An ode to Locust Walk, the heart and soul of Penn

It’s more than just a path we walk on most days

The University of Pennsylvania is a city school… until you hit Locust walk. This beautiful pathway through the center of campus serves as a cornerstone of life for students here. It’s how we get to most of our daily activities, from Rodin to Commons to Huntsman to VP to DRL. Unobstructed by bikers, stoplights, and crosswalks, Locust Walk is our perfect haven from bustling city life. We cherish every bit of it – here’s an ode of gratitude to that annoying gray squiggle and everything in between:

The sacred bricks

I can’t help but think of all the accomplished people who have stepped on these bricks – from the likes of Elizabeth Banks, Joe Biden, Warren Buffet, and Amy G. Meanwhile, I woke up 10 minutes before class, probably forgot my keys, and that I have midterm tomorrow.

The strut

If you’re wearing a good outfit, this is the place to strut your stuff. If friends are taking Spruce or Chestnut or any of those weird back walkways, don’t. Take the high road, take Locust – Penn’s NYFW all year long.

The compass

Don’t you dare step on it as a first-semester freshman. Picture this: my friend’s on her phone, probably posting a finsta, and she doesn’t even realize her Adidas Superstar is about to touch that fateful circle. I yank her away, I mean, does she want to fail her first midterm?

The student energy

In the past couple of weeks, we’ve witnessed an incredible political energy. Right outside ARCH, Hillary supporters hold “Stronger Together” posters alongside a life-size Hillz cardboard cutout. The NextGen Climate table hand out psychedelic unicorn posters and “YAAAAS VOTE” stickers. The College Republicans advocate for Pat Toomey and other candidates. It’s this undeniable spirit that makes walking from Cohen Hall to Commons in the cold so enjoyable.

The trees

The leaves are turning beautiful reds, oranges, and yellows with hints of green throughout. Though we’re in a city, it’s easy to leave the concrete and streetlights behind for a forest-like walk down Locust.

Its adaptability

By day, I’m wearing jeans and boots on Locust with my backpack on, life seemingly put together on my way to Bridges Cafe for an omelet or to McNeil for an Econ001 review session. By night, I’m wearing a cut-above-see-through dress and heels, navigating those very bricks, friends in tow, giggling on our way back to LQG. If anything serves a dual purpose, it’s my dear friend Locust Walk.

Seeing your friends

Something reminiscent of a high school hallway, Locust Walk is the best place to run into everyone: the friends you talk to every day, the friends you met months ago, or that guy you hooked up with last weekend. Never be afraid to wave at someone at the other edge of the Walk, just make sure they don’t have headphones in… that’s embarrassing.

The free stuff

Saving the best for last. Great things from breast exam information, to munchkins, to printed tote bags have come from Locust. And don’t forget political demonstrations and those theater kids promoting their show. I’ll never get tired of the student camaraderie that brings Locust, well, brings Penn to life.

UPenn: Penn