As a future international student (from Greece), the prospect of going to college in the US (University of Pennsylvania to be exact) is both exhilarating and frightening. I’m not used to the English language in everyday conversation. I’m not used to customs and traditions. But most of all, I am certainly not used to seeing so many resources and facilities in one place. Sports teams for every sport imaginable (yes, even Quidditch), numerous clubs and organizations, dining halls, conference and lecture rooms, dorms. It sort of does seem like a dream, a utopia of sorts, and is certainly nothing like what I’m used to — and I’m sure most people in my position would agree.
So, considering college in the US is quite expensive, I have demanded of myself to take advantage of what is offered to me to the largest possible extent, both inside and outside campus. Here’s a freshman bucket list of all the things I’ll try to do:
1) Join at least 2 clubs/organizations.
Quidditch club will be one for sure and there’s also a club for people with Greek heritage or who are interested in Greek culture. There’s also a ton of human rights/activism societies I’d definitely like to check out. I’ve heard that clubs are also one of the best ways to make new friends with common interests, so I would advise everyone reading this to join some!
2) Join a sorority.
Fraternities and sororities are a completely new concept to me. Fraternities are mainly for the guys, sororities for the girls. You can read all about them here if you are clueless like me. Also rushing sounds super fun.
3) Join a sports team.
Though until recently I had convinced myself I’d just hit the gym from time to time to avoid that Freshman 15 or whatever, I realized that a team sport would be a much more entertaining practice that wouldn’t necessarily have me dragging myself to the fitness center every other day.
4) Take a long tour of the campus/city.
One of the feelings I absolutely hate is when someone tells me where to find something and I still don’t understand how to go or don’t even have a clue what he/she is talking about. As I will be living in an urban campus, I am determined to explore everything I can both inside and outside of it (hopefully without getting mugged or stabbed at least). Food scene, music scene, everything. Concerts, festivals, art galleries. Only writing this down hypes me up.
5) Take a really weird class.
I can’t provide much insight on this since I haven’t really looked at the classes available yet, but I’ve heard of plenty weirdly fascinating classes. This goal may get moved up to sophomore or junior year, but I will make it happen.
6) Go to a frat party.
….Like in the movies!!!!!!!
7) Travel to New York City by train.
My best friend will be studying at NYU, which gives me more reason to visit my favorite city in the world, New York. Also, I don’t remember the last time I went on a train, which is quite sad.
All of the above are, of course, intended not to cost me a fortune, as I do not really want to spend money recklessly. I also may consider it too much of a given that I will maintain a high GPA while attempting to tick off every single thing on the above list. But aiming high is my motto and I will try to do my best, which is what I would advise everyone to do too.
College is a whole new environment, and a chance to step-out of our comfort zones. So to all the other incoming freshmen out there, what do you look forward to in your first year in college? What’s on your bucket-list?
Daphne Passa is an incoming freshman at the University of Pennsylvania. She is an international student from Greece who enjoys new adventures, and is looking forward to majoring in Cinema Studies at UPenn.