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From Bruin Crossing to Kerckhoff 118: Final stroll down Bruinwalk -30-

Marina Suh smiles for a portrait. (Courtesy of Marina Suh)

By Marina Suh

June 10, 2024 9:35 p.m.

My introduction to the Daily Bruin emerged from an experience that many Bruins are familiar with – the mad rush of your first fall quarter at UCLA to branch out, make friends and explore absolutely everything. As I’m sure many of us know by now, not all of the commitments we make in that time stick around for the long haul, whether it may be relationships, majors or extracurriculars.

But I’m so glad to say that the Daily Bruin did.

After my first year over Zoom, I arrived at UCLA as the bubbliest version of myself that I have ever been and will likely ever be. I met Bruinwalk’s former assistant director, Nicholas Nhien, while basking in the clunky melodies of a Bruin Plate pianist on my very first night. To clarify, I mean Bruinwalk in the sense, because too many of my peers believe that I shove flyers in the faces of students running late to class.

That fall, I applied to the online Bruinwalk as a Design intern. A few weeks after a disastrous interview that ended in an impromptu jog down the physical Bruin Walk, I was immensely shocked to find myself learning about Kubernetes in Kerckhoff 118. Since then, I have always found such a close, intelligent and genuinely kind community in that room.

Being a Design intern introduced me to a side of technology that I had never known, and I’ll be forever grateful for what I learned there with Rachel Chan and Abigale Nickels. As senior staff, I became more familiar with every complicated process that happens behind the scenes. And in my final year, I was honored to be Bruinwalk’s assistant director, familiarly referred to as assistant tsar.

I’ve never been the loudest person in the room – far from it, really. I just didn’t believe that my opinions merited that kind of attention. Today, I reflect on just how much I’ve grown into someone who still won’t be the loudest, but will instead be confident and trusting in herself. Leading Bruinwalk with Jonathan Xu and an amazing team of senior staff has truly brought me to this place.

Our focus on community and friendship is something I’m grateful to contribute to, especially given the accomplishments on our site. In the three years since I joined the team, Bruinwalk has seen a redesign rollout, a new apartments page, stolen professor photos and even a Redditor’s pseudo-Bruinwalk. Through it all, our team has remained resilient, hardworking and never without a sense of humor.

Other than our official accomplishments, I’m also proud to say that Bruinwalk has completed over 10 group crosswords and Sudokus in pen, played over one hundred rounds of Codenames, won 1.5 cross-section rotisserie chicken socials and executed one elimination-style game of assigning a Pokémon to everyone on our team, which ended in us all happily returning home with our own little plushie.

I made so many real, lifelong friends through Bruinwalk. I cherish all of the memories I’ve made with them outside of Kerckhoff. From making hot pot outside Olympic Hall to sapphic movie Q&A sessions, my life is so much richer for having had the privilege to experience Bruinwalk and bond with its incredible people. I’m certain that I’ll continue to see them in the future, whether it’s in person or on the New York Times’ mini crossword leaderboard – a fleeting yet sparkling Bruinwalk community where only a few true fans remain.

Bruinwalk also introduced me to the rest of the Daily Bruin. Cross training into Arts gave me the opportunity to write about some of my favorite places around Los Angeles: Descanso Gardens and the Hammer Museum. I was able to explore the world of journalism with a supportive circle of people.

Beyond writing the stories, the Daily Bruin provided a community that I was able to depend on over the past three years. I hope that Bruinwalk continues to integrate into the Bruin and strengthen that connection.

The last time I saw all of Bruinwalk together was at our winter social. We were gathered at Dockweiler Beach, wrapped haphazardly around a surprisingly substantial bonfire. People were chatting and roasting marshmallows, and I felt so much gratitude for the warmth that exuded from our little group even before the fire. Every once in a while, the planes from LAX thundered through the sky above us, and I watched as their blinking lights slowly faded until they were one with the horizon.

As people come and go, I know that Bruinwalk will continue growing as the lively, open community that it was for me.

Marina Suh was the assistant Bruinwalk director 2023-2024. She previously served as a Bruinwalk senior staffer 2022-2023 and Design intern 2021-2022.

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