The tutors behind Varsity Tutors are not just here to teach—they’re sharing their college experiences as well. Brittnee is a Philadelphia tutor specializing in Spanish tutoring. She is currently a senior at Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania majoring in Spanish. See what she had to share about Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania:
Describe the campus setting and transportation options.
Brittnee: Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania is located in a very rural area in the tiny town of Shippensburg, Pennsylvania. The campus is extremely safe, as we are located nearly in the middle of nowhere. Never once have I felt unsafe walking on campus no matter the time of day. For transportation, there are buses that bring students to campus from certain apartment complexes. As there are both apartment complexes and single houses that are rented, everything is in close proximity, and campus is walkable from all of these places in fifteen minutes or less. Some students like to bring a bike for faster transportation, but the majority of students walk.
How available are the professors, academic advisers, and teaching assistants at Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania?
Brittnee: Professors are usually readily available—if not during their office hours, they are certainly available by appointment. This is true for academic advisers, as well. I spend a great deal of time with my academic adviser, and I feel completely comfortable walking into his office hours or asking him to meet me at a different time (or place other than his office) if my schedule does not fit his on that given day.
How would you describe the dorm life—rooms, dining options, location, socialization opportunities with other students?
Brittnee: When I lived in the dorms in 2012 and 2013 as a freshman and sophomore, the dorms were a great way to meet people since we were all in the same position of coming to college with no friends. There were activities that were planned for us in the common room of our building that also gave us a chance to meet people who lived on other floors. My dorm in particular was known as the sociable one because we were the ones who always kept our doors open as a way for people to pass by to say hello and introduce themselves. When we left the dorms with our new friends, there were four places we could dine on campus, two of which were dining halls, one of which was a café, and the other was the student union building. In every one of these places, we were provided with plenty of different options.
Which majors/programs are best represented and supported at Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania?
Brittnee: A well known major at Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania is education because of the fieldwork that has to be done to get the degree. My education friends have told me that they really enjoy the fieldwork and observations in classrooms because it gives them a real life experience right away. When I came to Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania, I decided to study Spanish, not only because of the love for the language that I have, but also because it is becoming difficult to get far in the professional business world if you do not have any knowledge of Spanish or a second language in general. In conjunction with my Spanish major, I also have minors in business and international studies, both of which are compatible with my Spanish. Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania was very supportive of my areas of study, as I did not declare these two minors until my junior year of college, which did not leave me much time to complete them. My adviser and some professors worked with me to make sure this was possible and that I would still be able to graduate on time. They were successful because I am on track to graduate in May, as scheduled.
How easy or difficult was it for you to meet people and make friends as a freshman? Does Greek life play a significant role in the campus social life?
Brittnee: I am not a part of Greek life, however, I am an athlete. I play tennis, and by starting as a freshman, this gave me a great opportunity to have a solid friend group right at the start of my college career. Not only did I have these girls, but I was also able to meet mutual friends through older girls on the team.
How helpful is the Career Center and other student support services?
Brittnee: The Career Center is helpful as far as I know. From my experience, they helped me shape my resume, and for this, I got several job offers. A few times throughout the year, there is a career fair where companies come to campus and are open to talking with students about future plans.
How are the various study areas such as libraries, the student union, and dorm lounges at Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania?
Brittnee: All three of these places are just perfect. I spend all of my time in the library and the student union, and I have never had a problem with too many people. We are a small enough school population-wise that not everybody is in the same spot at the same time. There are certainly rooms in the library and the student union for our use that are readily available to us.
Describe the surrounding town.
Brittnee: Shippensburg is a very small town. The only fun things to do are to go out to eat at one of the four restaurants we have, or to travel to the local Walmart and walk around. Students usually gather at someone’s house off-campus if they want to get together in a big group. Or if they want to spend money, students will meet up and go out to eat.
How big or small is the student body? Were you generally pleased or displeased with the typical class sizes?
Brittnee: We have about 8,000 undergraduate students at Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania. With that said, I am generally pleased with the class sizes. For my general education classes, they usually consisted of about 50 people. When it got down to my Spanish classes, my largest class was 15 people. This is perfect for me because the professor can really focus on each and every student in the class.
Describe one memorable experience with a professor and/or class. Perhaps one you loved the most or one you regret the most.
Brittnee: My most memorable academic experiences were usually with my foreign professors. A few years ago I had this professor from Spain, and she was a bundle of joy and always so full of energy. During our Spanish class, she would play music videos that related to our lectures for the day. She would get up in front of the class and jump around the room and pretend she was singing a concert by holding a makeshift microphone. I know this is not anything significant, but it was a great memory for me of how she could turn something simple into something fun and enjoyable while getting the point across and making people laugh.
Check out Brittnee’s tutoring profile.
The views expressed in this article do not necessarily represent the views of Varsity Tutors.