Letter from the Editor 12.5.18
A (slightly maudlin) reflection on new beginnings, a mess of a freshman year, and loving Street.
The number of times I’ve revised this letter is inexcusable when you consider that I have a final exam on Thursday. But it’s hard to extricate myself from the idea—mostly self–imposed—that whatever I write here will define my tenure as Street’s Editor–in–Chief. But it won't, and the spillage of empty space on the document in front of me is a good reminder that I can say pretty much whatever.
So allow me to get personal.
I stumbled into the DP office on an otherwise uneventful evening at the beginning of my freshman year, and walked out having asked, point–blank, for a job I didn’t apply for. I got lucky. They were hiring copy editors, and before I knew it, I was a “Street person.”
That was the really good thing that happened to me freshman year. The rest of it was bleak, and I remember much of it in black and white. I didn’t accomplish much, to take a utilitarian assessment of that time. But more importantly, I wasn’t happy.
What turned it around for me was Street, and feeling like a part of a community. I got more and more involved, developed friendships, and found myself tied to Street in a way I never anticipated.
Putting together and promoting a completely student–run magazine is no easy task. And every issue of Street involves countless hours of work from over a hundred students. We pour ourselves into Street for many reasons, but I like to think the biggest one is that we believe in its mission. We believe in Street as a place for student voices, for creativity, for growth.
I hope that my time at the helm will help develop Street’s narrative, longform journalism style. I hope to train every staffer and editor in what it takes to work for a magazine and think creatively. I hope to cultivate relationships and mentorships and to encourage a collective sense of pride in what the staff accomplishes every week. I hope that every staffer and editor will have the same experience with Street that I did.
Street asks a lot of people. It’s challenging and maddening and requires countless late nights and myriad Slack messages. But those difficulties and their associated triumphs create a community that’s incomparable to anything else at Penn. People care. The people I worked with this year—Nick, Remi, Angela, Autumn, Reb, Lucy, and so many more—care so much. And it’s awe–inspiring.
Penn can be a punishing place, and it’s easy to feel unmoored. I invite anyone and everyone to check out Street specifically and the DP more broadly. Meander over to our dingy, windowless office tucked away at 4015 Walnut. Street’s been a home for me and I hope it can be a home for you too.
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