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On many walks back to my college house at night, I often look up at the moon, and ponder the beauty of its iridescence. The moon, hanging like a glowing orb from the star-sprinkled carpet of the night sky, is a reassuring, constant presence, even in its many phases. It is that one moment in each hectic day here when I gaze at the sky and contemplate something above the madness.
The sun is high in the sky, shining. The crisp, winter air grips your face and fingers. Locust Walk is a flurry of activity. Your favorite song is playing through your earphones. You suddenly spot a friend. You exchange greetings. “How are you?” Great, thank you. “How was your week?” More pleasantries ensue. Then, she drops the bomb:
With the adrenaline from the Super Bowl still running high and the thrills and spills of the Winter Olympics gracing my Facebook News Feed every day, I’ve watched and engaged with sports more in the last two weeks than during the entire fall semester.
As the clock inched towards midnight and the new year, I watched little snow flurries falling outside the window, while my friends lied comfortably in their beds fast asleep. I was left alone with my thoughts. I thought about how precious time has become. In 2017, graduation felt like it would never come. This year, graduation feels imminent. Three years feel like a vague, ungraspable shape, but two years — the mind can somehow comprehend its length. As a sophomore, by the end of 2019, I’ll be a senior; a few months after, a college graduate.
GROUP THINK is The Daily Pennsylvanian’s roundtable section, in which we throw a question at the columnists and see which answers stick. Read your favorite columnist, or read them all. If you would like to apply to be a columnist for the Spring semester, please fill out the columnist application here.
Buses roll down streets, blowing leaves and dust onto the sidewalks. Students hurry past, pulling their coats around themselves. A SEPTA train rumbles under the street, tracing its way through the city, announcing its destination: “Eastbound train to Frankford, making all stops.”
The foreign sounds of Arabic engulfed my ears as I attempted to make some sense out of it. The professor gently clarified, “This is not an Arabic class, but I want you all to know how a recitation sounds.” Slowly, a pattern of rhyme and rhythm started to materialize. Slowly, my ears became attuned to the rises and falls in the language; its soft intonations and sharp glottal stops.
“Everyone here is just too busy.” “The club recruitment process is overly competitive.” “Why is it so stressful?”
GROUP THINK is The Daily Pennsylvanian’s roundtable section, in which we throw a question at the columnists and see what answers stick. Read your favorite columnist, or read them all.
Rittenhouse Square on Sunday was balmy and alive. Families strolled through, children tore along the paved paths, students chatted and others sat quietly, flipping through books on the benches. In one corner, a white tent stood, bustling with activity.
GROUP THINK is The Daily Pennsylvanian’s round table section, where we throw a question at the columnists and see what answers stick. Read your favorite columnist, or read them all.
I still remember every friend who came to watch Club Singapore put on their biennial musical “Sing City” on March 26 this year. I remember every single person who happily purchased tickets from me, even though I was only going to be sitting in a small dark room at the back of the theater calling light transitions through a headset. I remember — with a tinge of embarrassment — my endearingly overzealous friends screaming my name whenever they saw the stage lights change. It was hilarious.
More often than not, opinion columns at The Daily Pennsylvanian involve an angsty columnist (i.e. me) jabbing furiously at the keyboard, on another godforsaken Saturday night, riddled with regrets of procrastination. He or she is fueled by some campus issue (“this week, students protested … ”), some policy (“the Penn administration … ”) or some other thing about Penn students (“Penn’s climate of pre-professionalism”).
How often do you mean what you say?
When I came to Penn last year, I decided to pick up Korean from scratch, enrolling in Korean 011: Elementary Korean. This semester, I had second thoughts, but ended up registering for Korean again. Something keeps me going back.
A few evenings ago, my group of friends walked from Wishbone, carrying boxes of takeout. Party music and chatter drifted from the houses along Walnut. Groups of students stroll past us, ready for the night out. The early autumn breeze picked up, and we wrapped our jackets around a little tighter.
Looking back on my first semester, I remember that it could not have started any better. My mother flew the 22 hours from Singapore with me to Philadelphia and we set up my room in New College House together. Penn’s campus looked majestic — walls dressed in a cloak of green, and aged arches caught in the golden rays of sunlight.