Author: Jonathan Cousins, C’14
It’s hard to believe that half my time at Penn is already over, but I feel that these next two years will be even better than the first two.
When I applied to Penn, I visited in December and witnessed the final project of MEAM 410/510, Mechatronics. The last class project was Robocky, an autonomous, 3-on-3 robot hockey tournament. The final presentation involved a packed Wu and Chen Auditorium and cheering, loud music, and a festive atmosphere. When asked “Why Penn?” on my admissions essay, I used this tournament as the perfect fusion between school and sports, my two passions. Now, after two years, I am taking Mechatronics. And it is hard! We are currently running through a electronics/mechanical design crash course, soon to be followed I am sure by a low-level component programming crash course. But even as this class begins to consume my time, I have my eyes on the prize – the hockey tournament at the end that is sure to be a blast.
The rest of my classes pose a less daunting task, but by no means a negligible one. I am engrossed in the study of Fluid Mechanics and Vibrations, in addition to working in parallel on the MEAM lab course. I am also concurrently writing a paper on my summer research through the Rachleff Scholars program.
And, if that wasn’t enough to keep me busy, I am incredible active in the Red and Blue Crew, the student spirit organization on campus and the student section at Penn Athletic contests. We did a lot during NSO – including a late night ice cream social with the basketball team where we gave out ice cream and t-shirts, and tried to prompt student interest in Penn Athletics. We also gave away our cool new shirts at the Penn Athletics picnic and the Activities Fair. It is already starting to pay off, as the number of people on campus with either Red and Blue Crew or Penn Athletics shirts has gone up dramatically. Now if our football team can give a good showing on Saturday, we may have them hooked.
Also during NSO, I was an Orientation Peer Adviser (OPA!) for incoming MEAM freshman. Over the summer, I communicated with them via email about how to prepare for Penn and which classes to register for, and then I met with them twice during NSO to show them the Engineering buildings and lead them around on their academic NSO day.
And so it goes – I am incredibly busy, but everything I am doing I am enthusiastic about and can’t wait for what I am sure will be a memorable semester.