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Goodbye means leaving. It means packing everything up, arranging for a destination, shipping half your life and moving on. It means saying goodbye to the many you may leave behind. The hugs, the bittersweet drinks, the lulling affection shared amongst close friends. It is a deliberate act, unavoidable but unquestionably intentional. But it is also a time of reflection, of silent grief. Living in a cloud, knowing that this could be the second-to-last time you go see a midnight showing at Rave Motion Pictures, the last time you got lunch on College Green with Chez Yasmine in hand, the third-to-last wave to a person you met once but cordially acknowledge on Locust Walk. You cannot think about this reality constantly; it would drive you to a state of perpetual longing. But it is worth reflecting on — eventually.

For me, many of these people who I bump into, wave at and acknowledge are those who I met through the paper. I did not choose these colleagues; we had different circles, almost always different majors and more often than not, different aspirations. But there is this sense of an endearing rapport and implicit understanding of a shared experience.

Penn is a rigorous, vibrant and an unabashedly selfish place. We wheel and deal in ambition, perseverance, privilege and sheer dumb luck in a quixotic market for identity. Our purchases made here are worn on our awkward quarter-zips and baggy sweat pants. These identities are keys to emotional comfort and excuses for the odd lives we choose to relish.

The Daily Pennsylvanian is without such a purpose. It is a selfless, thankless experience, that cuts out our communal identity but fulfills only a rare breed of Penn student. This is one who believes in the simultaneous power and beauty of the story to accomplish something unrelated to one’s own benefit. For the many involved in production, it is an even more mundane and inglorious experience — but similarly discreet and all-shaping. The paper taught me the precariousness of detail; editing videos pulled a close line between censorship and objective reporting. It taught me the true value of time and the fleeting joy of laziness.

Leaving the board of the DP (the ‘129’) as a sophomore was early. Being on board with a full raft of responsibilities as a freshman was all the more premature. But it’s stayed on with me, those endless hours in 4015 Walnut. The couches I’ve slept on all night waiting for a video to upload. The daily pizza I never ate. The Morgue. Ranking at 5:15 p.m. Sunday meetings, Thursday night shifts. The edits, the reedits. Strategy meetings, staffing meetings, critiques.

There is a whole engine scurrying around till the paper sends and beyond that too. An anthill that works every school night to provide a sorely-needed public service. Information regulates everything, and without a daily paper, our concerns about the University, our own lives, our voice, would not be there. It is one of the few and the loudest steam valves by which our separated administration and professoriate can peer into. It sets the agenda. For this, I feel forever a sense of guilt for not remaining at 4015 longer. It wasn’t a complete goodbye — I came back to the wonderfully open arms of 34th Street a year later, but it was an absence I do feel anxious about. Those faces on Locust, the people I knew scattered across the eclectic mix of rooms that make up the DP, these are some of the people I respect most on campus. Their additional 40-hour work week undeniably comes at the expense of all the mosaic of experiences we take for granted. I know this selflessness is not unique at Penn, but I nonetheless feel it should be commended as loudly and as explicitly as the ink on paper, thumbnails and uploads that serve our campus.

Saying goodbye to Penn is a second farewell to the institution I half left sophomore year. It is an exercise in self-reflection. Packing up my eclectic experiences, arranging them, then rearranging them and sending them away as well-filed memories. A baguette from a food truck will no longer be eaten on College Green. Those waves on Locust won’t be waves anymore. Things will be different. Yes, things will change. Instead they’ll be deep hugs and long conversations at dinner parties. Our baguettes will be made in cafes, at restaurants. We’ll meet again in faraway places.

Kyle Bryce-Borthwick is a College senior from Hong Kong, China. He is a former video producer at The Daily Pennsylvanian and 34th Street. His email is

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