I’m an overthinker, to the point where I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve rewritten the lede of this very column.
Daily Bruin Copy is the one place this trait has served me well.
The Copy desk took a lot of the things I previously didn’t like about myself and turned them into badges I now wear proudly. If I weren’t an overthinker, I wouldn’t be good at catching sensitivity issues and eliminating implicit bias in stories. If I weren’t prone to staying up past 3 a.m. for no reason, I would’ve quit Copy half a year in, missing out on countless nights of uncontrollable laughter. If I didn’t have the rather out-there sense of humor that I’ve found just doesn’t do it for a lot of people, I wouldn’t have been a proud proponent of the section’s multiple collective obsessions and inside jokes.
I’m pretty terrible at writing about myself, and I’m surprised I’ve made it two grafs in without feeling the urge to delete it all. So enough about me; I want to address the rest of this column to the brilliant colleagues I’ve had at this organization over the years – and those who will be taking some of our places.
Some special shoutouts: Derek Yen and Hannah Brezack, mom and dad extraordinaire; Sang-Ho Lee, the best work husband a girl could ask for; Anna Floersch, who is always looking out for me. Design, forever the section Copy hearts the most; Online, for adopting me my senior year; #holy-ground, for always, always being hype about Taylor Swift. Rhiannon Davies, for enabling my Veggie Grill habit and talking to me about “Gilmore Girls;” Amy Baumgartner, for making me an extra proud mom; Anush Khatri and Rachel Wong, for being wonderful successors. That isn’t even the half of it – so many more of you have positively impacted my life.
When I think about you all, overwhelming gratitude is my primary emotion – for helping me like myself more, yes, but also just for being you. Thank you to each of you that’s sat down with me when I’ve had questions about stories, brightened my mood with a fun anecdote on a bad day or enabled my Slack hacking. You’re some of the coolest, smartest and most diligent people I’ve met at UCLA.
And to DB Copy 2019-2020: Most of you don’t know me very well, or even at all, but I’m excited for you. Sometimes, the work you do will feel frustratingly inconsequential – but making stories the best versions of themselves and writing good headlines are responsibilities integral in determining how much faith readers place in The Bruin. Also, the Copy desk is one of the most nonjudgmental places you’ll likely ever find yourself. Please open up to the people you meet here; chances are you’ll reap rich rewards for doing so.
Oh, and never hold back a weird joke because you think it’s too much – it probably isn’t.
Vatsa was a Copy contributor 2015-2016, slot editor 2016-2017, Copy chief 2017-2018 and Online and Copy senior staff 2018-2019.