There are so many important decisions you have to make during your time at Penn: what are you going to major in, where do you want to live, what clubs do you want to join. But for me, the most important question I had to answer, was where do I want to study. I know what you’re thinking, ‘Matt, why does that even matter?’ but it was a question that plagued me (and many others before me) when I finally arrived on campus, my freshman year. Now, there are those out there who advocate for Van Pelt Library, others who swear by Fisher Fine Arts, and even some who won’t go anywhere besides the Starbucks in the basement of Commons (the new Starbucks at 39th and Walnut has proved to be quite the controversy).
There are so many choices on campus, that it can be a bit overwhelming. So what did I do? I just began to try out different spaces. This place was too dark, that one was too noisy, and the other one was just too far away from my room. But eventually, like Goldilocks herself, I found the one that was just right: the study carrels on the Sansom side of the second floor of Biddle Law Library. For me, the space is perfect: cozy yet structured, bright but not distracting, quiet without being isolating. I’m able to go there and get work done without feeling overwhelmed and stressed.
In general, there are so many options at Penn, and in the College specifically. But, I encourage you to be like Goldilocks-- test things out and eventually you will find what works for you! Try different classes, join different organizations, and meet new people. Who knows, maybe one day I’ll even see you in studying in the law library. Until then, take advantage of all of the opportunities here and you too will find your ‘place.’