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Lauren Plotnick

I can hardly remember who I was when I received my acceptance letter. After spending the last four years wrapped up in books, parties and cover letters, to reflect on it all feels somewhat uncomfortable.

When you are constantly running a minute behind, there is little time for soul-searching.

To say that I’ve changed is an understatement. Stepping on campus fresh-eyed and with an ego the size of a small country, I just knew that I would excel. At what? That was a trivial matter — I’d figure it out eventually.

Then came the recognition that no matter how hard I studied, there was always someone who would score higher than me. I was rejected from groups that I desperately tried to be a part of and realized there simply wasn’t enough time in the day for me to finish everything I had set out to do.

I never envisioned joining The Daily Pennsylvanian, let alone spending the majority of my college time there. Yet there was that undeniable rush that I got from uncovering stories that had been previously unknown. From the first time I saw my words in print, I was addicted.

Four years later, I can truly say that the DP has emerged as my home away from home. Nothing will ever replace the thrill of being in a newsroom when shots are fired on Walnut Street, especially when you know that everybody will be picking up a copy of the paper the next day.

I will always believe in the power of the media to hold institutions accountable. The world we live in today is overwrought with suffering. There are too many problems that need to be solved. An active and responsible press plays a crucial role in unearthing corruption.

That’s why I’m so grateful to have been part of such a talented team that shared my same passion for journalism. The endless dedication of DP staffers never ceases to inspire and amaze me.

Like so many others, I will graduate with a laundry list of activities, experiences and awards. Yet I am most proud of the times when I was a respectful student and an honest friend. As I enjoy the last days of college, I am certain that what is most important is not what I have gotten out of Penn but what I have given to others.

Penn had a unique way of making me so busy that I could hardly make time to eat, so stressed that I could break down in tears at any moment, so euphoric that I never wanted to go to sleep. Through it all, I am blessed to have had a DP family that was there to support me.

I’d like to sincerely thank my co-editors for putting up with my crazy antics, my roommates and friends for their patience and my parents for bringing me back down to earth.

My life has been a series of fortunate events and if it weren’t for those who have been there for me, I wouldn’t be here writing this column. My time at the DP has taught me more than I ever could have imagined, and I am truly honored to have been a part of such a special organization.

Lauren Plotnick is a College senior from Potomac, MD. She is a former Daily Pennsylvanian Executive and Sports Editor. Lauren is moving to D.C. after graduation to work in consulting. Her email address is

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