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I’m not one for nostalgia. I don’t care about your grand thoughts on life, friends, graduating, etc., so I’m not going to subject you to mine. And really, what earth-shattering conclusions can you reach by the time you’re 21?

So rather than reminiscing, I thought I’d just share a bunch of mini life lessons from my past four years. Because mini things are better. And they take themselves less seriously. Think about it: miniature horses, mini waffles, mini candy canes — all better and less pretentious than their normal-sized counterparts.

Things I’ve learned from…

ECON 001, 002, 101, 102, 103, 242, 252, 262: How to maximize a utility function subject to a budget constraint. Tuition. Well. Spent.

Food trucks: Eat large Hemo’s sandwiches as often as possible.

Doing On Campus Recruiting: I went to my first and last info session in a small classroom in Huntsman Hall. It was awkward when everyone chortled in unison at the presenter’s bad jokes. I drew a cartoon of that presenter. And then I got the hell out of there. So what I learned: If you know financial services and analytical mind games aren’t your thing, then forget OCR. And don’t look back. Don’t be swayed by pissed-off-looking Whartonites marching down Locust Walk in business attire. It’ll be your biggest stress-saver ever.

Coming to the East Coast for the first time in August 2007 and wearing a wool sweater because I heard it was cold out here: Humidity sucks.

Only having wool sweaters to keep warm from December 2007 to February 2008: It is cold out here.

Writing for The Daily Pennsylvanian: How to use an uberdash. In my last interview, the company’s CEO said he could tell I was a good writer because I used an uberdash in my email to him. I’m sure there’s more I got out of writing/editing for a couple semesters but that’s the most tangible benefit that comes to mind.

Not getting an internship junior year: Don’t draw cartoons of info session presenters? I mean technically, I guess I didn’t learn anything, since I didn’t acquire whatever essential internship skills I should have. But I’m still pretty sure that internships don’t make or break your life, or even your career. Enjoy your summers while you still can — I had a great time. (Note the use of an uberdash).

Hearing “water” pronounced as “wooder”: Is daughter pronounced “dooter?” Is slaughter pronounced “slooter?” No. But people don’t take kindly to having their accent criticized.

Running the Philadelphia Marathon without training for it: Don’t run a marathon without training for it. Also, walk (or jog, bike, whatever) down the Schuylkill in the fall, past the museum. Look at the foliage on the opposite bank. It’s really beautiful. And the exercise is good for you.

Writing and editing for 34th Street: How to be snarky. And obnoxiously sarcastic with a tone that says, “I’m cooler than all you average Penn kids but I’m being subtle and ironic about it so that makes my condescending tone funny rather than insulting.”

BIOL 130: Professor Dan Janzen is the sh*t. He trapped beavers and sold their pelts to pay his way through college. What have you done?

Going to about one Penn football and basketball game a year: Either do something constructive about the lack of school spirit or forever stop bitching and moaning about it.

My freshman writing seminar: How to write a straw-man essay. I can’t tell you how many times in the past four years I’ve been assigned a paper and thought, “You know what would be perfect for this? A straw-man essay. Thank God I learned how to write those freshman year.”

Attempting to do two majors and a minor: Bad idea. Identify a professor you love. Then take another class with that professor. It will be way more enjoyable and rewarding than that requirement that triple counts for your double major and minor.

Hopefully some of these were helpful. I’d be satisfied if even one of them was helpful. Enjoy your time here. And thanks for reading.

Katherine Rea is a College senior from Saratoga, Calif. She will be working for a startup in the South Bay Area after graduation.

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