Author: Kayla Crawley, C’07
Stepping foot on campus for the first time as an administrator was at the very least, surreal. My mind wasn’t quite sure what to make of the experience – it was like some sort of unfamiliar nostalgia. Exactly, it made no sense. Having graduated from Penn in 2007, I don’t feel too far removed from the student experience. Everything I see and smell on campus conjures a memory from my 18-21 year-old pre-adulthood. Looking out of my other lens, these familiar spaces also summon feelings of new found excitement and energy for the unknown.
Having been in my position as Alumni Relations Coordinator for University Life for a little less than 6 months, I can say that not much and everything, has changed at Penn. The University’s infrastructure may be changing – new buildings, new administrators, new programs – but its essence, something you can’t necessarily put to words, is the same. To go from being a blurry-eyed junior running down Locust Walk dodging salmon and ketchup from rambunctious seniors, to volunteering as a staff member passing out canes and hats to the 2012 junior class, was a salient moment. I realized that in 2006 as a junior, when I ran up to get my hat and cane from whoever was working the booth, I had no idea where I would be in 6 years’ time.
I’m still not sure I have the answer that question today, but it feels god to be back at Penn figuring it all out.