Septas, Buses, and Trains, Oh my!

Directionally challenged, a phrase I seem to have emulated my entire life. Coming from a small town, Philadelphia was definitely not going to be a walk in the park when it came down to actually going places. Due to this unfortunate attribute, I decided that an early move in program was a step in the right direction (pun intended). The early move in program I chose was PSIP (Philadelphia Service Immersion Program), where you travel in groups to different parts of Philadelphia to do service work.

My first day of PSIP was unbelievable! First we took the Septa to our service destination and after our day we once again waited at the bus stop to get back on campus. Then, for dinner we went to China Town via a school bus. Reflecting on my day I started to give myself a pat on the back, “you go girl, you went to Philly, took public transportation, what a day, what a rush!” Except then I got to thinking…I followed my PSIP leader to the bus stop, to wait for a Septa whose number I didn’t even know. I went to China Town, but I can’t even remember what exit we took?

Suddenly I realized I have no idea if I should be taking the train or maybe the bus or even this Septa thing? I remember someone saying a phrase like “East to Feast and West to Rest” but I have no clue which way is East and which way is West? With my first day as a college student approaching way quicker than I had imagined, the thought of finding the right building, let alone the right room, seemed more and more difficult.

IMG_3598One of my worst fears is the thought of forever being lost, never quite finding my way. Luckily for me I now know for certain that I have found my way by attending SJU. I chose Saint Joseph’s University because of its emphasis on always doing more, especially in the form of service. Not only did I choose to participate in PSIP because I could move in early, but also for the chance to help others in the city I will call my home for the next four years. I have soon realized that being lost is common, whether that’s in what school to choose, what to major in, or when exactly to get off the bus. Between my orientation and PSIP leaders I feel so fortunate to have people to show me the way. Walking on campus wondering where to go can be intimidating, but knowing that I can ask anyone in this wonderful college community which way is where, has really made walking to the wrong residence hall a truly laughable experience. I can now honestly say that Saint Joseph’s University has really given me direction, in more ways than one.


Posted in: Community Service & Social Justice, Student Life

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