Natalee Young Terkel: They Looked Like Kids

Natalee Young Terkel was twenty-six years old when she enrolled in the University of Pennsylvania. She had spent most of the previous ten years working as a yoga instructor, but says she always intended to go to college. She just didn’t think it would take so long to get there.

“It was a little weird, my first few weeks at Penn,” she says. “Most of the other freshmen, they looked like little kids to me. They were little kids. I’ve always had a youthful appearance, so I think a lot of them assumed I was about the same age as them. But a few probably could tell I was an older student; one girl even told me later she thought I was one of the instructors! She’s a close friend now.”

Natalee Young Terkel is majoring in marketing and minoring in computer programming. Marketing, she says, will open a lot of doors for her, and she seems to be the perfect personality type for the discipline. “One of the things I like about it the most is that marketing doesn’t pigeonhole you to a single business or industry,” she says. “They all need marketing campaigns, and I’ll have the skills to provide them.”

As she works toward completing her coursework, she supports herself with a job as a bartender at Calvin’s, a Penn campus hangout. She draws glasses of beer and mixes drinks four nights a week. She does not currently have a boyfriend, and says that’s a good thing. “It leaves me plenty of time to hit the books. And that is what I want to do most right now.”

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