So this is my last column for The Daily Pennsylvanian - unless my editor talks me into writing one for finals week, but I wouldn't hold my breath if I were you.
Since this will be my last glorious chance to bestow my sagacity and insight upon you, my public, I have scribbled down some advice that some of you will hopefully take to heart during your time here at dear old Pennsylvania. For the sake of banality, I have arranged them into Dos and Don'ts.
Do: Skip class when it's worth it. St. Patrick's Day is a national holiday as far as I'm concerned, and while we're at it, so is Hey Day if you're a junior. You're only in college for four years (well, most of you), so live a little - you can always grab notes from a nerdy workaholic who plans to start living sometime after his pension kicks in.
Don't: Skip class when it isn't worth it. Raining outside? A little cold? Kinda hungover? Go to class, you lazy bastard.
Do: Something. Mentor a kid, play rugby, start a club or just get involved in something. College should be much more than just studying and drinking - even though both are excellent ways to spend a Monday morning. My closest friends here are my teammates and frat brothers, whom I would have never met outside these groups.
Don't: Do just anything. The Penn Democrats don't need another faceless name on their listserv. Some of the performance arts groups here are great, but a lot aren't: Don't end up in Penn's Premier All-Male Scientologist A Cappella Group, the Harmonious Hubbards. Especially if that means becoming a Scientologist.
Do: Make jokes at the expense of Scientology. It's so easy!
Don't: Wait until second semester senior year to knock out those requirements. It sucks to take a language class four days a week while all your friends are busy sunbathing and drinking. Trust me.
Do: Explore Philly. This city is amazing. You cannot disparage Philadelphia - or incessantly compare it unfavorably to New York - if you have never ventured west of 40th, north of Vine or south of South. Philadelphia is more than cheesesteaks, rowdy sport fans and Old City.
Don't: Let this school get to you. Yes, we have a lot of work to do. No, I don't want to listen to you complain about how many exams and papers you have. Yes, we're pretty smart. No, this does not grant you license to be a pretentious snob, not even to the Drexel students.
Do: Embrace Penn's traditions. When I first arrived here, I thought all of this was a little silly. Penn students were wasting perfectly good bread and yelling for no reason before an Econ exam. There was a distressing dearth of rational action from a school that was founded to teach pragmatic studies like business and political science.
And our fight song was even worse! To a deaf man, the Quakers are clearly a bunch of Nazis. Every time I went to a game or saw Mask and Wig, I would silently apologize to any Jews in the room.
But now, as I approach graduation, these seemingly absurd rituals have worked their infatuating magic on me. Traditions are what bind this year with yesteryear and keep us united as one University. So go to the Homecoming Game, buy the Hey Day shirt and bite someone's hat while getting all sorts of junk thrown on you. (And hug your attackers!) You'll be glad you did.
Don't: Call every exam a midterm. There can only be one middle of a term, thus you cannot have more than one midterm.
Even more inane are "midterms" on Hey Day. It's the last day of classes and therefore the furthest possible day from the middle of term.
And so I implore the youngsters reading to heed an old man's words.
Embrace Penn with both hands and take it for all it's worth. Because in a blink you'll be writing your last DP column, wishing you could do it all again.
Jim Saksa is a College senior from Toms River, N.J. His e-mail address is email@example.com. You, Sir, are an Idiot appears on Mondays.Comments powered by Disqus
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