Art has always held a special place in my heart. I’ve always been a science and math person, but I remember walking around the High Museum of Art (Atlanta’s – where I’m from – art museum) with my mom as she taught me to pay attention to the details as well as the whole piece. I’m definitely not an art scholar and I’ll never be one – which I discovered when I took an art history class sophomore year – but I appreciate art and am a museum nerd.
The first time I headed to the Philadelphia Museum of Art was the day before winter break. I finished my exams early, my suitcases were packed, and I had a day to spare. So I trudged through the snow to Bryn Mawr’s train station, stopping at my professor’s office to drop off my last paper, and walked down the Schylkill River Trail after arriving at 30th Street Station in Philadelphia. It was the first time I traveled somewhere new by myself. It was also the first time I went to a museum without my mom or teachers or friends. I entered through the “Rocky” steps on the east side and there she was in the Great Stair Hall, recently restored. Shimmering and regal, the golden Diana statue rested on the ball of her foot, her strong arms pulling back the string to her bow. I’m not sure what spoke to me – the focused eyes or the shimmery aura around her or if it was simply the feeling of satisfaction that I finished the semester alive – but I felt warm, happy, and as if I could do anything.
Two years later, I am still at Bryn Mawr College and an Economics major. I’ve gone into Philly so many times by myself at all times. Philly is the city where I’m growing up and learning how to be independent and strong. I have great friends and a support system. I’m really glad I decided to come up here (despite the snow and awful winters). No matter where I end up later, Philly will always be the place I turned into an adult.