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Wednesday, December 13

Samantha Masunaga: _Deadline is more than an end_


Blaine Ohigashi


This article is part of the Daily Bruin's Graduation Issue 2012 coverage. To view more multimedia, galleries, and columns, visit

I am addicted to working on deadline.

I do it for stories and editorials. I now do it for essays and midterms. In fact, I’m doing it right now as I write this column.

The closer it is to 5 p.m., the better I can think through and feel out a story. Call it an adrenaline rush, if you will.

Over the years, I’d like to think that I’ve gotten better at managing deadlines. But my looming graduation deadline is something I don’t quite think I have a handle on yet.

I joined the Daily Bruin as a first-year, hoping just to improve my writing and to make sure that journalism was something I wanted to pursue as a career.

When assistant news editor application deadline rolled around, I made all kinds of excuses ““ I was too young, the job was too much. In the end, a strong editor convinced me that my time had come.

“You take on so many articles and you’re always in the office,” she told me. “You must want something more.”

At that moment, she knew me better than I knew myself.

Nothing can compare to the knowledge you gain as part of senior staff. I learned about the realities of daily production, built a new threshold of stress tolerance and realized how much I loved to work in print.

But more importantly, I found a new family. People with whom I could go on road trips with, make hand turkeys, eat ramen ““ simple things that fostered the transition from colleague to friend.

After four years at the Daily Bruin, I think that’s what I’ll be taking away. It’s kind of like the layers of wall quotes plastered across the office’s walls.

Everyone makes a mark on the paper, but over time, you simply become part of the underlying foundation.

Quotes from the past are now layered under sayings from the present. Though I have a few choice words displayed in the News section, I know they won’t always be there.

So when I file my last story and leave the paper in the hands of the new staff, it’ll finally be my cue to move on. After all, what is deadline but a chance to start on a whole new story?

Masunaga was a news senior staff writer from 2011-2012, an assistant news editor from 2009-2011 and a news contributor from 2008-2009.

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