Two weeks ago, as I sat in the Daily Bruin office with tears of frustration streaming down my face, I thought I had an idea of how this column would go.
I’d use my 750 allotted words to vent about the people who made this year miserable for me, recounting all the mansplaining they did, all the times they tried to sabotage the section and all the times they made me doubt myself as a writer and as a person.
But the reality of it is that those tears rarely appeared and there were so few of those people. They were outnumbered by others, in and out of Kerckhoff 118, who made my last year at UCLA worth the tears, stress and yes, even the late runs.
The stories we put out this year are yours – you believed in me and the section, and I’m forever grateful for that, even if all I could offer was a sarcastic comment or not-so-funny joke in return.
What I went through this year, I’d go through all over again because of all the friends I made. Or maybe because I just enjoy suffering. Who knows?
It starts with my roommates Nicole and Jessica. I owe you both – three, if we count Nick – a ton of wine and pizza rolls for sticking by me these past four years. I’ll always remember those midnight talks after watching “Jane the Virgin” or us stomping on the floor to shut up one of 309’s parties.
To the other student editors and writers I met on the road – your dedication motivated me to keep working, even when I considered quitting. You gave me advice, support and a floor to sleep on. I appreciate all of those – especially your friendship – more than you can imagine.
To all the bosses I had outside of the Daily Bruin – Mariella, Adam, Michelle, Jenny, Jason, other Jason, Alexis, Celeste, Monique and Vivian – you generously let me juggle school, working with you and working with the paper. I hope all my future bosses teach me as much as you have over these past four years.
To UCLA’s coaches and athletes – when I forgot why I became a writer in the first place, you reminded me of my passion for storytelling. I consider you friends. From football to gymnastics to men’s basketball, you trusted our paper to tell your stories, and it’s been an honor to do so for the past three years.
And finally, to the Daily Bruin: I came in because of my love for sports. And I stayed not only because I had the freedom to write, create and learn, but also because of the people.
From my brunch crew – Effy and Pabs – to Aubrey and all the editors I learned from in the past, to the upper management, Copy, Illustrations, Photo and any section that helped bring our projects to life, I wouldn’t be the person I am if I didn’t have the opportunity to work with you guys everyday.
So with that, my time at UCLA, the paper and, more importantly, my word count, are coming to a close. But don’t worry, I’ll keep finding and writing stories no matter where I go. And those stories will be yours too.
Dam was a Sports contributor 2014-2015, Sports reporter 2015-2016 and Sports editor 2016-2017.