Campus Life

University recognizes second-year students with a week of activities

Credit: Penn StateCreative Commons

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Second Year Appreciation Week, Oct. 11-15, is a week of events celebrating current second-year students.

The University recognizes the unique and challenging first year for students who started with Penn State during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. Since many second-year students are on campus for the first time this semester, the University wanted to bring them together for some experiences they may have missed out on during their first year.

“Many of these students had to navigate so many challenges during their first year at Penn State,” said Barry Bram, senior director for Student Engagement Programs in Penn State Student Affairs. “We wanted to recognize that, but also celebrate the hard work of these students and provide them with a further sense of connection to the University and the Penn State community. These events are designed to help students engage and thrive as they continue in their Penn State journey.”

More than 50 events are happening at campuses throughout the commonwealth this week, and many of the events are focused on helping students get involved, navigate campus, and connect with other second-year students. Students can view all the events on the Second Year Appreciation Week website or through the Penn State Go app.

At University Park, students can expect a few exclusive giveaways throughout the week, such as laptop stickers, donuts and fountain drinks in the HUB-Robeson Center. On Friday, two signature events will end the week, the Old Main Bell Tower Tours and a 2024 class photo on Old Main lawn.

Some of the events and giveaways require students to register for an event pass. Students can learn how to register on the Second Year Appreciation Week website.

Event highlights at University Park include:

Oct. 13

  • Free Donuts, 9 a.m. until all donuts are gone, front of the HUB-Robeson Center (event pass required).
  • Search Bar Open House, noon to 2 p.m., Sidewater Commons W102 Pattee Library.
  • Arts Meetup at the HUB, 12:30 to 1:30 p.m., HUB Gallery and Art Alley.
  • Build Your Own Study Kit with Health and Human Development, 1 to 5 p.m., 4 Henderson Building.
  • Student Smarter Workshop, 2 to 4 p.m., 220A Boucke Building.

Oct. 14

  • Smeal Second Years: Back to Business, noon to 3:15 p.m., Business Building meadow.
  • Build Your Resilience, 1 to 2 p.m., 325 HUB-Robeson Center.
  • Throwback Thursday with Health and Human Development, 2 to 3 p.m., 20 Henderson Building.
  • Maximize  PS"YOU": Planning for Research, Study Abroad, Internships with Earth and Mineral Sciences, 6 to 7 p.m., 22 Deike Building.

Oct. 15

  • Free Fountain Drink at the HUB, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., HUB Eateries.
  • Old Main Bell Tower Tours, 1 to 4 p.m., Old Main.
  • Class of 2024 Photo, 4 to 5 p.m., Old Main lawn (event pass required).

Second Year Appreciation Week is hosted by Penn State Student Affairs in collaboration with colleges and campuses. The full list of events and giveaways is available on the event website and in the Penn State Go app.

Second Year Appreciation Week is part of a larger effort to assist students who started in fall 2020 and spring 2021 with the transition to a full on-campus experience for their second year and to minimize the impact of the pandemic on these students’ educational journey. The First to Second Year Task Force announced grants for colleges, campuses and other units to offer programs and services to these students in July.

More than 40 programs and services across the commonwealth that focus on second-year students were funded through the grant. These events will be happening throughout the fall 2021 and spring 2022 semesters. Some of the programs that were funded at University Park include:

  • Music Education Colloquium, School of Music.
  • Second Year Art Adventures, HUB Galleries.
  • Library Welcome Programs, University Libraries.
  • Second Year Chemistry Learning Community Program, Department of Chemistry.
  • Health and Human Development Second Year Retreat, Health and Human Development Center for Student Advising and Engagement.
  • Second Year Student and Family Brunch, Penn State Parents Program.
  • Sophomore Hershey Park Trip, Penn State Alumni Association.
Last Updated October 18, 2021