Why I Am Here

Author: Jonathan Cousins, SEAS’14

Whenever I meet someone new, one of the first questions that come up is ‘Where do you go to school?’  Upon revealing that I go to Penn, I get a variety of responses, from the sadly common ‘Penn State?’ to ‘That’s a long way from California.’  But the question that sticks in my mind is this: ‘What made you choose Penn?’  Sometimes, when I am basking in the lack-of-humidity that is a California summer, I wonder the same thing myself.  There are times, mostly when the weather is poor, when I wonder why I didn’t choose the ocean views of UCSD.  But when I got back to campus, I remembered why.

One clear reason was sports.  When I got here I had no idea how much history there was in the Penn Athletics community.  But upon entering the oldest two-tiered football stadium in the country, and the Cathedral of College Basketball, I was sold.  And over the summer, I missed Penn sports.  There were times when I just wanted to walk into the Palestra, wait for the band and the basketball team, and watch a game.

But if it was the sports that brought me back, it was the school and community that kept me here.  When I got back early to be an OPA! (Orientation Peer Advisor) for incoming Mechanical Engineers, I got to see all my old friends again, and meet some new ones.  Instantly I fell back into a comfortable place socially – and I realized just how much I had missed my friends over the summer.  And when classes started I remembered that being a Mechanical Engineer at Penn is a lot of fun.  In one day last week I both cut metal and flew paper airplanes – and these were both part of classes!  Even in a more theoretical physics class, we took pictures of structures and got to talk about what makes them stand up and stay up.  I didn’t realize how many metal beams Franklin Field had until I went and took a picture of it.

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Filed under Academics, Jonathan C., Student Perspective

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