New Student Re-Orientation

We are likely all aware of the myth surrounding the Compass stationed on Locust straight across from the Upper Quad Gate. The curse states that any freshman who steps on the center of the Compass during their first semester at Penn is doomed to fail their first mid-term (lest they perform an unspeakable, albeit entirely inefficient and highly illogical, act under The Button outside Van Pelt). Several among us have already stepped on it in a moment of inattentiveness, but let’s not let their superstitions affect our studies! Mid-terms are stressful enough without having to worry about ancient prophecies (unless, of course, that’s your major).

It is hard to believe that we’ve already been here for a full month. It’s even harder to believe that mid-terms are already upon us. By the end of next week, the vast majority of us will have taken our first exam at Penn. Some will do very well while others will struggle. No matter what, we must remember that our first mid-term is only one test. There will be others. We can’t let ourselves get overwhelmed by just one exam, regardless of the results. Whether we succeed or fail, we should all come back to class even more focused and determined than before.

With Econ Scream happening tonight, the newly-elected Class Board will provide us with the rare opportunity to let out some serious steam. I highly encourage everyone to go. There’s no reason to miss it! Everyone will be taking a study break to vent as a collective and bond over our mutual stresses. This isn’t just about mid-terms – everyone has frustrations, and this is our chance to let them go and shout toward the sky at the top of our lungs. They should be able to hear us all the way on Wall Street.

Regardless of what preconceptions we had setting foot on campus, we have all inevitably changed our perceived courses of action at some point over the past month, and will probably continue to do so over the next four years. But no matter what path we choose, the Compass will always be there in the center of campus to point us in the right direction.

Once mid-terms are over, make it a point to go stand in the center of the compass for a minute. Close your eyes, release your fears, and reorient yourself. That’s why the Compass is there: to help us find our way.

If you choose to do anything under the button after that, it’s all on you.

(Photo by G. McFly, used under a Creative Commons license)
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