Author: Emily Siegel
I love fall. I love the changing colors and the crisp nights. Not only that, but fall represents a new year of possibility. Sure, technically the new year begins in January, but every September since I started kindergarten, the beginning of a school year has brought with it a tickling sense of possibility; the chance to start fresh. First off, there’s the delight in new school supplies. Out with the worn-down crayons and colored pencils, and in with the pointy-sharp array of the latest trend in colors. In anticipation, I practically spent all summer debating what design would my Trapper Keeper have this year… bunnies or hearts or horses!?!?!? Oh, the possibilities! SUCH. A. DILEMMA. Most often, I picked horses.
And then, there’s also back to school shopping for clothes and imagining the first day of classes, showing up in a brand new outfit—new shoes, new haircut, new outlook. And the curiosity about my classes and schedule—what my teachers would be like, who I’d be sitting next to in English, if any of my friends would have lunch period with me. Fall has always seemed like the time for the greatest potential. You don’t know exactly how the year will go, but the chance to start fresh feels like each September brings a new beginning.
One of the things I love most about working on a college campus is that this same anticipation is palatable at the start of every semester. Right now, prospective students are flooding the campus, with wide-eyes as they learn about and explore the university, trying to picture what their life might look like if they end up studying at Penn. The excitement in their eyes reminds me of my own college search as I explored different schools and pondered where I might spend those life-changing four years.
As current Penn students slowly trickle back to campus, you can sense their excitement about the upcoming year too – new classes, new friends, new opportunities. The feeling is infectious.
In fact, it’s so contagious that I found myself perusing Penn’s course catalog and dreaming about what class (or classes) I could take this year. Do I sign up for something practical and related to my career like “History of American Higher Education?” Or, do I refine my Spanish speaking-skills by taking “Advanced Conversation?” Or, do I choose something out-of-the-box like “Furniture Design” and learn how to make the ottoman that I’ve been searching for over the last year? So many options!
I think it’s precisely this sense of the many possibilities that makes this season so exciting. I’d love to know how others are thinking and feeling about the back-to-school aura on campus. What possibilities of the coming season are you most excited about? And, perhaps most importantly, what kind of Trapper Keeper did you choose?