There are firemen in my kitchen right now. They’re here for the second time today and the fifth time this week. My roommates can’t seem to figure out how to make popcorn and our alarm is too sensitive so, at this point, the firemen know us by name. We offer them drinks and cookies, and they laugh at how “I Love Lucy” incompetent we are, but I’m sure that deep down they hate us with a burning passion, no pun intended. It’s the most awkward thing that’s happened to me in a while, and I’m a habitually awkward person.
Yet, for me, this semester has been one big lesson on discomfort and growing pains and feeling like I’m on the way out. Of alarms going off both literally and figuratively. I’m graduating in December and may not be around next semester, so I can tell you from personal experience that your last semester at Penn will be a crazy mix of emotions, of highs and lows and ups and downs. By the end, you won’t know what to do with yourself. But I learned a few things along the way that you might find helpful.
• If you already have a job, dye your hair a funny color. Once you start working, they won’t look kindly upon that. If you don’t have a job yet, do it anyway. After all, it’s just hair. It grows back.
• Obsess over your schedule. It’s only natural. Make sure it’s perfect; go through every page of Penn InTouch if that’s what you have to do to feel good about it.
• Sit in on a few of those classes, then freak out and create an entirely new schedule.
• Skip some classes, because you’re a second–semester senior and you can.
• Your Bursar will be cut off. I’m telling you this even though you already know it because, even so, nothing can prepare you for the email you’ll get saying that no further charges will be accepted. You’ll feel old as fuck. There’s always Penn Cash, but that’s a lame consolation. It feels like trading in a black Amex for a crappy debit card.
• Learn to love your classes, soak up all the knowledge you can and get excited about what you’re learning. This is your last chance to learn things that are pretty much unrelated to what you’re going to be doing for the rest of your life. Unless you’re going to graduate school, in which case you should take your classes seriously anyway.
• Go through your Facebook timeline September 2009 to present at least once. Just trust me. It’s equally comforting and sad, but you’ll be glad you did.
• You’ll get the overwhelming sense that you’re aging, but growing old and growing up are not one and the same. Always know the difference and nevergrow up. Keep your heart young, at the very least.
• Forget YOLO. YOSYO. You Only Senior Year Once. A wise SDT senior taught me that phrase and I’ve tried to take it to heart. Love it. Live it. Make a Facebook album titled it.
But when it’s all said and done, the last thing you’ll have to do is say goodbye, or try to. I guess that’s what this piece is an attempt to do, to say goodbye to campus and all that I’ve grown to love about it. Goodbye to my house, goodbye to SDT, to the Christmas lights on Locust, to Blarney quizzo, and to all the friends I’ve made and lost and found again. Or will. And, of course, to Street. So long for now.