By now, it’s common knowledge to incoming freshman that college is a time of growth and change.
That is, growth for the number of books we are required to carry in our backpacks and change in the amount of our once-abundant bank accounts.
Fear not, underclassmen!
The fourth annual Philadelphia College Festival is upon us, and this year’s attendance is expected to surpass the success of Festival 2002, thanks to this year’s attractions, including the Kick-Off concert with hip-hop superstar Busta Rhymes and the College Internship Fair.
“The Festival serves as the official student orientation and welcome back for the 250,000 million students in the Philadelphia area,” General Manager Jon Herrmann said.
“The goal is to give people a great experience off campus early on, so that they spend more time exploring Philadelphia year round.”
New to the weeklong festival is the College Internship Fair at the Kimmel Center.
With over 150 businesses and professional workshops, the Internship Fair aims to increase students’ chances of landing worthwhile positions within their area of expertise.
Students are encouraged to bring their resumes and dress for success as they come face to face with real internship opportunities.
The Fair begins at noon Wednesday, Sept. 24. For more information and to register, make your way to www.careerphilly.com.
If you’re in the mood to spend the day outdoors, bring a friend to Park Beautification Day in Fairmount Park on Lemon Hill.
Hug a tree, plant a flower and embrace the beauty of the world’s largest urban park from 12:30 p.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 28. Register now at www.nlreep.org, as space is limited.
Perhaps the most highly anticipated event of the festival takes place Saturday, Sept. 20, when Rhymes takes to the stage for Kick Off Concert 2003 on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway.
For seven hours straight (beginning at 3 p.m.), Rhymes, Silvertide, Rowdy Black Giants, Paul Green School of Rock and 2003 Philly Student Choice Awards winner jonah.can.explain and a slew of other musicians will serenade the people of Philadelphia.
As if that wasn’t enough, the whole event, including food and activities, is free.
But, in keeping with the spirit of variety, the Philadelphia Museum of Art is simultaneously offering College Day at the Parkway from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., featuring cultural hubs like the Franklin Institute Science Museum, the Eastern State Penitentiary, the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts and other worthwhile attractions.
While there are more than enough high-profile events in the 2003 Philadelphia College Festival, the list of scheduled events seems livelier than Festival 2002.
“We recognized from student feedback that students are only going to leave campus once or twice; at the most three times,” he said.
“Within our resources, we decided to spend more energy getting much greater attendance to the core events instead of trying to promote 20 events at once with varied success. We think it will actually raise attendance overall.”
CampusPhilly.com, the official Web site of the 2003 Philadelphia College Festival, predicts more than 35,000 students between the ages of 16 and 25 will be in attendance at the Kick-Off Concert and Expo.
As for Herrmann, he still has faith in the power of the festival.
“If I hadn’t gone to the College Festival and signed up for Campus Philly, I probably would have left for California and been much less happy,” he said.
Marta Rusek can be reached at email@example.com