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Breaking the Penn Face: Yeah I Wanna Punch You


Photo by Penn Summer

Walking across Locust, one would not be challenged to find a thousand shining smiles, confident bounces in steps, and overall, joy to be alive. I mean, we shouldn’t be surprised. After all, these Locust dawdlers have everything to be happy about. There are winners and losers in every society. As members of the Penn conglomerate, these are the winners and they have the laurels to show for it; from first place in student debt to first place in embezzlement one year out of college, these students are doing it all. However, it would be a mistake to assume that students are universally happy or that they have reason to be. Unfortunately, not all of us get to go to the Caribbean when things in Philly get tough. That’s why we need to be honest with ourselves and break the Penn face.  

Yes, this means that if you aren’t happy, you’re allowed to frown or even pout unironically. But we need to take it to new extremes. Desperate times call for desperate measures. We need to break the Penn face. I’m talking about punching, slapping, spanking, scratching, stabbing – whatever it takes to end the lavish flaunting of happiness. 

As a currently unstable, aspiring surly Penn student myself, I fully subscribe to my own mantra. There is no greater crime that can be committed in this world than being happy when I’m not. Therefore, if you see me frowning, know that I am not only miserable, but also preparing for battle. These knuckles aren’t just good for punching walls; they are also excellent for making sandwiches. I hope that you will join my movement to destigmatize sadness and violence. It is extremely important that in solidarity with the sufferers and victims on this campus, we all grimace or face the consequences. Because sometimes, I don’t wanna be happy.