When the weekend comes around, I often look at my to-do list of papers and studying, and it all seems manageable…until Sunday arrives. On Sundays, that list seems unimaginably long and impossible to complete. Thankfully, I can look forward to some much-needed relief each week. Throughout this semester, quantitative trading firm Jane Street sponsored some amazing M&T study breaks, each of which made my Sundays a little less overwhelming.
Each study break has one of the most important things to every college student: food. From pie to pizza to parfaits, there was always something for everyone; I even tried my first slice of pecan pie at a study break! As the themes escalated in creativity (like pumpkin decorating and make-your-own trail mix), more and more M&Ts began to show up. At one point, we had filled an entire Huntsman classroom with de-stressing college students.
At study breaks, we M&Ts not only polished off all the food, but also had the opportunity to just hang out with fellow M&Ts. As a freshman, the study breaks were huge in helping me to get to know the M&T community. My conversations with upperclassmen helped me learn more about M&T, and Penn in general. Conversations guided me through the technicalities of course registration and even helped me decide to change my engineering major. And of course, there were many interactions that were just fun! Overall, the study breaks embody the incredible social and academic support of a community of which I am so glad to belong.
As a first-semester freshman, I think it was easy to get caught up in the stress of a new difficulty level and a greater workload. While I was able to stay in control most of the time, Sundays always amplified that anxiety for me. But, thanks to Jane Street and the M&T community I was able to diffuse that stress—and of course, get free food!
Tanu Balla is a member of the class of 2020, majoring in Computer Science and concentrating in Finance & Management. She aspires to go into product management or stage-manage on Broadway. Her favorite thing about being an M&T is the deep sense of community she feels with her fellow M&Ts.