While one might say Hamco, the Radian and all things Campus Apartments are "off–campus," some fellow Quakers have gone above and beyond—literally. These students actually live off–campus, stepping outside of the physical barriers of the Penn Bubble and into Philly proper. From South Philly to Center City, read what they have to say about life outside of Penn's boundaries.
Nick Guth (C '17)
Home Away from Penn: South Philly
Getting to Penn: SEPTA/Walking
"I feel so much less in a bubble," says senior Nick Guth, who lives in South Philly on 12th street with his roommate and close friend. To be sure, as a Philly native, the Penn bubble has never been too much of a barrier for him, but living about 25 to 35 minutes away from campus (a 5–8 minute walk to the Broad Street line from his apartment and another 20–25 minutes on the train) has still had an impact. "Moving off campus, I've gone to many more places in South Philly and Center City that I never did before," he says, including places like Drinkers at 19th and Chestnut streets and Cantina Los Caballitos on Passyunk Avenue, which he recommends. Living as far off campus as he does takes a particular kind of person, says Nick. "You have to be very comfortable taking public transportation at all hours of the night. You have to also be within financial capabilities to purchase a Penn Pass which is getting a transportation pass for the semester. You have to not be bothered by the slight inconvenience of planning ahead." While there might be some extra planning involved, Nick doesn't see it as an impediment to a social life. If SEPTA ever goes on strike again, though, things would definitely be a little tougher.
Kailey Zitaner (C '18)
Home away from Penn: Symphony House, Broad and Pine streets
Getting to Penn: 15–minute bus ride
As a second–semester sophomore, Kailey decided to take a leave of absence from Penn, knowing that when she returned she would make a big change. Her relocation to Rittenhouse was pretty smooth, as she spent most of her time downtown during her time off anyways. Kailey felt as though she could escape the University City environment which she was feeling increasingly disconnected with. On campus, she found herself cognitively absorbed with Penn culture and believes moving to Center City was the best decision she could have made. "Penn became a really triggering place for me," Kailey shares."I really benefited from that distance. Penn represents a lot of things to me and I just enjoy not having those things be part of my personal space." Kailey comes to campus for class, meetings and to partake in Vagina Monologues. "At home I never have to worry about being seen. It's a place where I get more anonymity and privacy." Contrary to what many would presume, living far away has positively impacted Kailey's social life. "I have the best friends in the world. The fact that they come out to visit me only strengthens the bond because they are putting in the effort. We spend time in a more adult environment that is not all about parties, and we are able to talk about life because we aren't just surrounded by school," she says. Kailey describes how important it its for students at Penn to spend time in spaces that are not specifically for us. The difference between her time on campus and off is like night and day, and she thoroughly believes that education should not happen in a vacuum.
Photo by Creative Commons.