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I Joined a Cult: Now I Want to Go Back to Campus


Graphic by Alicia Lopez / The Daily Pennsylvanian Photos by luckylynda74 / CC BY 2.0,  johnmcvoit / CC BY-SA 2.0, The Daily Pennsylvanian

Upon hearing the latest housing announcement, I was initially hesitant to go back to campus. I strongly considered taking a leave of absence or just taking online classes at home. I thought to myself, "why would I give the University my housing money if my classes are all going to be online anyway?" That's when I saw the light. 

In the midst of my musings, the realization that my doubts were sinful hit me. I immediately sought to repent. I drove to campus to confess my wrongdoing and seek forgiveness. As I, sweaty and tired from the drive, pounded on the gates of The Honorable President Gutmann's estate, I was delivered. She arrived.

I confessed that I had sinned, considering not coming to campus this fall, or even going so far as to take a leave of absence. The Honorable President Gutmann put her hand on my head and blessed me, absolving me from my crime. Through tears, I thanked her and a soothing silence permeated the space.

After a few minutes, I collected myself. It was then The Honorable President Gutmann took my hand and began a low chant. "You WILL wear your mask, pretty much everywhere except your bedroom and when eating," she started, in a voice no louder than a whisper. "You will NOT road trip to see your girlfriend in law school in New York or visit high school pals at Yale," she continued with growing volume and force. While at first, I was confused about The Honorable President Gutmann's response, I soon found myself chanting along. Joined hand in hand we screeched, "You WILL persevere, learn, laugh, have fun, and make memories," as if our lives depended on it because at that moment they did.

Somewhere in the middle of chanting, I must have blacked out. I woke up tucked into bed with a cup of now-cold milk on the bedside table eight hours later. I was overwhelmed with a feeling of safety and I had no doubts that I had to return to campus. I look forward to seeing many other disciples and especially The Honorable President Gutmann on campus this fall.