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Upsetting: This Balding Man is Actually a CIS Freshman


Photo (with edits) by Lachlan Hardy / CC BY 2.0 

Good golly! You may not believe your eyes, but the person depicted in the image above is not a balding middle-aged man. In reality, Steven Gillison (E ‘22) is a freshman studying computer science.

Gillison entered Penn this past fall full of energy, with a spring in his step and a smile on his face. Now, he looks more like a professor than a student.

“The years have been cruel,” Gillison lamented. “And by ‘years,’ I really mean last semester.”

Needless to say, midterms and endless problem sets have taken their toll on Gillison’s psyche, and it shows. Black bags adorn the spaces underneath his dead eyes. His skin appears dry, flaky, and pale, tanned only by the light of his laptop screen. His hands, gross and gangly, have been worn down to the bone after hours and hours of debugging.

Of course, it isn’t all bad news. Spontaneously aging 20+ years in one semester has its perks. Gillison is no longer a squeaky freshman, but a mature man.

Most notably, Gillison can now enter and exit Smokes freely, and without two-step verification. Thanks to his utterly decrepit appearance, he convinced his RAs to let him keep liquor in his dorm for when he needs to pregame office hours.

“Each day I feel more and more like an adult,” Gillison said, Natty Light in hand. “Thanks to Penn, I feel like I can take on the world!”

These days, whenever his wrecked body isn’t slumped over in alcoholic stupor, Gillison gets a kick out of doing his taxes and completing crossword puzzles.