Skills and relationships I developed in the newsroom made me who I am today -30-
(Courtesy of Molly Wright)
By Molly Wright
June 10, 2020 6:24 p.m.
College has not taught me how to be the functioning adult I thought I’d become.
Sure, my four-year class optimization may be on par with that of a professional; timing my snacks down to the minute during a day of stacked classes has taught me a lot about planning. But, just like a person teetering on the cusp between young adulthood and “official” adulthood, I still resist wearing my retainer consistently and mac ‘n’ cheese boxes never fail to draw me in at the store.
However, college has taught me different kinds of lessons. Though I will not remember important takeaways from my major, I have gleaned endless takeaways from life in Daily Bruin – namely, what it was like to feel a sense of homeyness.
The Quad was a relatively separated section of the paper my first two years as a contributor. I didn’t really find a reason to come to the office unless we had a meeting; it didn’t make me feel comfortable – in fact, quite the opposite. Production was a mystery to me – I submitted some words and off they went into some unknown stratosphere.
When I randomly applied for assistant editor at the end of my sophomore year, I didn’t even understand the office culture enough to realize that, no, I didn’t need to call upper management and Andrew “Mr.” and “Ms.” in my cover letter, forgetting for a moment they were also students and not executives at a Fortune 500 company.
I guess I’m glad I mentally prepared myself to think the job was as serious as I conjured it up to be, because in a way, it was to me. I was excited to learn and excessively committed to the section. It makes me cringe to think back on the amount of time I spent checking and rechecking Slack and Trello to tick boxes upon boxes of production to-dos, even when everything was done. In the same vein, before becoming the Blogging editor this year, I’m embarrassed to admit that I wrote up multiple lists with goals for the section even before I got the job.
When I received the notification this spring that we shouldn’t go to the office because of COVID-19, my heart plummeted to my feet. I waited for much of the campus to clear and went to sit in the empty office, alone.
Selfishly, the act was less of a desire and more of a necessity. I grasped helplessly at ways to feel like the editorship I held for half my college career was worth it. I struggled with closure without a graduation, a -30- celebration and senior pictures outside Kerckhoff Hall. Vainly, I felt very angry that the empty office I stood in then was devoid of people I loved and not able to give me the ending I felt I deserved.
Thankfully, I hold snapshots of certain moments in that office that I won’t forget – insignificant moments like printing wall quotes, eating stale Rubio’s chips left out for way too long and lounging horizontally on the (questionably clean?) couches for hours. I’m lucky in that I can think of many moments that bring a slight smile to my face rather than be wholly upset at the way the class of 2020’s last year was upended.
I spent excessively long hours there, I cried there. I started and ended new relationships there, enduring heartbreak beyond the kind you feel when you see a typo that warrants a correction. I even threw up in one of the office trash cans once (don’t ask). Most of all, I loved there, something that would’ve truly shocked my underclassman self.
I know the shoutouts are cheesy, but I can’t help it. Andrew, thank you for teaching me everything (I mean everything) that I know, and being an effortlessly great friend to boot. Olivia, thanks for being my right-hand (wo)man and seeing projects through with me – I’m constantly in awe of your talent. Amanda and Cecile, you both are legends and I can’t wait to see The Quad thrive. Yao and Aneesh, if you’re reading this, having you guys by my side as an underclassman meant more than you know. Kristin, Eli and Anushka, I’m so glad you guys were some of my first friends as an editor. I’ll never forget the times we Postmated food to each others’ homes from across the country on more than one occasion, or the time I almost poisoned you all with the unknown alcohol in my flask at last year’s -29-.
I couldn’t tell you any takeaways from Statistics 10, but I learned what a CP option is and some of the weirder rules of AP style. Most importantly, I learned what it was like to flourish as a writer, editor, co-worker and friend.
I think that constitutes a pretty successful college ride.
Wright was a Blogging contributor 2017-2018, assistant Blogging editor and Opinion contributor 2018-2019, and Blogging editor 2019-2020.