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Samantha Suchland: _Newsroom was unfamiliar; now home_


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 Samantha Suchland

June 9, 2012 10:59 p.m.

I wasn’t really a UCLA student my third year of college. Technically, I was enrolled in classes and paying a lot of money for things like “libraries” and “gym memberships.” But as far as I was concerned, I lived and learned in the Daily Bruin office that year.

Being an assistant editor in the Kerckhoff 118 office was my version of studying abroad. Sure I didn’t travel far, but I was immersed in a strange culture where people spoke in quotes, wrote in “grafs,” participated in a daily ritual called “budget” and ostracized the poor Oxford comma.

Oftentimes up was down and down was up. Time spent in the classroom was used for writing stories and coordinating interviews while breaks in the office were used for writing essays and scanning class readings. Complaints about Kerckhoff coffee were followed by trips upstairs to buy a third cup for the day.

When I first joined the paper, editors and staff writers seemed like insane masochists who had given up on having a social life and healthy levels of vitamin D. They are, but if UCLA taught me one thing it’s to take a closer look at the things we can’t understand.

Each day I was in the trenches with forty or so of the most dedicated and hardworking students I’ve met at UCLA. These are students who work from 12:15 p.m. to 2 a.m. to create a new issue of the paper only to wake up the next day and do it all over again.

It’s inspiring. It’s motivating. It’s the most passionate I’ve ever been and all jobs will be measured against the year I lived in the Daily Bruin office.

At one point, the Los Angeles Times intern recruiter talked to a group of us about journalism resumes. A fellow editor asked if we should include our GPAs.

The recruiter shrugged his shoulders and went on to say something to the effect of: You work for the Daily Bruin, so it’s probably pretty low anyway.

I’ve never been prouder to be a member of the Daily Bruin. It’s true we work there at the expense of other things, but in the end there is a reason we stick with it. The Daily Bruin has become our home away from apartments and dorms.

We studied abroad for a year in Kerckhoff 118 and found the place in which we belonged at UCLA.

Suchland was Prime editor for 2011-2012, A&E assistant editor for 2010-2011, an A&E reporter for 2009-2010 and a multimedia staff for 2009-2010.

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