Running was a respite from the chaos of editing, but I learned to find balance -30-
(Courtesy of Andrew Warner)
June 10, 2020 6:44 p.m.
I took up running during the fall quarter of my freshman year.
It was a way to pass time – like most other first-years, I didn’t really have a ton of (read: any) close friends to do that with. I had a lot of time to kill, and the runner’s high was a nice – albeit temporary – distraction from the loneliness of being in a new place surrounded by a bunch of people who you don’t really know.
During that same quarter, I applied to write for the Daily Bruin as an Arts & Entertainment contributor. I submitted my application days before the due date – since I didn’t have anyone to celebrate with really, I went out for a quick run around the campus loop. On my way out, someone stopped me.
“Hey, you’re in my English class, aren’t you?”
It’s a wonder I managed to hear her over the Carly Rae Jepsen song I was blasting in my headphones as I prepared to jog down to Sunset Boulevard. But alas, I stopped, and we talked a bit about the class reading we had been assigned for the weekend. As we were both first-years, the topic of conversation quickly made its way to what clubs we were interested in joining, and we bonded over the fact that we both wanted to join the Daily Bruin.
Before we parted ways, we took a quick moment to add each other on Facebook – as silly as it sounds, I distinctly remember thinking, “Wow, I just made my first friend,” as I trotted off on my evening run.
Actually, I have a lot of stories like that. A good deal of the people I met as a freshman happened to join the Daily Bruin at the same time as me. I didn’t meet them through the paper and we didn’t plan on applying together, but we connected over the fact that we had, by chance, joined the same organization. Even one of my roommates ended up joining the paper as a Design staffer.
At first, the more involved in the paper I became, the less I ran. I was busy going to training and doing interviews and addressing edits and hanging out with the other newly minted Daily Bruin staffers that I met. I didn’t need to kill as much time. I stopped feeling so lonely.
Eventually, I applied to become an assistant editor for the paper. On the day applications were due, I holed myself up in The Study at Hedrick with another A&E contributor, Sidra, and Amy – the aforementioned first friend – and we worked on our editor applications together. Shortly thereafter, I became an editor, and quickly grew lost in editing first drafts and trying to find stories that would fill up my share of the A&E page.
The stress got to me. I started running again, this time, for the opposite reason from before: The long hours in the office overwhelmed me, and I needed to be alone for once. If there were a lot of stories on my desk, I would go out and run.
When a writer or my top editor asked why I was taking so long, I’d quickly message back, “sorry i’m on a run rn, i’ll get to it later” and then slap on a smiley face at the end so I wouldn’t seem too negligent or uninterested. Quite literally, I was running away from my problems.
I didn’t really think I would remain an editor for the paper after my second year – it didn’t feel like it was for me.
Then Amy roped me right back in when she became the paper’s managing editor and convinced me to apply to become the paper’s Blogging editor. I was hesitant since I didn’t know any of the Blogging writers and was quite burnt out from the stress of being an assistant editor. But I did it anyway, and I truly cannot thank Amy enough for convincing me to do so.
Still, when editing articles for The Quad for Grad Issue – literally the first big project new editors work on – proved harder than I expected it to be. I almost up and quit. Instead I frantically messaged upper management and went on a run.
Eventually, editing and revamping The Quad’s content schedule became a fun project. Over time, I managed to strike a balance between having an active life outside of the Daily Bruin and actually getting down to business (and having fun doing so). While the progress with The Quad wasn’t super evident during my tenure as the section’s editor, seeing the way The Quad has flourished this year under my former assistant editor, Molly, and her assistant editor, Olivia, has been the most rewarding aspect of my entire Daily Bruin experience by far.
Now, this is usually the part of these columns where people thank their co-editors and friends and wish their successors good luck. But since I’ve got too many people to name and am already over the word limit on this column, it looks like I’ve got to go out for a run.
Warner was an A&E contributor in 2016, an A&E reporter 2016-2017, music | arts editor 2017-2018, Blogging editor 2018-2019 and A&E and Blogging senior staff 2019-2020.