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Lauren Roberts: _Experience is crash course in writing_

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This article is part of the Daily Bruin's Graduation Issue 2012 coverage. To view more multimedia, galleries, and columns, visit http://dailybruin.com/gradissue2012

By Lauren Roberts

June 9, 2012 10:48 p.m.

I applied to the Daily Bruin on a whim ““ and in typical fashion, turned in my application one hour before its deadline. My roommates thought I was crazy. I worried it would be a lot of writing.

Turns out, the Daily Bruin involves a lot of writing.

But when I nervously submitted my application to the Daily Bruin arts & entertainment section in fall quarter of 2009, I never imagined my whim would be the best decision of my college experience.

Three years later, I only wish I would have made the decision sooner.

It’s hard to explain life in the Daily Bruin newsroom to those who have never been beyond the doors of Kerckhoff 118, but it’s just the right mix of mayhem and magic.

Amidst the decades-old computers, wall quotes, curiously stained couches and never ending piles of newsprint is a kind of mafia.

I’ve been student to several dozen professors, but the Daily Bruin and, more importantly, the talented individuals working behind its printed pages, were among the greatest teachers I ever encountered at UCLA. And more than a UCLA niche, the Daily Bruin was, quite literally, my second home.

I soon found the terror of public embarrassment in print to be far more inspiring than a final paper, no matter how much my grades depended on it.

But the terror subsided some. And writing never got easy, but it did become fun.

For three years, I’ve had the surreal pleasure of meeting contemporary artists, reviewing concerts, writing an L.A. adventure column and interviewing some of UCLA’s most inspiring students and professors. I’ve been proud to be a part of something truly phenomenal, 93 years old and counting. And no matter where I end up whenever the real world hits, I’ll forever treasure that.

Perhaps I should blame the Daily Bruin for exacerbating my chronic addiction to coffee, habitual all-nighters and the recurring adrenaline rush that comes with the dawn of a deadline, but that’s really all just part of the fun.

And so, this is my love letter to the Daily Bruin, or rather, the people in our dusty office nook that made it my favorite place to pass the time while procrastinating on all those class papers.

So thank you, Shelley for believing I could fill your shoes as Lifestyle and Theater editor, Maryia for having faith in my editing, Sammie and Alex for laughing and commiserating along the way.

And thank you, Andrew “Angel” Bain for your wise-beyond-your-years friendship and Lenika, Marjorie and Spencer for carrying the A&E torch. You’re as incredible as they come.

It is because of all of you that I was provided with the greatest crash course in getting over my fear of the interview, the follow-up question and the phone call. And even with a bleak job market on the horizon, I feel as prepared as I’ll ever be for the tough job interviews ahead.

So if somewhere on the UCLA campus someone reading this is on the fence about joining the Daily Bruin ““ perhaps worrying that it may involve a lot of writing ““ rest assured, it does. But I think you’ll like it.

Lauren Roberts was an A&E senior staff writer from 2011-2012, Lifestyle and Theater editor from 2010-2011, an A&E and Prime contributor 2009-2010.

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