If there’s one thing that stands out about Beatrice Forman (C ‘22), it’s that she tells the best stories. I don’t just mean in terms of material, although she often seems to find herself in the midst of truly mind–boggling dating nightmares that later become a series of hilarious texts. Bea is able to craft the most compelling narrative I’ve ever heard, whether the events happened to her or someone she just met.

Maybe that’s what makes her such a great writer. Or maybe, as she told me once over sushi at happy hour, it’s her ability to be introspective to just the right degree. Bea knows that she falls in love deeply and quickly, and she knows how little she knows about the world in the grand scheme of things. She isn’t afraid to ask people the difficult questions or the silly ones, and she rarely takes anything at face value. She’s taught me, and so many other writers and editors at Street, to do the same.

Almost four years after she first stepped foot inside 4015 Walnut, I sat down with my predecessor—and one of my closest friends—to talk about her time at the “big little magazine” we both love so much.

Name: Beatrice Forman

Majors: Political science and communication

Hometown: Somers, N.Y.

Activities: Editor–in–chief of 34th Street Magazine, the diversity chair of The Daily Pennsylvanian

Emily White: You've been at the DP, but more specifically at Street, since 2018. What drew you here and what made you stay?

Beatrice Forman: I was a very goal–oriented high schooler, like all of us were, and I remember telling my mom, "I want to be the editor–in–chief of my college’s newspaper." That didn't exactly happen, and I think that was because the difference between Street and the DP truly lies in the people and their interests. Everybody at both organizations is incredibly smart. But at Street, they're smart about the things I care about. We talk seriously about reality television, and Taylor Swift, and all of that guilty pleasure pop culture that I'm obsessed with. That's what made it feel like home. I think beyond that, Street is unique in that everybody who works there is also friends, and that's very, very hard to find.

EW: In your final letter from the editor, you outline one of the biggest lessons that you learned during your time at Street. Other than how to be a better and more empathetic journalist, what would you say your biggest takeaway has been from your time here?

BF: This is a really tough question. I think my biggest takeaway, honestly, is that you can want an institution to change so desperately, but if the institution doesn't, that's on them and not on you. When I didn't see the DP get more diverse, or cover marginalized communities better, I would take it as a personal failing, because that was something I really wanted to change. But at the end of the day, you can't motivate people to do things for you. And you especially can't motivate a company to intrinsically be different. And at the end of the day you have to know you did your best. And that's that.

EW: In addition to being Street’s editor–in–chief, you were the DP’s diversity chair for a year and a half. What is something that you're really proud of in terms of how the company changed during your time there?

BF: I'm really, really proud of the fact that there are trainings about the basics of talking to people from marginalized communities, and also how to be an open and empathetic interviewer. There were none of those trainings when I came here. There was one optional diversity training when I was a [first year]. Now, it's becoming part of how we conceive of being good student journalists. I'm also proud of DP fellows, which is the annual fellowship program that provides five $4,000 scholarships to people from marginalized backgrounds who want to get into student journalism. I think it's a really awesome program when it's run correctly. Working at the DP is literally a full–time job—it was my baby for two years—and the fact that people are getting paid to work there and do the great work we do is super important.

EW: What is your favorite memory from your time at Street?

BF: It was the last production night for the 135, which was when Annabelle Williams was editor–in–chief. That was when they were training me and Tamsyn and Sam, and all of the incoming board on how to do production. At the end, we had a party and we popped champagne and took a bunch of photos. And it was the first time I really felt like I was a part of something. I remember feeling really vindicated that I was taking something over that was tangible. We took pictures and did human pyramids, and remembering it makes me feel warm and fuzzy. Also, I think this is a tangential Street memory, but it was the first time me and Tamsyn ever hung out as friends. I had just gotten out of a relationship, as every anecdote in my life ever starts. And I was really sad and lonely. Because it was during finals, a lot of my friends were not on campus. So I texted her and I was like, “Do you want to hang out?” She came over with popcorn and a bottle of cheap, shitty red wine, and we talked on my couch for two hours. And she became my best friend. And I know it's changed the trajectory of my life or whatever that meme is.

EW: If you were gonna write a thank–you letter to all the people who made your time at Street what it was, who would be on that list?

BF: Oh my god, where the fuck do I start? First and foremost, I want to thank Annabelle Williams for constantly encouraging me to take on bigger roles and never saying any pitch or question I had was too stupid. I want to thank Sam Kessler. Even though you were a hard editor, you were a good editor, and you made me a better writer. I want to thank the 136, specifically Sam Mitchell and Eliana Doft, for being just an awesome group of people to learn with. I want to thank Eliana for her bubbly personality and ability to bring people together, and Sam for his humor. Especially, I want to thank Tamsyn Brann for being the best editor–in–chief I could have ever tried to emulate and a best friend. I also want to thank my board. I really, really want to thank Karin for her girlboss energy, and her ability to get things done. I want to thank Mehek for being all of her writers' champions, and I want to thank Chelsey for her editorial brilliance and writing style and everything. And I also want to thank not just the DP, but Resolve Philly for teaching me everything I know about how to be a caring and compassionate journalist. So much of how Street was shaped came directly from me working there for a year, [and] it’d be very different without them. And I also want to thank the interviewer Emily White for listening to me complain and bitch and moan all the time, and still wanting to take up the helm. I want to thank Brittany Darrow for staying up until 2 a.m. every single Street production night. You are the real MVP, and truly the backbone of this organization.

EW: Now that you don't have to stay up until 2 a.m. every Monday night doing production and all of the other things that you used to do, how do you use your free time?

BF: I still manage my time really poorly, but I've spent a lot more of it reading for pleasure. Now one of my pastimes is going on long walks, which has been immensely beneficial for my mental health. I go to concerts on Mondays, which is crazy. I also spend a lot of time with people I care about, which has been nice. It's been really nice to finally be able to prioritize myself and not feel guilty about it, or not feel guilty about wanting to take a break on a Monday or Tuesday. I watch a lot of reality television. I know it's not possible to win Love Is Blind, but I think if I went on [the show], I'd know how to now.

EW: You are a pop culture fiend above all else. What is your favorite weird fact about pop culture that you think everyone needs to know?

BF: This is a moment of Puerto Rican excellence. We have Google Images because of Jennifer Lopez. And it's because of the Versace dress she wore to the 2000 Grammys. People were so enraptured by how sexy she looked and how beautiful she looked that they kept trying to Google the dress and where it was from and how to get knockoffs. And people couldn't do it, because there were no Google images. So yeah, Jennifer Lopez is basically the reason we also have Instagram, and like every other visual format of social media, except for maybe YouTube.

EW: What's next for you after Penn?

BF: After Penn, I'll be staying in Philly to be the deputy editor of Billy Penn, which is an awesome local news organization that’s part of WHYY. Over there, I'll be working with a lot of new freelancers, specifically people of color and people from marginalized communities who have never gotten the chance to write or tell their own stories. I will also be doing a lot of writing about technology and pop culture in Philly. I'll also be an aunt to two little lovely puppies, and still a general menace to society.

Lightning Round:

What was the most formative reality TV show you've ever watched? Jersey Shore (ed. note: She doesn't hesitate for even a second).

How many boyfriends can a person have concurrently? No less than one, no more than four.

Pick one: gaslight, gatekeep, or girlboss. Girlboss. Because if you're a girlboss, you can do the other two. 

There are two types of people at Penn… People who read Street and people who don't. 

And you are? Obviously one who reads Street.