It’s tourin’ season!

Cover image from our great friends at The DP.

Whether you like it or not–and I know you don’t –it’s college tourin’ season! That’s right, as you go to class, get ready to navigate past swarms of excited visitors–marveling at our fine campus–and their children who couldn’t care less. I would call those little rascals hopeful future-Quakers but most think it’ll be their last time coming here after getting into Yale.

But why are all the parents so damn happy? I wish I loved this place half as much as they seem to. I could only reason out five possible explanations for their budding enthusiasm:

  1. They’re overcompensating to hide the shock at paying $98.00 for a quarter-zip that their kids might never use if they don’t come here.
  2. They find it so funny that someone could walk backwards and talk at the same time.
  3. They actually believed the statement from the admissions officer that the parents did a great job raising their child.
  4. The pre-visit Botox treatment is yet to thaw.
  5. They are laughing at their kids, knowing there is no way in hell that they’re smart enough to make it to college.

Watching those tour groups on locust got me wondering, what would I do if I was a tour guide for our glorious school? (And to my dearest, beloved Penn, please do not consider this my application, incase I do ever apply for that wonderful position.):

  1. Scare prospective students and their parents by convincing them that they are actually touring Penn State and not Penn.
  2. Tell a prospective student, in front of their parents, ‘oh, it’s completely fine if you are being forced into pre-med, half of them switch to anthropology or sociology, and your parents won’t find out until you’re unemployed after graduation.
  3. Play a game where the tour group has to guess if the building on locust walk is an academic hall or a frat. If they guess correctly, they get to go inside!
  4. Tell students that no matter how rough Penn’s social life gets, you can always make friends with the mice in your room.
  5. Ask a student if they plan to ED to Penn, and if they say no, reply, ‘yea, I had dreams too once.’

But alas, I am not an ambassador of Penn but a mere infidel, and it’ll probably stay this way. The only time I can realistically represent my school is when my post-grad plans are added to the Career Service’s Post-Graduate Outcomes data. I will take solace in knowing that, ultimately, this is really the only thing Penn cares about anyway.

For now, as I walk past tour groups full of kids on their phones and tour guides–who are definitely in the College–eagerly explaining all the resources that Wharton offers, I bite down extra hard on my tongue to avoid screaming at them: “DON’T COME HERE!”

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