Bachelor of Arts
“There are so many opportunities here.”
Watch Shameka Sawyer discuss the Penn LPS community and her transition to the Ivy League.
Bachelor of Arts
“Here, you are surrounded by excellence always.”
In this clip, David Carpenter discusses how the LPS BA helped him pursue his dream of becoming a writer, and how he fell in love with Philadelphia.
US Navy veteran, Bachelor of Arts
Why did you choose Penn? What was it about the school or the program that made it appealing to you?
"Coming to Penn was a very difficult decision for me. I applied and was accepted at four other schools, including Berkeley and UCLA. Penn has one of the most respected and envied communications programs in the US, and being a part of this program is very important to me and my future goals."
What’s your experience here been? Is it what you expected? Anything surprising? Anything you want to brag about?
"I transferred to Penn at the start of my third year, so a lot of the general education requirements or sector requirements transferred from my community college (American River College–Sacramento, CA). Because of the transfer credit, most of the courses I have taken here at Penn are in my major (Communications); however, the LPS program does not offer a lot of courses in communications so I mostly take day courses. I think the most surprising thing or the biggest difference was the class size. When I was at the community college everyone was fighting to get a seat in every class. Fighting to get into a class has not been an issue for me here, which has put my mind at ease and has kept me on track to graduate when I had planned."
What was the transition like for you—coming to Penn from community college, and from so far away?
"The first semester I was at Penn I was convinced I had made a mistake. I felt like a fraud, out of place, and that everyone knew it. The important thing though is that this feeling didn’t last. I think it was the unfamiliarity of the campus and academic routine that created this feeling for me. Moving across the country was something that I had wanted to do for a long time; however, I really didn’t have a reason before deciding to go to Penn. I think the goal of coming to Penn made the move a little less nerve-racking. Finally whenever I am feeling out of place, stressed or fatigued, I ask myself the question, why are you here? This usually gets me back on track."
What would you tell West Coasters about going to school on the East Coast?
"Take the chance. There are a lot of great opportunities, great people. I believe this is truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience, and for me at least, had I not taken it, I would always doubt myself later in life."
And also — if there’s anything you’d like to share as a vet coming to Penn? Or experience around going to college after being in the service?
"The GI Bill and Yellow Ribbon Program are the best programs ever! Because I wasn’t a stellar high school student I ended up having to go to community college first after leaving the Navy. However, that prepared me for the rigors of being a full-time student at Penn. I guess my biggest piece of advice for all community college students, vets and non-vets, is just because you have to start at a community college doesn’t mean your options or opportunities are limited to local programs."