It took a recent walk through campus for me to realize how much things can change in just a few years’ time.
At risk of sounding like an actual senior citizen — back in my day, Spruce Street across from the Quad had only one sidewalk. Locust Walk was partially blocked off due to construction revamping the ARCH building. The Singh Center for Nanotechnology barely existed.
College can fly by before you even have time to pause, take a breath and realize it’s over. So much can change: everything from the buildings on campus, to your major, to the people around you. For someone that generally dislikes change, it was already a big step for me to trade my cozy Southern hometown for a bustling Northeastern city.
But as my fourth year here wraps up, I have found that some of my most rewarding experiences at Penn have resulted from me leaving my comfort zone and trying something new.
This was how I found myself sitting in an information session for The Daily Pennsylvanian at 4015 Walnut Street one day freshman year. I had little journalistic and writing experience. Little did I know that day would spark what would become a second home, a lifestyle and some of the best friendships that I wouldn’t trade for the world.
Gaby and Will, you set an amazing precedent, and I was honored to succeed you. To my copy staff, thank you for letting me be your (sometimes) fearless leader and always having faith in me. To my co-editor, Jen Yu — where do I even begin? Words can’t even begin to describe what went down during our Red Room reign (alliteration!).
Aside from the DP, “trying new things” took me across the city, from Fairmount to Society Hill, as I fell in love with food. My countless restaurant visits have satisfied my stomach (but not necessarily my wallet), and it has allowed me to explore the city. Wherever I end up, Philly will always hold a special place in my heart.
So, something valuable I’ve learned is that as life changes, it’s ultimately up to you to make the most of your time here before it’s too late (RIP Don Memo’s, RIP DP Dough). Be that person that makes the plans and gets everybody on board instead of passively sitting back and hoping someone else will take on that responsibility. Hopefully, as in many of my experiences, good food will be involved. But I can promise whatever you end up doing, the memories will be unforgettable.
Thank you to everyone that has touched my life at Penn and positively affected my time here. But in particular, these have been my constants throughout the change; those that I can count on to carry me into the future.
To Lambda Nu Gamma (LNG): Remember those obnoxious people freshman year that would monopolize the lounge and missed a certain green couch so badly they immortalized it on a fling tank? Oh, right — that was us.
To Alpha Delta Pi: For the opportunity to make the friends I’m lucky enough to call sisters. You are all flawless diamonds.
To the “Cheesesteak” group text: This was the best tradition ever. Sarah, I hope that we can still howl together as packmates even if the day comes when we are no longer engaged on Facebook.
To Michele: Who knew we would end up here since the days of #DPDining? Thank you for being the best foodie friend I could ask for and for letting me be an honorary Jew/adopted Ozer. Next up: Austin!
To Jessica: Here’s your shoutout to commemorate all the Street shoutouts we planned but never submitted. Thanks for always listening to my stories and problems. May our Snapchat fire streak never end.
Finally, to my parents, who have always believed in me no matter what. It took me getting older to realize just how hard you worked and how much you sacrificed for me to be where I am today. You are my true role models, and I admire you deeply.
While a lot has changed, much still stays the same. Allow me to come full circle and close my undergraduate career with the very words that welcomed me: Hurrah, hurrah, Pennsylvania!
JENNY LU is a College senior from Chapel Hill, N.C., and a former copy editor and staff writer of the DP. Her email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.Comments powered by Disqus
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