The Freshman Guide: Campus Recreation

This guide is part of The Underground’s Freshman Guide series. For more first year tips, be sure to check out our other guides.

Coming to college is a great experience. From new friends to new classes and even a new environment, there is so much to be exposed to. With five dining halls and various on campus eateries such as the HUB, small cafe’s and even downtown dining, you won’t go hungry at Penn State.


Now we’ve all heard rumors and stories about the dreaded “Freshman 15.” I’m here to tell you that it can be avoided – but only if you want it to! With three fitness facilities, various bike/running trails, pools, workout classes and more, there was a reason why Penn State was named as one of the healthiest colleges in the country.

Starting Fall 2017, fitness memberships are included with student tuition thanks to the new Student Initiated Fee.

With your fitness membership, you have access to:


In addition, you classes such as Zumba, Power Remix, Yoga and Bootcamp. Classes are offered at the three fitness facilities Monday-Friday with limited classes on the weekend. If you’re into serious gains, you can even get a personal trainer to help you reach those long-awaited fitness goals.

Watch out though: fitness facilities at Penn State tend to get crowded at peak hours. Be sure to check out the live gym attendance page, which tracks the number of people at the gym, and plan accordingly.

IM Sports

Another way to stay fit on campus is through intramural sports. IM sports are offered at Penn State throughout all semesters and give students the chance to play sports such as soccer, basketball, volleyball, and tennis, in a competitive environment without much commitment.

Students can form teams with friends or register as a “free agent” and compete in various leagues, including mens, womens, co-ed, fraternity, and residence hall. Some sports, such as golf and 5k races are single competition, and students can face off against each other for the win.

Students who compete in intramural sports not only have a chance to grab bragging rights, but IM sports winners also take home IM champion shirts and trophies.
And for those who love sports and want a pretty cool job on campus, IM sports is always looking for sports officials, with starting salaries at $9 per hour.

Club Sports

Still got it? Those who want a more competitive athletic environment can join one of the 75+ club sport teams that the university offers. Students involved in club sports “meet regularly for practices and competitions, and to conduct demonstrations, host seminars, coordinate social activities for members, and engage in community service activities.”
Some club teams even compete with other schools for regional and national tournaments. Sports range from basketball and soccer to archery, equestrian, cycling and many more.

While you’re spending the rest of the summer eating cheese balls and bingeing Netflix, be sure to follow Penn State Strength, Penn State Fitness, and Healthy Penn State on Twitter to stay up to date with all things health at Penn State. Heck, while you’re at it, follow us on twitter too.



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Adriana Lacy

Adriana Lacy is the editor in chief of The Underground. She's a senior double majoring in public relations and African American studies and thinks that she's pretty awesome. When she's not tweeting (@adriana_lacy), Adriana enjoys actually living right outside of Philly, writing, and drinking urban-framed, artisan crafted coffee. You can email her at