Forbes and Fifth

Letter From the Editor

Dear Reader,

Forbes & Fifth was born out of an idea from a bright group of undergrads, cheekily named after two main avenues of campus that carry us in as new students and out as graduates. We now celebrate a decade of incredible creativity, ingenuity and soul searching works brought to the university and world stage. As Forbes & Fifth nears its adolescence, our beloved City and University of Pittsburgh’s indomitable spirit continues to welcome the voices of all people and is made better by their presence. From the bottom of my heart, thank you for coming along this journey with us.

Additionally, this 20th volume represents my college experience and time with Forbes & Fifth coming to a close. When I joined the editing team in 2019, I was using my writing and grammar skills as a life line in an ocean of unfamiliarity while adjusting to college. Words have always calmed me and taken me to worlds beyond my imagination, escaping from the sometimes undesirable realities of life. But Forbes & Fifth has taught me that there is power in my present day. I have had the privilege to read many writings of vulnerability, adversity, finding identity, migration and navigating one’s way through it all. Scientific research papers opened my mind to discoveries usually relegated to a secluded lab. Visual art has moved me, confused me and deepened my appreciation for the fine arts. My life’s story may not have the perfectly written plot, or any heroes swooping in to save the day, but it is still worthy to be told. I hope that you explore our archive after enjoying the current volume, and begin to enjoy your story as well.

I extend thanks to every editor I have had the privilege to become a teammate of, our fearless director, Patrick Mullen, and every person who has submitted, been published, or read a volume. While this 20th edition is my last as an editor, it is only the first of many major milestones to come for Forbes & Fifth. I encourage every person to share the journal with students who have a passion for written or art works, as there is a place for everyone in the world of creativity.

Please dedicate time to explore this volume of Forbes & Fifth carefully, as our talented contributors have poured such impressive detail and skill into their pieces. This is one of the most moving and culturally expansive issues we’ve produced, and I guarantee there is much to learn from the words in these pages. It has been an incredible honor to lead and serve this journal.

Once again, thank you for your support towards our publication, and I hope you stay for (at least) the next ten years and beyond.

Sincerely yours,

Erica Barnes, Editor-in-Chief


Dear Readers,

Welcome to the 20th edition of Forbes & Fifth! I feel extremely lucky to be a part of the 10-year anniversary of the Journal! Throughout the years, a lot has changed, but one thing remains constant–the incredible work of the contributors and editors who always surprise me with the level of skill and passion present in every article and piece of artwork.

With the 10-year anniversary, I believe it is important to think back to all the past contributors who were included in the Journal and those who were not. Every semester, it becomes more and more difficult to select only 10 pieces of writing to include in the Journal due to the volume of strong articles we receive. Not only do these people deserve recognition for their creativity, but also their courage. While many of us remain fearful of rejection, which ultimately limits us, everyone who sends in their work puts themselves “out there,” giving the dedicated editors joy to read these students’ perspectives, experiences, research, or their original story.

The vulnerability in this collection is truly fascinating. The complete honesty and transparency of the pieces encourage self-reflection and openness. It challenges the world we know, causing me, as a reader, to have the same sense as putting my contacts in every morn-ing–clarity. This collection makes the world feel crisp and refreshing. I will keep this volume close by to give me perspective and strength on bad days, and I encourage others to do the same.

Happy reading,

Emma Porter, Assistant Editor-in-Chief

Volume 20, Spring 2022