by Johnny McNulty
Ah, Fall. The time of year when everyone streams in from summer, whether it be the last one after high school when you all swear to totally stay friends forever, or a summer spent yachting in the Mediterranean (is there any other kind?). Yes, recharged by the Ibizan sun and mojitos brought to us on the beach by the glistening Miguels of the world, followed up with a rousing dance at an all-night club, and topped off by dressing up in hunting regalia and chasing homeless people through the streets with horse and hound, we return full of renewed enthusiasm for our academic pursuits.
But the passage of time also makes us keenly aware of our limited tenures here at Penn (unless you are inherently unemployable, in which case you’re welcome to study here forever and ever until you retire as a professor/die/molest children, in which case they will throw you a nice party with cake/cake/ice cream cake).
So, to make sure you make the most of your time here, and don’t just fritter away your days with four-hour lunches at Le Bec Fin (their upstairs dining room makes casual lunch so easy, and at less than $100 a person, affordable!). Instead, be sure to check out these five Hidden Treasures, and leave Penn a well-rounded scion of privilege and power.
5. Vampire House
Often overlooked due to its complete lack of windows/underground fortress location beneath the Church on 39th and Locust, this after-hours “alternative” student organization sports some off the most fashionable happening happenings on campus. When it comes to throwing techno-industrial raves with an all-black European décor, Vampire House has their neighbors LGBT House running for the hills, literally in fear of their very lives, stalked to the ends of the Earth. But don’t go to this party if you’re turned off by rooms where couples may go to neck. (Ed. Note – Once you go, you’ll find yourself drawn there every night, as if by an overwhelming compulsion! Also, it’s best to go with friends, so be sure to convince people to come, perhaps by swooping down on them in the dark and sinking your teeth deep in to their jugulars.)
3. A Meaningful Relationship With Your Professor
Haha, I’m just kidding, it’s easy to become friends with a Penn prof! Just go to office hours and hear them tell stories from their dull lives and they’re yours forever. No, what’s tough is having enough dough to endow a Chair at Penn, ensuring that you own a professor for the length of their professional career. It’s not until you’ve held a man’s fortune in your hands that you’ve truly had a liberal arts education. (Note: if you’ve already been to Vampire House, that should be amended to read: It’s not until you’ve held a man’s still-beating heart in your hands…)
4. Vampire Civic House
Again, often missed because it is located half a mile below Mortal Civic House, this is an excellent way to do some great community service at Penn after you’ve been turned into a Lord (or Lady) of the Night. A consistently popular program is the West Philly Vampire Tutoring Project, where Vampire Penn students target intelligent but at-risk inner city children who otherwise would not be able to receive the benefits of immortal life spent stalking the living for the sweet nectar of sangre.
2. 150 Gold Stars
Scattered around the campus and guarded by intricate puzzles and menacing Boss characters, these mysterious gold stars are in and of themselves merely a pleasant challenge to obtain. Who can forget the tutorial level we all completed during NSO, with inept goombas half-heartedly trying to prevent us from reaching the first star atop college hall? Almost anyone, with enough dedication and hours of practice, can obtain enough to graduate (74), after which you unlock the standard graduation-scene and receive your diploma and end credits. But do you have what it takes to reach 130 stars, after which you get the special graduation scene where Amy Gutmann is wearing a catsuit and Dennis DeTurk inflates to comical proportions before blowing away in the wind? Well, that’s all well and good, but if you get all 150, you unlock the:
1. Secret Star Level
Finally you’ve reached the pinnacle of the Penn experience! Not only are you permanently invincible for your Senior year (nothing beats the thrill of running through a crowded frat party with Star-power on, watching drunk bros bounce off your flashing, multi-colored, high-speed bod), but you unlock all the other Penn levels as well: The Metal Level, which lets you safely smoke up at while standing at the bottom of the Bio Pond, the Greek Lady level, where you are always satisfied but never too full to eat more of Greek Lady’s delicious grilled-chicken-and-spinach-with-sauce sandwiches, and of course the Cloud Level, where not only can you fly, but you can observe from a serene height the University’s octopus-like encirclement of West Philadelphia!
So go on, make the most out of your time here at Penn! Remember to use save points often and avoid daylight and be really rich, otherwise you won’t be able to do any of this because of your work-study job.