The Final Countdown

By Katie Matresse

To avoid being overly emotional during this last week, allow me to revisit a list format:


Things (Last Week) That Blew My Mind:

  1. A legal motion that I authored (!!!!!!!) was submitted to the courts to be litigated later this spring
  2. The Assistant Chief of my unit offered to write a recommendation letter for me for my law school applications
  3. I have been committed to working on three very different cases that are startling and fascinating
  4. The final class sessions for my two academic courses, during which each student had the opportunity to leave the class with one final message
  5. Reflecting on the totality of my TPC semester as it draws to a close (you can find my story here)
  6. A wonderful meeting with Char to discuss my internship and improve my résumé
  7. Reflecting with my good friend and TPC alum  about how quickly this monumental semester passes
  8. Walking around Philadelphia, trying to memorize how beautiful City Hall is from every angle
  9. As always, nerding out over public interest law with my friend who interns at the Defender’s Association’s Homicide Mitigation Unit

It has been very fulfilling to put these stories out to the e-universe (Hi, Mom and Dad!) this semester, and I hope somewhere in my personal reflections there has been a greater lesson to be uncovered.

I could never have predicted how rewarding this semester would be, and now I can’t imagine what my future would have looked like had I been too afraid to step into a new experience. If you’re a student debating this unconventional off-campus semester, remember the advice my community organizing mentor gave me…take fear out of the equation! If you learn to participate actively in the creation of your ideal experience (that’s what the TPC semester is all about!), you’ll have set a positive trajectory for the rest of your adult life.

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About The Philadelphia Center

The Philadelphia Center offers undergraduate students the opportunity to thrive through experiential education with PHL:EXP, the Philly Off-Campus Experience. Each term we help students secure professional, accredited internships and independent housing throughout the vibrant and diverse city of Philadelphia. Students explore career paths through real-world applications and rigorous, seminar-style courses. We provide our students with the opportunity to gain independence while learning in a safe and supportive environment. Our students leave Philadelphia with a strong sense of their abilities, social and professional aspirations, and a plan for their future.

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