For the majority of my generation, the Harry Potter series conjures memories of magical childhood nights lined up outside of Barnes and Noble and heated debates about which Hogwarts house you would be in.
At the beginning of this summer, I made a 78–item to do list. Tasks ranged from the mundane (email academic advisor) to the absolutely critical (bikini wax ASAP) to the unlikely to receive a check mark (run half marathon). The List (one of many) is part of my Five Year Plan, an ambitious—probably cocky—set of goals which include drafting a novel before turning twenty two, getting into a top law school, and deferring the offer for a year or two participate in a fellowship abroad that fuses human rights research with journalism.
Penn breeds Winners. Every hour of every day, we’re Achieving and becoming Leaders. And it never stops.
6–8 a.m., we’re competing for the title of “Woke Up Earliest to Do Homework.”
9–11 a.m., the game is on for “Has Too Much Class to Eat Breakfast.”
12–3 p.m., “Spent the Longest Amount of Time at Pottruck.”
4–6 p.m., “Too Much Volunteering to Eat Dinner.”
7–9 p.m., “Finished Lab Report Before Pregame.”
10–12 a.m., “Took Most Shots Without Blacking Out.”
1–3 a.m., “Stayed Out the Latest, No FOMO.”
4–6 a.m., “Slept the Least.”
We just can’t stop competing, against our friends and ourselves.
Walking out of VP on Saturday afternoon, I had five new Grindr messages. Booyah. Three messages were from an old “professional type” looking for a twinky college boy, and the others were from a steamy grad student in the School of Design.
“Don’t ever, ever call me again, you low–life scum, you trash!” I hang up with finality, promising that this is the last time I break up with my on–again, off–again “boyfriend”—at least, that’s what I think I’m supposed to call him.
Eat something for lunch other than a bagel from Mark’s/ No more sex in cabs/ Finally get with the boys on the Radian 14th floor/ Tell my thesis advisor what I really think of her/ Have sex in the bathroom of all four campus bars/ Stop farting in public/ Understand foreskin/ Stop hooking up with guys I can’t stand/ Stop pretending not to know people on Locust/ Be less bitchy to my mother/ Stop apologizing so much/ Use one weight machine at Pottruck without embarrassing and injuring myself (or others)/ Actually remember all the fun I have when I wake up the next morning/ Skinny dip in the Schuylkill/ Learn how to walk in heels/ Do something for someone else every day/ Know what is going on in the world beyond Penn/ Go to an Elmo naked party...naked this time/ Start working out during the mornings/ Stop walking from Starbucks to Van Pelt to Williams back to Starbucks looking for a place to study/ Stop walking around aimlessly in general/ Stop trying to run into that single person on Locust/ Cook more meals at home/ TEAR DOWN THE PATRIARCHY/Make THEOS irrelevant/ Ensure that the Wizard of Farts graduates so his power never sees Locust Walk again/ Stop only dating Jewish boys/ Stop hooking up with boys in the same lineage/ Stop reading CollegiateACB/ Get fucked in the ass more (or is that not highbrow enough?)/ Be fucking happy/ Have sex with a TA/ Learn that pizza isn’t a reliable friend/ Find someone to treat my tender boy pussy the right way/ Stop saying “You too” to the woman at Commons who tells me to have a good dinner/ Get gayer #nohetero/ Tell him my favorite part of the night is when he hugs me goodbye/ Get APES kicked off campus... oh wait/ Pee on Ben Franklin and not get arrested/ Take a full piss without hitting the rim or floor once/ NO MORE INSOMNIA COOKIES/ Wear my Greek letters more often/ Finally get with the boy I’ve liked since NSO freshman year/ Destroy more egos by not faking orgasms anymore/ Stop using people as social experiments/ Get head every time I give head/ Enjoy being able-bodied and young/ Read one book per week/ Eat more green things/ Don’t get ice cream after EVERY run/ Stop accidentally sending dick snapchats to my aunt/ Not pay for cheats on Candy Crush/ Cut down on my Tinder use/ Never set foot in Pike again/ Make out with a closeted frat guy at Smokes’/ Develop a consistent morning routine/ Have something that at least resembles a real relationship/ Smoke less pot and snort less cocaine/ Learn to not determine my self–worth in relation to other people/ Not accidentally make out with a 55-year-old again/ Give less fucks/ Floss.