I don't think I've ever been this excited for an issue. 34th Street Magazine's Love Issue is everything that we're about as a publication. Raw, funny, weird. At times intense. Just like the undergraduate years and our society's obsession with Valentine's Day.

When I was nine years old, I remember listening to "These Words (I Love You, I Love You)" from Now That's What I Call Music! 20 in the car. I leaned forward halfway through the song to ask my mom, "Why are there so many songs about love?" Silence. "Because it affects everyone," she told me. Or something like that. i'm not good at remembering direct quotations. What's important is that I consolidated my first ideas about love in the backseat of a Volkswagen Passat while listening to Natasha Bedingfield. I don't think my conception of love haschanged much since then.

Love is messy, sticky, ugly, and something I can't claim to fully understand. It is not something I want to box in. Love is the muddiest of all emotions and nothing will ever capture it. Still, we wanted to try to represent it in all its multifaceted glory in this issue.

Our Love Issue is a hybrid of staff pieces and reader submissions. This particular stack of paper blurs the boundaries between Street and the larger Penn student body. We are a magazine for and by Penn students, and a place for any and all voices. Our authors are on a level playing field, all experiences, thoughts, and opinions valid. The Street writer/non–Street writer distinction becomes unimportant.

I want to thank all the students who submitted to our Love Issue contest, who opened up and shared their hilarious and touching stories with us. We are nothing without y'all.

As you thumb through this issue, please excuse our outpouring of millennial pink. I have a weakness. This issue was a labor of love for so many writers, designers, editors, and illustrators on staff and we had to convey that with the color scheme. 

I hope you read this issue and experience a kaleidoscope of emotions. I dry–heaved, choked–up, and self–contemplated, all in the same ten–minute span. It's only right. Whatever your Valentine's Day plans, I hope that reading this issue is a part of them. Remember that today is only as important as you let it be. I've got a date with some rotisserie chicken and Twin Peaks. That's pretty damn important to me.

I'm bad at endings, so I'll leave you with this. In the words of the great prophetess SZA: "It's about LOoOoOOOOOOoOoooOooooOOVeeee."


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