My first week at Penn, I cried every day. My first night out during NSO, a girl threw up in my dorm room garbage can. My first class, I sat alone. I waited months—years—to come here and once I finally did, I was sad and scared.

Luckily for me, college ended up becoming four years of fabulous firsts. In fact, most of the highlights of my time here have been firsts. My first Street meeting. My first Street issue. My first Street–induced hangover. My first Bobby’s Burger Palace burger. My first time taking a boy I really liked to a date party. My first class that legitimately made me feel smarter. My first time using bursar to pay for an overpriced and highly caloric Starbucks drink.

Now that I’m a senior, it’s easy to think about things in terms of lasts. Last NSO. Last first day of classes. Last time seeing them put up the Christmas lights on Locust Walk. Lasts are not at all as fun as firsts.

For that reason, I’m challenging myself to continue celebrating firsts and start locking the lasts far away in my mind vault. So far my first time being 21 at Smokes, first time giving up and driving to DRL, and first time walking down Locust and not having to wave at anyone because I don’t recognize Freshmen have been pretty great.

My challenge to you is to do the same. Whether you’re a senior or it’s your third week here, keep enjoying every first. Strike off every item on your bucket list and then ask someone else if you can borrow theirs. After all, this is the first and last time in your life when four years will fly by so quickly.


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