Authors: Nicole Svonavec, GEd’09 and Marvin Rocha, C’06
If you were to walk into a SoHo apartment in New York City, you could very well find yourself re-writing the opening lines of MTV’s Real World to:
This is the true story…of six Penn alumni from the Class of 2012, who, picked to live in a house, launch careers in New York, and find out what happens when people stop being undergrads and start getting real…
That’s precisely what happened when Jordan Brown, Stephanie Chung, Triston Francis, Kesi Irvin, Juan Felipe Rendon, and Ned Shell —all members of the Class of 2012—moved into the NYC apartment they affectionately call the Pennthouse. As with many apartments in New York, the group had to be aggressive in their search. “It was the Friday of Spring Fling last year when we decided to put down the deposit; a couple of us bussed up to NYC to check it out—a huge sacrifice of fling time! Those who didn’t go Skype’d in wearing tank tops from one of the high-rises” said Ned Shell, who graduated from Penn with a degree in International Relations.
One thing that came easy for the group was decorating. They opted for an enlarged picture of the six residents from graduation – mounted on a wall across from a giant Penn banner. Both of these Penn mementos greet the dozens of Penn alumni who have crashed with the roommates for weekends at a time. The Real World never felt quite as welcoming as this Penn home in the big city.