Tuesday, July 25

The phone call that changed the course of my college career -30-


(Michael Zshornack/Photo editor)

(Michael Zshornack/Photo editor)


I may have single-handedly changed the trajectory of the Daily Bruin.

You see, when I was an intern back in winter of 2014, I saved Julien Brundrett from being fired. On the second day of training, he wasn’t there and if he didn’t show up, he would be fired. So I called him. He had overslept. I told the trainer he was on his way and 10 minutes later, there he was.

Julien would go on to become Design director for the Daily Bruin in 2014-2015, and the Online editor in 2015-2016. If he hadn’t been Design director that year, I probably wouldn’t have agreed to be an assistant Design director for 2014-2015, then subsequently prime design director and later prime director. If I hadn’t made that phone call, who knows if we would’ve held those positions – hell, who knows if either one of us would’ve stayed on at the Daily Bruin at all.

Now of course I wouldn’t have called Julien if I hadn’t previously known him. My first-year dorm was the fairly antisocial Saxon Residential Suites, so I spent most of my time in Hedrick Hall with some good friends (shoutout to Brett, Cooper and Nate). I eventually met their neighbors, Julien being one of them.

The Daily Bruin has shaped my college career; I can’t imagine it without Kerckhoff 118. But that wouldn’t have been possible without that small decision to make a phone call.

The small decisions. Those are what really make an experience. We make those decisions every day. To go to class, to not go to class. Whether to take that flier on Bruin Walk. Where to sit in class. They’re seemingly insignificant, but can have such a huge effect on the trajectory of the rest of your life. My college experience has been shaped by all these small decisions. They come up each day.

That’s the beauty of it. In each day lies the opportunity to make the best or worst decision. And the next day you’ll get another opportunity to change that. Though daunting, it’s actually incredibly powerful. Who knows where I would be if I hadn’t made that phone call. Probably not writing this column.

However good or bad they were, I’m grateful for all the small decisions. Not all of them were perfect – in fact, most of them were incredibly stupid. But they ultimately brought me here.

So here’s my advice as the idiot that I am: Big decisions matter, but small decisions matter too. Right now, we’re all facing a lot of big decisions that will no doubt affect the rest of our lives, but the small decisions we make will too. Each day you get the opportunity to decide to become the best version of yourself. Take it.

Here’s a thanks to all of you who have been involved in shaping my college experience through these small decisions – whether I’ve known you since orientation or met you yesterday. There are way too many of you to name, but you know who you are.

Reflecting on all these decisions I’ve made over the years, the best one wasn’t choosing to go to UCLA or even deciding to join the Daily Bruin – it was calling a hungover stoner kid who was about to be fired.

McAvoy was a Design contributor in 2014, assistant Design director 2014-2015, prime design director 2015-2016 and prime director 2016-2017.

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