Sara Schonfeld | Post-fling reflections

Sara, Struggling | Learning some lessons from a weekend of ignoring the classroom

· April 14, 2014, 5:24 pm   ·  Updated April 22, 2014, 7:25 pm

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T his p ast weekend, I flinged. I flang. I got flung.

Perhaps it’s just the English major in me that enjoys saying this and sort of ironically conjugating the word, then laughing pretentiously about the nature of the English language and how Chaucerian it is of us to manipulate words like this.

But the point is: I can cross another item off my unofficial Penn bucket list.

Reaching the final weeks of my senior year has made me feel like a wise old lady, so I’m reflecting on my college career and waxing maudlin.

The idea of having a Penn bucket list has made me stop to think, staring dramatically out of my high rise window onto the plastic bags and Fling debris blowing around in the wind.

I’ve come to realize: My favorite memories are like the ones I made this last weekend. The moments that I stopped overthinking things and just did crazy things.

I bought fried Oreos and wore ridiculous amounts of neon. I wore sunglasses at night and forgot my sweater at home and stopped for fried chicken. I even got yelled at by the cops.

(Alright, Penn Police gave me directions. But close enough.)

I made an impulse purchase on iTunes — “Turn Down for What” — and walked down Locust blasting it without shame. I went on late-night milkshake runs when all the stores were closed, rattling the doors and frowning at employees through the windows. I jaywalked .

I’ve spent a lot of my Penn career talking about things I want to do.

I made elaborate plans for a monument scavenger hunt through Center City. I wanted to start a writing exchange with my friends from my creative writing class. I’ve had elaborate plans for art museum visits and reunions with out-of-state friends.

Penn has been great about giving me (albeit unrealistic) expectations for my five-year plan. My classes have shown me how to budget every minute of my time and how to make up for those hours spent procrastinating on Tumblr.

I have color-coded schedules and lists of work I need to do. Career Services encouraged me to go a step further and make Excel spreadsheets. Teachers and advisors and parents have asked me to spell out my goals and expectations in this exact language.

The last time I remember being so strict was when I had to draft a contract for indentured servitude in the sixth grade when we were talking about the early colonies.

But this last week, in the middle of Fling, my roommates and I decided to go see a midnight showing of “Captain America: The Winter Soldier.” I had early class the next morning and had already seen the movie. My roommates were less enthused but had no excuse.

I bought the largest size popcorn and a red cherry Icee, because who cares about stains when you’re watching a Marvel movie.

We’ve been taught to live our lives as if future employers are watching. And maybe that’s true.

But sometimes you’ve got to do the cliched thing. As an English major, I think I’m allowed to say this: Carpe diem. Walk over the center of the compass. Eat one too many fried Oreos . Forget to do a homework assignment once in a while.

And don’t write down your bucket list. Don’t plan every minute. This is college, and it only happens once. (Hopefully.)

If there’s one thing that I’ve learned from four years at Penn and a few days getting flung, it’s that life is what happens when you’re busy making other plans.

As we hunker down for finals as a university, I know I’ll be color-coding my Excel spreadsheet, studying calendars and covering my binders in Post-it reminders. It’s unrealistic to think I can fling all day every day .

But every so often, I think it’s important to stop checking my Google calendar and living in line with that little progress bar.

Sometimes, you’ve just got to throw up your hands and turn up the music.

And, if someone tells you it’s too loud, just respond with some choice Lil Jon lyrics, cupping your hand over your ear: “Turn down for what?”

Sara Schonfeld is a College senior from Philadelphia studying English. Her email address is s.schonfeldthedp@gmail.com. Follow her @SaraSchon.

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