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Letter from the editor | A symphony of university life


After taking the day trip from New Jersey to Pittsburgh, I always try to take a break and enjoy my surroundings.

The buzz of people walking the main arteries of Oakland, Forbes and Fifth Avenue? Check.

The sun-like presence of 42 floors, over 2,000 rooms, and the 90-year-old center of our Pitt universe known as Cathy? Check.

A Port Authority bus passing by and, as a friend likes to joke, its engine “tears” one up? Check it out, as I laugh softly to myself.

These are just a few of the many sounds and sights that make up the Oakland Urban Symphony, which you will be joining soon. After a strange end to spring break 2020 – basically putting a sign “Sorry, we’re closed” on campus – followed by a radically different school year with mostly online courses, this fall could be the “normal” first semester for some time. (All together now, touch wood.)

Starting a personal transition at a time of massive global transition can seem overwhelming. Frankly, it’s intimidating. But if I can give you one piece of advice during this time, it’s that your experience at Pitt is ultimately a great symphony that you will weave together.

You can start adding people to your symphony by saying hello to your roommates – some may have cookies they hand out, as conversation starters – and having a meal with one or two or 15 of them at the dining room to get to know each other better. Boom, you’re off to a good start. You may find yourself like me, where some of my closest friends are on my freshman floor, years after leaving Sutherland Hall.

If you don’t meet your fellow students in your dorm, try saying hello to people in your classes – the huge Lawrence Hall introductory lectures many freshmen take are perfect for this. Join different clubs and attend general body meetings to add more reach to your symphony. Sometimes you can hit a bad note and that’s okay. The key is to keep playing and scratching.

Continue to add more scale to your symphony. Eventually you’ll end up with a cool bunch of people to surround you with – people you can roll out a picnic blanket with on a hot night in Schenley Plaza, take a trip to a nearby park, eat at a new restaurant. across town or even go see the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra across Pitt Discount Program. Record and cherish this eclectic team and the special music you all make together.

To help you introduce yourself to life at Pitt and get started on your college journey, we at The Pitt News have compiled this new student guide. Our amazing news writers have compiled a guide to key dates of the year, ways to get involved on campus and more. Our wonderful columnists have written many columns of advice, offering their hard-earned wisdom on the different ways to approach your time here at Pitt and the resources you may find helpful. The culture office has a few suggestions on escapes from the hustle and bustle of the city and Pittsburgh’s pop culture history. And our sports editors have all the information you need on Pitt Athletics so you are fully stocked up on your Panther trivia.

Beyond this special 64-page edition, we hope you will stay tuned to TPN throughout the summer and this tumultuous time for the latest news on Pitt and the Oakland community. We have teams of student journalists focused on covering almost every aspect of the campus and its evolution during the pandemic and this time of social upheaval. The best way to stay in touch is to subscribe to our newsletter by email at pittnews.com/newsletter – you’ll be up to date with the news as soon as we find out, which is sometimes the way administrators hear about it. You can also follow us on Twitter or Instagram to @ThePittNews and Like us on facebook.

As readers and new to the Pitt community, we also want to hear from you. Please feel free to send us ideas for articles, things you think we should cover, answers to articles or questions about our 111 year old newspaper. Nothing is too big or too small.

If you would like to help tell the story of the Pitt community, we would be honored to have you on our team. We’re always looking for our next team of Editors, Journalists, Columnists, Photographers, Videographers and Editors to work in our award-winning journal. No previous experience is needed to join – I entered my freshman year barely knowing how to properly format a quote, and now the Chancellor knows me by name. If I can do it, so can you – if you want to join our team, you can apply to pittnews.com/application.

Hope you can enjoy the rest of your summer to the fullest, and we will see you back in Oakland soon. Remember to stay in touch with us for updates as August approaches.

All my best,

Jon moss


[email protected]


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