested in your research, who knows? Maybe it could lead to further funding!
  12. My comps are after third semester. I have a focus, but it's not required at this point. That IS fast!!
  13. I am loving this particular conversation thread- tattoos and clackety keyboards are my jam! I have a PC in my office with an old clunky keyboard, and I LOVE it. On the other side, though, I think I might be the most tattooed person at Penn State. I haven't been stared at so much since high school, and that was for way different things. I haven't felt othered in this town yet for being visibly queer, but apparently lots of these folks have never seen big tattoos? Thankfully, my department is awesome and and the weird looks aren't coming from them, but still. This particular thing is an adjustment I wasn't expecting to have to go through.
  14. Orientations are finally over! @Pink Fuzzy Bunny, ours were like yours- so much food! Endless food and coffee! Very little veg, but enough coffee, so I think I might be okay in the office. Also got to speak with my advisor and a bunch of other faculty members, and I'm feeling great about my program. And I actually got into my office, which has a window! I'm psyched to start putting plants in it. And investigating the PSU bug museum. It's happening!
  15. Yeah, that part I get, and I agree. I guess my field (education) colors my view of these videos and most other orientation events- I appreciate seeing what the undergrads are seeing because I will be working closely with them and other young folks. I want to be aware of the language that the governing institution is using, and use it alongside the language I am familiar with. That way, if/when this comes up in advising, I can be sure of what the policies are (and communicate them effectively!). And, @pterosaur, those robots are adorable! The army is slightly unnerving, but they really are cute.
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