As my time here in Philadelphia slowly comes to an end, I am beginning to look back at these last three months. It is really weird to think just three months ago I was in Hilton Head Island, then after a quick week of packing and unpacking, I was on a plane headed to Philadelphia.
This experience overall has definitely been a life changing one and a semester I will never forget. I have had my shares of ups and downs, smiles and tears, and long hours of working. I have learned so much about myself and about the world around me that there were days when I felt as if my head was going to explode! But fortunately, I survived and am here today writing this post.
Here’s a brief summary of what I am doing in Philadelphia, studying off campus for my fall semester: While here at The Philadelphia Center, you live the real-world life and by real world I don’t mean MTV’s reality show. You show up in the city with nowhere to live, no internship, no classes and maybe the friends you know from your college, if there are any.
After that first week of walking around, you have housing and have scheduled the classes you will take at the center. In the weeks to follow, you start your internship search, and for about two weeks, you research companies, going to two maybe three interviews a day, checking a caucus list to see if anyone wanted you, revising your resume and cover letter for each interviewer — in short, it’s a stressful two weeks!
Once you start your internship, that is when the independent living part of the program really kicks in. You are in charge of paying your own rent, transportation (if necessary), food, gym (if you want), etc. It’s all up to you, and your parents are not there to wash your clothes, and your professors are not there telling you that you are missing an assignment or that you need to come to class.
You work real work hours and take on projects that help a real business to run. Some of the projects I have had the opportunity to work on include: sports package for Morris House Hotel; inviting lawyers, sports teams, doctors, etc., to our tree lighting event; writing pre-game and post games previews for cross country and other sports at Temple, etc. Your job matters in Philadelphia.
Being here, I have learned that I am not yet ready to grow up and having this little piece of real-life slap me in the face has helped me to learn what I need to know before I actually have to do this on my own.
In the moment, I would say I never want to grow up, that this sucks, that I want to work in retail my whole life, but in hindsight, this experience should be a necessity for all college students. The Philadelphia Center provides students with great opportunities to network, meet people from all walks of life and help you discover yourself. If you are looking to see what life is like after Hanover then the Philadelphia Center is the place for you.