I have never enjoyed making resumes. They focus only on the big moments — the kind of stuff that makes for a LinkedIn post. I don’t want to waste my last words for The Daily Pennsylvanian telling you about the big moments in my last four years here. Honestly, it would be boring, a waste of both of our time, and not at all what has mattered most to me here. I’m also going to say something sacrilegious at this school — the little things are what define your Penn experience, not your resume.
In my time at the DP, I learned a lot about the little things. I was never an editor or even a deputy editor over the last four years. This was an insecurity of mine in writing this piece — that my words mean less because they are not supported by a leadership role and distinguished title. Two years ago, I wanted to be a deputy editor for the opinion section, but it didn’t work out. Now, I forgot that even happened.
I joined the opinion section during my second semester at Penn — spring 2020. The timeline speaks for itself, and during my first two semesters on the staff, I was completely isolated. I also spent these two semesters at home, spiraling about the social awkwardness that would ensue when I returned to campus. My own head was filled with ideas about all the close bonds everyone else had, that Penn was a necessary evil and I had to grin and bear it. From spring 2021 to the fall, little moments restored my faith in meeting new people.
The opinion section held meetings every Sunday. First off, Sunday scaries are real. By 5 p.m. every week, I was sitting on Zoom or in the DP office in peak anxiety about the readings I still had to do, if I forgot to take my laundry out of the wash, and if everyone I knew was mad at me. Somehow I left these meetings more at ease than when I walked in. I don’t think that he even realized he did it, but the editor that first semester back, Alfredo, connected people at a time when we needed it most.
One Sunday in 2021, our meeting was held on Zoom. The Brady Bunch style squares of faces on my computer screen were a reminder that in my third year at Penn, I still felt like I had connected with very few people. I was meeting with an organization I had been involved with for over a year, yet the faces of those around me were still that of strangers. The COVID-19 pandemic was surely to blame, but that did not make the reality any less upsetting. I sat on my bed for the meeting, with my postered bedroom wall as the background. "Is that Hermione Granger on your wall?" That is all Alfredo said, but from then on I went into the meetings, eventually in person, knowing that maybe everyone was not as intimidating as I thought. A few words and a small moment completely changed my outlook and time at the DP.
My time at the DP characterizes my experience at Penn as a whole. I may not have been the most active member of this campus, other than some things here and there. When I reflect, this is not something I would change. What holds the most weight to me are small memories: the time my friends and I sprinted to Allegro’s to buy water jugs during the Delaware River latex spill, the nights we Shazamed every song at Quizzo (sorry), or the war we waged against the flies in our house.
It is easy to get caught up in the big things — that the purpose of Penn is to land yourself the prestigious finance job or the top-14 grad school acceptance. Tell me something not reflected on your resume because to me, that is what should define your days at Penn.
ISABELLA GLASSMAN is a College senior studying philosophy, politics, and economics and Italian studies from Suffern, N.Y. Her email is firstname.lastname@example.org.