Navigating Mental Health at Penn

Penn is known for its infamous “Penn Face” where people pretend their life is perfect and that they have everything figured out on the outside and hide their imperfections on the inside. This gives the illusion that everyone knows what they’re doing except you, when in reality more people than you think feel the same way as you on the inside.


  1. Give priority to your basic needs. Sometimes work can get stressful, but it is still important to make sure you eat 2 full meals a day, get at least 7 hours of sleep, and drink plenty of water. These are all basic needs that should not be neglected. Remember: your health is also important.

  2. Make sure to take time to yourself to do things you enjoy. Whether it be watching your favorite TV Show, cooking with your friends, or having a spa day, it is important to do the activities you enjoy to keep your mental health in check. Students often underestimate the importance of mental health, and it is integral that we emphasize its benefits.

  3. Get outside the Penn bubble. Penn’s campus can often be associated with stress and anxiety as you remember all of the assignments, tests, and projects you need to complete. Sometimes it's good for your mental health to escape these feelings and take a breath of air by exploring Center City or going to Downton for different activities.

  4. Develop a support system. Make sure you devote some time to the people you care about whether it be your parents, siblings, cousins, or friends. It is important to not forget about the people who care about you and the people you care about. Talking to these people can help you feel more grounded.

Let’s implement these practices into our routines to improve mental health and counteract “Penn Face”!