Life Happens

We know life happens, things get in the way, we face challenges, but we want to help you overcome the challenges or bumps in the road. Here you will find some challenges that students may have experienced in the past with solutions. If you do not see the information you are seeking, call Sharon Rendine at 724-430-4101 for additional assistance. 

What if…

  • I don’t like my major?
    Are you questioning your choice of major? Don’t stress! Many students change their mind about their choice of study and being a college student gives you the ability to explore a wide range of fields. If you are early enough in your college career you will have some time to make this decision. As a first-year student it is great to explore by taking classes in different areas of study. However, if you are quickly approaching the end of your academic career, changing your major may not be the best decision. The best thing you can do in this situation is have a conversation with an academic adviser. Your adviser can help you to better determine what the best course of action would be, as well as help guide you through the process of changing a major. Steven Wilt, Career Services coordinator, is also an excellent person to consult. Steven can help you to explore different career options, whether you change your major or you need to stick with your current major. Either way, don’t stress. Have a conversation with an adviser or Steven to find out your options and get the best advice for your personal situation.
  • I’m struggling with a class?
    Seeing your academic adviser can be a great place to start if you are struggling with a class. We also recommend having a conversation with your professor. Each professor has office hours that are typically listed in the syllabus, or you can speak with them before/after class or even arrange another meeting time based on your schedules. Faculty members want to see you succeed in your classes and are here to help you accomplish those goals. Do not be afraid to ask for additional help. Students can also find more assistance in the Student Success Center, where they can schedule time with tutors or work with staff to address study skills and time management. Penn State does have policies that allow students to only drop a certain number of courses. Dropping courses can impact academic progress and financial aid, so please have conversations with your professor and academic adviser before dropping a course or before you stop attending a class.
  • I have an issue with my professor?
    Although professors have course a curriculum and grading procedures to follow, they do want to see students succeed in their course. If you disagree with a grade on an assignment(s), talk with the professor. He or she can explain your grade in more detail or help you improve for the next assignment. Are you unsure of how to have a conversation with your professor? Talk with your academic adviser about your concern. Advisers can help coach you on how to have the conversation. If the situation is not resolved after a conversation with your professor, seek assistance from your adviser or visit Academic Affairs to speak with Danielle Mitchell.
  • I have scheduled courses that don’t fit my other obligations?
    We understand that students’ lives are filled with more than just academics. You may have family members at home that you take care of, you may work part-time or full-time, or you may have a variety of other responsibilities outside of the campus. Sometimes, students can experience short-term conflicts between their academic responsibilities and those other responsibilities. If you experience a short-term conflict, talk with the professors in the affected classes. When possible, faculty members will work with students to submit assignments and make up classwork. If this conflict is more long-term or even permanent, we suggest you still talk with the faculty member first, but you may need to schedule a meeting with an academic adviser to see if add/drop of courses is still an option.
  • I am distracted at home and need somewhere to study?
    There can be a variety of distractions for college students and each student’s situation is unique. Penn State Fayette offers a lot of study space options. The library is a great location for students to have a quiet space. This facility offers computer stations and open study spaces, as well as several quiet study rooms on the lower level. In addition to the library, the Student Success Center can be used for a quiet study area and has a study room available for reservation. Need a larger space for a group study session? The library can be used or you can see Tina Reed in the Williams Building to reserve a classroom on campus. Students can also utilize the open computer lab in the Eberly Building Monday through Thursday 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sometimes, this struggle is not just about the distractions at home, but also about how you study or what is around you.  Visit the Student Success Center to work with someone on study skills, creating a learning environment, time-management skills, or even help with planning out how to complete a large assignment.
  • I don’t have enough time for class assignments/studying?
    Sometimes, students can feel overwhelmed and feel as though they do not have time to study or to get all of their classwork done. Take a moment to think about what is getting in the way, what is taking up your time? As always, academic advisers and the Student Success Center are the first place to go when you are feeling overwhelmed by classes and you need some help juggling it all. Advisers can help you prioritize, better manage your time, create a study plan, prepare you for a conversation with a professor, or even talk with you about options to drop a course if needed. Reach out for help when this happens. There can be consequences, such as lost financial aid or poor academic progress, for dropping classes, so don’t just do this on your own. There can be other solutions to help keep you on track.

More suggestions are coming so check back soon.