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Savor your club meetings now, because as a graduate student those days might be over.

Graduate students simply aren't as involved on campus as most undergraduates, according to recent studies conducted by the Indiana University Center for Postsecondary Research.

And, the study says, the story only gets worse as they get older.

As students enter graduate programs in their 30s or 40s, they tend to be occupied with other responsibilities.

"Over the age of 27, students are more likely to be working or have a family, or both. By the time you reach that age, you've already created a life outside of school, so you've had time to create communities," said Anita Mastroieni, Director of the Graduate Student Center.

But even for younger graduate students, it's not about activity apathy.

Mastroieni said that many of the activities offered by the student groups on campus are geared towards graduate students with families, which often does not appeal to younger graduate students.

Other students do not have the time to make a lasting connection with their campuses.

Master's programs, for instance, only last one or two years - sometimes not enough time for students to get thoroughly involved in school activities.

For others, involvement as an undergraduate plays a part in how involved they are as a graduate student.

"Few students participate in extracurriculars because they are not very invested in the Penn community," said Francesca de la Torre, a recent graduate of the Master's program in the Graduate School of Education.

"I think I have not fallen into that [trap] because I was here as an undergraduate as well and used to participate in a lot of activities," she added.

Amy Bastianelli, a first year graduate student in the School of Social Policy and Practice, commutes to campus twice a week while working in a field placement the rest of the time.

"We're more encouraged to do community advocacy-type activities, which I do take part in," said Bastianelli. "But I don't do activities at Penn because I'm hardly here," she added.

Yet, there are always those students who like to remain active on campus and make an effort to do so while balancing the hectic life of a graduate student.

Andrew Remick, a graduate student in the School of Design, is one example.

"Extracurriculars provide outlets that allow students to be involved in or advocate for issues that are important to them and participate in activities that they enjoy," said Remick.

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