Three and a half years ago, I walked—alone—up the stairs of some sketchy building on the corner of 40th and Walnut streets and into a room of people that would change my life. 

I joined Street freshmen year on a whim, but as soon as the Editor–in–Chief stood up at the front of the room and made me introduce myself with a song to describe my sex life, I was hooked. Never in my life had I been confronted with a group of people who I found so intimidating but whom I wanted to emulate so badly. All I wanted was to be a part of their hysterical, bizarre production. And the best part was, for what felt like the first time in my life, they wanted me to be a part of it too.

Over these past three and a half years, Street has given me more than I could have ever imagined on that first Thursday in September. It has given me given me a place on this campus that feels more like home than anywhere else, it has given me some of my closest friends. It has taught me what it is like to fail, what it is like to lose something so important to you that you can’t breathe from crying. It has taught me how to forgive (thank you, Alex), it has taught me how to lead. It has taught me how to stand up for myself, and it has taught me how to stand up for others. 

It is, hands down, the best thing that has happened to me at Penn. It might be the best thing that has happened to me in my life.

I love this publication with my entire heart and I cannot believe that I already have to leave it. I don’t know who I am without it. What will I say when I introduce myself, now that I can no longer claim a title that instantly invokes some degree of simultaneous fear and respect? What will I say when people ask me what I do for fun, now that I no longer have the excuse of an all–consuming but astoundingly fun job?

To every single person that has been a part of my experience with Street, thank you. Especially to Alex, Mikaela and Giulia, for seeing me at my worst but lifting me up to my best. You have made me who I am today, and I would not have it any other way.

I have absolutely no fucking clue what I am going to do without Street, but I guess I have no choice but to find out.