Life After Penn: a letter from the (former) editor

Can Punch Bowl Alumni become real adults? A former Editor-in-Chief becomes the first to help us answer this question…

I dated your father when he was at Penn. He was quite a hottie back in the day. Seriously. Ask him to show you the photos. (Don’t snicker, sir; your own facial hair stylings will look ludicrous someday. And you, Miss, may think differently about those tattoos in 20 years.) By the way, tell him I was sorry to hear about that insider trading incident, but isn’t it funny how the judge turned out to have been at Penn with us too? Didn’t make him go any easier on the sentencing, though.

That’s the thing about the Ivy League. The same people you get high with today will end up running the country, or having their expensive divorces featured on TMZ, or being prosecuted for the latest egregious example of white-collar crime. And I guarantee there will come a time when you seek medical help for a hideously embarrassing problem and discover the physician is a former classmate. Awkward.

Many other weird moments await you in life after Penn. You know how your parents consider your favorite music to be nothing but noise and obscenities? As soon as you start making real money, Lexus and GM will use those very songs to sell you cars. The real shock will happen one day when you’re in the supermarket buying disposable diapers and you suddenly realize the Muzak wafting through the aisles is a tune by Nine Inch Nails.

But take heart — the future contains pleasant surprises as well. Sure, Harvard rejected you once, but you have a pretty good chance of being accepted there for graduate school. And the geekiest of the geeks among you, shunned even by ordinary nerds because of grossly deficient social skills and personal hygiene, will show up at reunions happily married to a perfectly charming spouse.

Remember, though, when you return to campus with your own college-bound offspring in 2042 (assuming your alumni donations are generous enough to procure admission), do not embarrass the kid by pointing out locations you fondly remember for the sex and/or drugs you indulged in there. Your child won’t believe you anyway.

– Janet Millenson

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