By Jade Little, C’19
Penn Traditions was the first club I joined when I got to Penn my freshman year. I stumbled across our table at the student activities fair, attracted by smiling faces and enthusiastic personalities, talking about the fun things (and cool free stuff) that comes with being a member. Three years later, I am almost done with my junior year, am currently a co-chair of Penn Traditions, and I couldn’t be more thankful for my freshman year self for stopping by that table and filling out an application.
The Penn community is like no other. It is comprised of some of the smartest, most passionate, and creative people I have ever met. It is a truly expansive community in so many ways, something that I’ve come to realize this year. I recently took a trip to Spain, where I coincidentally ran into many other Penn students. Every time I am on the metro back home in Washington D.C., I see Penn sweaters and hats on fellow travelers. I always find myself reading articles about the innovators of today’s world, only to find out that they are Penn grads. I know students who are doing everything from running their own nonprofits and startups to creating their own music and art.
Being part of Penn Traditions is my way of playing a small part in building this community that I am constantly amazed by. For those who don’t know, Penn Traditions is a three-committee club, part of the Sweeten Alumni House. The committees include Class Ambassadors, who work closely with Alumni Relations events, Penn Traditions Alumni Engagement Fund, which distributes funding to other student groups at Penn, and my personal favorite, the Traditions Committee, which plans events for the student body.
Our events, ranging from pop-ups on Locust Walk and finals goody bags to opportunities to meet alumni and study breaks in Sweeten, aim to encourage students to take a moment from their busy lives to spend time with other members of the Penn community (often through promises of food). I love that through this committee, I get to be part of some of the oldest traditions at Penn, such as Homecoming or Spring Fling; traditions that truly every member of the Penn community, no matter their major or future plans, can be a part of. I also love that I get to be part of creating new (and what I hope will be) lasting traditions, such as Friendsgiving, our annual Thanksgiving dinner for the Sophomore class. I don’t expect everyone to remember each Penn Traditions study break they attend or free gift they get on Locust Walk, but I do hope that we contribute to fostering happy and fun moments amid the stress that comes with being a Penn student.
Jade is a junior in the College majoring in Economics and Health and Societies with a concentration in Healthcare Markets and Finance. She is currently serving as co-chair of the Penn Traditions committee as well as being a member of Chi Omega and Penn Society for International Development.