10 Lessons From My First Semester at Penn

*Punch Bowl new member Bala Thenappan weighs in*

When asked to reflect upon my first semester at Penn, I modestly describe myself as a “stud”. No one memorized their PAC more quickly. No one used their dining plan more efficiently. No one located free t-shirts more effectively. My tremendously successful first semester makes me feel qualified to offer future generations of Penn students advice on how they can achieve a similar level of success. Here are 10 lessons you must learn if you hope to win at Penn.

  1. If you are looking for a healthier alternative to dining hall food, there is a McDonald’s right next to campus.
  2. I can now say with 99 percent certainty that you can step on the compass and not fail your first midterm. I tried it and I only failed my first final.
  3. Homophobic, racist, and provocative protestors deserve the SAME respect we give to important class lectures. So basically ignore them.
  4. To help people distinguish UPenn from Penn State, specify that you go to an ivy league school and not a vocational school. That way, instead of coming across as a Nittany Lion (the penn state mascot), you’ll come across as a pretentious jerk.
  5. If you really, really can’t handle the smell of weed, it’s best to avoid the city of Philadelphia between the hours of 12 A.M. to 11:59 P.M Sunday-Saturday.
  6. In college, when trying to get out of attending something you don’t want to do, apparently “my parents won’t let me” is no longer a valid  excuse.
  7. SPOILER ALERT: the only people you will find under the button are other people checking to see if anything happens under the button. Odds are you can convince them to do it with you, but I’m not positive.
  8. A quick thought on eating at  McClelland dining hall, don’t.
  9. If a squirrel gets into your dorm, instead of panicking, you should ask yourself, “what could a small innocent squirrel possibly do to me?” It is then recommended that you scream like a 6 year-old and run for your life.
  10. There are 3 comedic publications on campus: The Pennsylvania Punch Bowl, Under the Button, and The Statesman.
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