Jessica Goodman | Moving on is hard, staying put is harder
Farewell Column | Lessons learned from sitting on rooftops
April 25, 2012, 2:39 am·
Lists are cliché. Lists are tropes — especially those that are supposed to sum up an entire college experience. And they certainly have no place in a newspaper, or in a column — God forbid.
But, alas, here I am, about to throw away my journalistic integrity. I’m listing away, because how else can I explain what I learned at Penn? So here it is, my practical education laid out in just a few hundred words. Class of 2015, take note.
• Walking on Locust with no headphones on and no phone in your hand is brave. But doing it is special.
• Roofs, decks, porches and backyards are the most important features of any house.
• When the sun comes out, there’s a weird magnetic force that just pulls you to Copa. Embrace it.
• Being locked in the 34th Street office every Wednesday for 12 hours is a privilege, not a burden. And it often comes with an overwhelming sense of humility, respect and love.
• Being Ego of the Week is actually very scary.
• It’s easier to do work with friends. Even better if your friends have great memes to share.
• Even though I will never again live within a two-block radius of all of the people I love, they will always be only a phone call away.
• Life will go on after college. It may even be really fun and fulfilling.
• Some of the best nights consist of pajamas, nachos and a game of Cards Against Humanity.
• Working for Street gave me confidence, Twitter followers, mentors, good taste in music and a lot of amazing friends with round black glasses.
• Moving on is hard. Staying put is harder.
• I don’t tell my parents “thank you” enough for allowing me to go to Penn and making these four years possible. (Thank you, Mom and Dad.)
• I am both dreading and hoping that my immediate future will be like the world-rocking HBO show “Girls.” You can judge me for that.
• Gchat. Gchat. Gchat.
• I don’t love the woods. But I love PennQuest and respect anyone who’s hiked with me four miles in the wrong direction. A good sense of direction is something I simply have not developed.
• Driving around with the windows down is not just a high-school pastime — doing it in Fairmount in the spring is cool. Really cool.
• Philadelphia is great for art, brunch, tacos and parks.
• Being from Long Island is considered exotic at some other schools.
• Hill College House is a magical place where streaking past midnight is encouraged and where you can hold your roommate’s hand while you both sit in bed. Doing both of these things can make a boring evening quite memorable.
• Keeping every last ticket stub, receipt and photograph makes memories tangible, but it doesn’t make time slow down. It’s OK to throw some of these things out.
• My peers are brilliant and will grow up to run companies, cities and marathons.
• Going to the Blarney Stone on St. Patrick’s Day is a rite of passage.
• Leaving Penn will be heartbreaking, but it is unavoidable.
• An education is not just what you learn in a 150-person lecture. In fact, it rarely is.
• I owe my happiness to the members of Street, PennQuest, 4102 Friends and Sigma Delta Tau. May you always stay grand.
• Song lyrics are cheesy, but people quote them for a reason.
• Penn is big, bad and beautiful. It will forever be ours.
Cheers to the class of 2012. Stay you.
Jessica Goodman, a former 34th Street editor-in-chief, is a College senior from Muttontown, N.Y. After graduation, Jessica will be interning at New York Magazine before attending Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism in the fall. Her email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.