Exchange Wk35 to Wk37 – NYC, Hey Day, Goodbyes

This is the (very delayed) blog entry covering the 10th of April to the 30th of April. Here are some of the things I got up to:

🍫 More S’mores 🍔

On the 14th of April, the Christian Union had dinner and a camp fire at Cory’s house. If you remember from our last campfire, I brought the smizzy to life. This time I made the smizz burger, which was a burger roll with crispy fire roasted marshmallows, combined with Reeses peanut butter cups and a melted Hershey bar for sauce. It was a sight to behold!

🗽 New York City 🏙

On the 21st of April I head to NYC with James and Carson to catch up with some friends Carson made on the train – it’s a long story! I had such an awesome time, especially as I love to meet new people. After finishing my weekly Friday math quiz, we met to catch the train into NYC.

Haydn’s Creation @ Central Church

Our first stop was catching up at our friends Church (Central Church) where we were going to listen to an orchestra perform ‘Haydn’s Creation’, conducted by Ben Sellick. What exactly is this? Wikipedia describes it well (even though citing Wikipedia may hurt my research credibility):

The Creation (German: Die Schöpfung) is an oratorio written between 1797 and 1798 by Joseph Haydn, and considered by many to be one of his masterpieces. The oratorio depicts and celebrates the creation of the world as described in the Book of Genesis.

Wikipedia (25th June 2023)

The oratorio is really long, but they didn’t play every song. I loved listening to the orchestra play, and they were all very skilled!

Roaming NYC

After a good nights sleep at our friends house (well, it was a rocky sleep on the couch), we spent the day looking around NYC. Our first stop was at Central Park, a place I’d been to a few times already. However, I had never seen turtles in the lake before (maybe I was oblivious on my last few trips)! It was so cool to see nature thriving in the middle of this metropolitan city.

After a nice Japanese lunch, we head to a lookout spot to see the Statue of Liberty.

After catching the ferry back towards where we were staying, we stopped for some dessert before heading back to Penn. Although it was a really short trip (it had to be kept short because of so many assessments, some of which I was doing on the train), it was a precious moment with my friends. I still find it so amazing that NYC is so close to us, and that we could just travel down for the night. In hindsight, I appreciate that despite being so busy with the end of semester quickly approaching, we were all able to find time off to spend with each other. This is the mark of genuine friendship.

❤️ Hey Day 💙

On the 27th of April, I partook in the ‘Hey Day’ celebration!

First, a bit of terminology. In the US, freshman = first year uni student, sophomore = second year, junior = third year, senior = fourth year.

Hey Day has it roots in 1889 and celebrates the day in which the juniors are officially classified as seniors – the history of Hey Day can be found here. Whilst it has evolved since its inception, Hey Day commenced outside the high rise student housing for a lunch, before the junior class stormed down to College Hall to be presented to the university president Liz Magill. All the students were sporting matching red t-shirts, plastic white hats, as well as wooden canes.

It was a fun and electric day, and I was privileged to be a part of a signature Penn tradition!

❤️ Christian Union Formal 🕴

On the 28th of April we had our last official Christian Union event. It was bitter-sweet – bitter because it was obviously sad being our last event, but sweet in the fact that it was a fun way to end! We shared a Chipotle catered dinner, emotional yet humorous speeches, and finally dancing. After, those over 21 enjoyed heading to Smokey Joe’s, the go to bar for Penn students. It was a special night, one that I’ll always cherish.

🥲 Goodbyes ❤️

As well as the Christian Union formal, I had other goodbye events which took place, as well as some of my last events for clubs which I had been heavily involved with. Again, it was sad to say goodbye, but I am so grateful to God to have met so many wonderful people, people who played such a major role in helping foster and shape my Christian faith over my time on abroad.

Christian Union Junior Guy’s Bible Study Dinner

RCCO Wednesday Bible Studies

Redemption City Church College Student Lunch

⭐️ Other Highlights ⭐️

  • Lunches and dinners with friends.
  • Freshman-Senior Christian Union dinner.
  • Induction into the Eta Kappa Nu honours society for computer science.
  • Exam grinding with friends.
  • Dinner at Ryan’s house with delicious ribs!
  • Going to Penn Relay’s for two days over the three days which it runs – shout out to Kyra for the free tickets!
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