1. Don’t wait until you’re graduating to appreciate the people and resources in college.
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At Penn, many of us have had that one friend who has either explicitly or implicitly expressed a romantic preference for Asians. At best, fetishization is an uncomfortable topic, and at worst, it’s an insidious case of racial stereotyping that has gone unchecked for years.
Safe space is a term with many meanings. But here on Penn’s campus, it’s often referred to as a forum for open dialogue and conversation free from intolerable discrimination or emotional harm. Topics of identity politics and social issues are common components of campus conversations labeled as safe spaces. Guidelines are created in order to encourage people to be more thoughtful before speaking. They are intended to hold people accountable for their words and actions.
In light of the recent college admissions scandals, the entire Penn community and nation at large have been on a frenzy to uncover the corruption and inequalities behind elite colleges. Various affluent institutions, students, and parents have been charged with conspiracy to commit racketeering and fraud. Everyone wants the best for their children, these parents included, but this should not be at the cost of the welfare of others. And while Penn was not named in the nationwide college admissions scandal, there has been a lot of debate on how the admissions office must re-evaluate the process.
After heavy weeks of academic work and commitments, spring break can be quite cathartic for most college students. Penn has the lowest amount of break days amongst the Ivy League, and many students like to use the week to their full advantage by traveling to exotic destinations. Some return home to spend times with their loved ones. Others stay on campus due to financial limitations and obligations. Regardless of how you spent your spring break, it is important to recognize how social stratification is represented by the drastic differences in how students have different experiences during breaks.
It’s common knowledge that Penn has produced some of the most notable leaders in various industries and fields. A statistic many hold onto is our production of more billionaires than any other university. Many students chose Penn in hopes of benefiting from this extensive alumni network and perhaps utilizing the university’s resources and title to build a legacy for themselves. But what most Penn students do not realize is that they are too fixated on an unrealistic dream, built on wealth and pre-professionalism, and fundamentally lack what it takes to one day be a notable Penn alumni.