It’s no secret around the DP office that I beat the crap out of two pinatas in my year as a sports editor — one out of anger and one out of celebration.
The remnants can be seen hanging from the ceiling of the sports office as a reminder of the ups and downs of life at the DP.
But the reality is that the DP and the friends I’ve made there have gotten me through everything over the past three years. At the end of the journey, my simple thought is that it’s funny how life works out.
When I left Philadelphia nearly four years ago to head to the Tar Heel state, I was certain that I would be on ESPN in no time. I loved UNC basketball — despite the team’s NIT championship-losing season — but I realized Chapel Hill was just not for me. So I packed up after a year and came back home.
I originally decided to go to UNC over Penn because I wanted to pursue sports journalism and spend four years at a place with lots of school spirit. The funny thing is, I found that opportunity and school spirit right here at Penn.
My first stop when I got to Penn was the DP office, and for my first assignment, I interviewed Zack Rosen and Tyler Bernardini about The Line.
Coming from UNC, I was in awe. Never would I have gotten to talk to Tyler Zeller or John Henson for my first story or cover a great tradition where everyone sleeps over for basketball tickets.
I quickly realized that The Line wasn’t so interesting, but my love for sportswriting — and the Quakers — only grew from there.
What I found over the last three years is that big-time sports schools are fun, but nothing beats the sense of history when you sit in the Palestra or Franklin Field. And the school spirit might not be so obvious, but it’s here — just look for a Puck Frinceton shirt on campus.
In the end, what I was looking for was right in front of my eyes the whole time. It just took a pit stop in Chapel Hill for me to realize it.
As time went on, I found that sports journalism was not the future I wanted for myself anymore. Now, I’ve gone back to being just a fan, which is how this all started anyway. And what I learned at the DP translates far beyond sports journalism.
I can’t write this goodbye without thanking my fellow sports editors. Thank you for a fun and crazy year, for putting up with my exhaustion, for making me laugh and last but certainly not least, for finishing the basketball supplement as I got on a plane to LA.
To Megan, thanks for being our fun-loving leader, for making me run for editor and for your dancing. To Mike, thanks for complaining about Philly sports with me and for being the best pizza editor ever by introducing us to Tacconelli’s. To Sush, thanks for always having a smile on your face and for Schools of Fish.
As I move on from Penn, my fondest memories of my time here will be of the DP’s only section that matters and the people who made it great. Thanks to all of you. I’m out.
Alyssa Kress is a senior communications major from Abington, Pa., and is former sports editor of The Daily Pennsylvanian. She is hoping to pursue a career in communications. She can be contacted at email@example.com.