We’re officially a week into the new school year and already campus is bustling again with life. Classes are in full swing, bringing with them plenty of homework and studying – words that have been absent from most of our vocabularies since finals ended. Nevertheless, the new school year also brings new activities and experiences, as well as more time to spend with our close friends. While Winter Break was relaxing, it is certainly nice to get back to the social and, yes, even academic aspects of life at Penn.
When I moved back in last week, the first thing I saw upon entering the Quad was a snowman in the grass near the steps to the Upper Courtyard. I’m guessing our own “Little Fellow”, Silas McGlone, may have had something to do with this masterful frozen sculpture. It was a pleasant reminder that even in the absence of the student population, life on Penn’s campus continues for many employees and residents.
This week has been especially exciting for many members of the freshman class as it marked the beginning of the fraternity and sorority “Rush” period. After a long day of classes, many students returned home, got dressed up, and went out for some hors d’oeuvres and networking with upperclassmen. While the events associated with rushing and pledging are of course fun and exciting experiences, it is vital to remember that work and health must still come before play. We mustn’t push ourselves too hard or we risk putting more than merely our brains and livers on the line.
Slowly, this past week, that snowman melted back into the ground and winter break’s end became increasingly apparent. While many of us are already back to fully-booked schedules and irregular sleeping patterns, we too must take the time to melt back into the Penn lifestyle. Snow cannot directly evaporate. That would be unnatural. We would be mistaken to jump into this semester head-first considering we’re still in the shallow end. Like the snowman, we must slowly assimilate back into our old state so we can rise up and succeed.
Enjoy the Rush process, but remember: there’s no need to rush.