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Incoming Penn freshmen from left to right: Lance Yassay, Jennifer Tran, Tristan Peyton.

With the spring semester drawing to a close, incoming members of the Class of 2019 will soon be joining the Penn community. The Daily Pennsylvanian checked in with three of Penn's newest Quakers to find out what drew them to Penn and what they hope to experience when they arrive on campus.

Tristan Peyton

Incoming Engineering freshman Tristan Peyton, a football player from Fort Lauderdale, Fla., had always dreamed of being recruited to an Ivy League school. He credited this goal to Dominick Pierre, a running back at Dartmouth and one of his role models, who graduated from his high school four years previously. During the spring of his junior year, the prime season for football recruiting, Peyton was contacted by every single Ivy except for Penn.

But after a great football season during the fall of his senior year, in which he was named Player of the Year for his conference, Peyton was finally recruited by Penn, and ultimately decided to withdraw his early decision application to his original first choice school, another Ivy. When he visited Philadelphia in January, the city and the campus made an impression on him, and although the cold weather came as a shock, he committed to Penn during that trip.

Peyton described the feeling of knowing where he was going as "ecstatic." Penn’s top engineering program appealed to him academically, and as a Christian, he was drawn to Penn's football team — the only one in the Ivy League with its own chaplain.

“It was a dream come true,” Peyton said of his acceptance.

Lance Yassay

Incoming College freshman Lance Yassay, a native of Michigan, said that he fell in love with Penn long before sending in his application. Yassay, who ran track in high school and wants to study science, was attracted by the welcoming nature of Penn’s track program as well as the Biological Basis of Behavior department in the College of Arts and Sciences.

Yassay’s moment of triumph arrived when he received an email from Penn’s track coach promising to support his application — at that moment, Yassay said he realized his dream could become a reality. Since he was in his high school's library at the time, he had to contain his excitement. Sure enough, Yassay received his early decision acceptance to Penn in December.

Besides the appeal of Penn's track team and science program, Yassay is looking forward to leaving Michigan — the majority of his classmates choose to attend college within the state. “A place like Philly and a place like Penn — that’s a huge deal,” he said.

Jennifer Tran

Incoming Wharton freshman Jennifer Tran was primarily drawn to Penn by the reputation of the Wharton School. But Tran, a native of a small town called Regina in Saskatchewan, is also excited at the prospect of living in a large American city like Philadelphia. Her hometown is so remote that she was surprised when she was offered an alumni interview — she had no idea that any Penn alumni lived close to her.

Since Tran’s test scores were not as high as she would have liked, she was even more surprised when she received her early decision acceptance to Wharton. Since she hopes to pursue a career in finance, Tran believes that attending Penn will give her a real advantage. “I knew that Wharton would open up a lot of opportunities for me,” she said.

But as for next year, Tran is most excited to get to know her classmates. She said that she has already connected with the other students in her class via social media and is looking forward to meeting them in person. “Everyone is so cool,” she said.

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