Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Being an Engineer in the Performing Arts

Before I came to Penn, I had a lot of hobbies. But the main two were STEM and music. I decided to pursue Chemical Engineering when I came to Penn but I didn’t want to let go of my love for performing. Upon arrival at campus, I joined the Quaker Notes A Cappella group. By finding a balance between engineering and performing, I have been able to truly shape and enjoy my college experience.

As an incoming freshman, many students are warned to not get too involved because college is a big adjustment and it is very easy to get overwhelmed. Personally, I was very hesitant to audition for groups. I figured that I would go through the process and if I got overwhelmed, I would take a step back and put my academics first. What I didn’t realize was how great of a decision joining the all-female group would be.

Quaker Notes has not only given me an outlet to take a break from engineering, but it has also provided me with a supportive group that is there for me throughout all of my college milestones. Most engineering classes are very large and while you will find friends in your classes and in the engineering school in general, you may not see them every day or even every semester. A performing arts group will give you a group of 20-or so friends that you will not only spend time with every week, but will truly get to know and love. There are times in engineering when you can become very stressed or overwhelmed, but when you walk into rehearsal, you can put aside all of your stress and focus on having fun with your friends.

Quaker Notes rehearsal is something I look forward to every week. I have even decided to become the Music Director of the group. I am so glad that while I made sure I wasn’t overwhelmed by joining every group, but by joining that one group, (which for me was a performing arts groups) I have truly enriched my Penn experience.

Emily Peters – CBE, 2018

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