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.