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Quick question for the reader: What are you doing here?

Let me guess. Taking orgo for the second time? The third? Scratch that, I'll try again. You're planning on taking orgo in the fall, and are meticulously taking notes and sweating through summer orgo without actually being enrolled, all in preparation for when you actually do take the class during the regular year?

For one reason or another, you find yourself caught hanging around dear ol' Penn for the summer. To the pre-med -- get back to work! You're wasting valuable seconds that could be better spent making index cards of your index cards.

To the rest of you, inevitably trudging up that hill towards graduation, either here for another class, for an internship or job in the area, for some general schmoozing or for perhaps some other reason, welcome to summer session, a Penn tradition.

Ahh -- I notice that your eyebrows fall puzzlingly as if to ask: "Tradition, you say? Like Hey Day or toast or (lying about) activities that went on under the button?" Exactly.

I graduated in May. My time at Penn is up. Believe me, the term "tradition" takes on a much looser definition after you realizes that college is behind you. Suddenly, things like your semi-regular trips to New Delhi , Gimbel or Chats, or anything memorable that you and friends shared becomes tradition, things you hope Penn students will still be doing when you come back for your 10-year reunion.

Summer session is one of those things.

Perhaps you've noticed how Penn has been magically transformed into the small liberal arts school you almost went to. Even with fewer students, more people seem to meet -- repetitive and concordant schedules ensure that the few who remain will interact or at least acknowledge the existence of the other.

The green becomes the central hub of campus that it should be, fruit truck profits soar, and general good cheer takes over the campus.

And the nightlife -- nary a night goes by without a house party or quiet gathering somewhere near campus to socialize the late hours away. It's summer, and you certainly are not as stressed or overworked as during the regular school year, so enjoy it while you can.

And more likely than not, your workload is not as demanding, and more immediate than longterm, so no big projects are looming in the distance. Get them over with during the week, and take the sterotypical but oft-overlooked weekend college roadtrip to the sea, AC, NYC or DC. Do this repeatedly.

I can still recite the first and last names of most of the students in my class that summer. I can't even remember who was in any of my others during my other four years. Indeed a strong bond was formed that summer by ten of us suffering and experiencing together, which spawned a listserve and an oft-used social network for the next two years.

This is not to say to forget your work. When I spent my summer at Penn, I did my share of work and you should too. Just remember to enjoy the time as it inevitably slips by, and remember how good this summer should be.

If your summer isn't wonderful, your nose might need a little greasing to pull it out of the books, but it is well worth it. Trust me, the concept of a "free summer" just doesn't fly after you graduate college.

Besides, from an alumnus' standpoint, unless you are pre-med, grades really don't matter anyway (and what are you doing still reading this? Get back to work!). You never fully comprehend that until you taste the afterlife. However, memories do, and are all that remain of that fine summer. Spend more time building your memories and friendships this summer, and less on your transcript and resume (that internship can't be that important).

And you'll thank me when, like me, you're over that hill.

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