The first wave of Class of 2018 admitted students gathered on Penn’s campus over two recent Fridays for connectEDquaker days. Hosted by Penn Admissions, the program was a forum for admitted students to converse and connect with Penn’s diverse communities and each other.
Welcoming the students to campus with me, Director of Academic Initiatives David Fox shared that his own move, many years ago, from southern California to Philadelphia “changed me in ways I could not possibly imagine.” He found himself “stepping into something new and something vital.” Penn’s early decision class, and all high school seniors, now stand together at the edge of something tremendously exciting and different.
In addressing the audience, several concepts on transitions came to mind:
– Independence. We asked students to sit in the front of the auditorium with parents towards the back. As a new college student, how will this physical separation inspire you? Can independence be a catalyst for taking ideas and interests to the next level?
– Pride. I asked our early decision class to wear Penn swag throughout the spring to showcase Penn pride. The new class also cheered on the Quakers at a basketball game at the close of each day. How will your new role as a college student affect your identity? How will your immersion in a new community influence your ideas going forward?
– Choice. ConnectEDquaker Days were comprised of a number of overlapping open houses, reflecting the options available for college students. How will the myriad of on-campus options shift your priorities, inspire you, and allow for continual self-development?
Juniors, as you look towards the “other side” of the admissions process, consider how your 5Is, a starting point for self assessment, will evolve. Embrace this change.