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.