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How the Daily Bruin rewrote my life’s script and the friends made along the way -30-

Sharla Steinman stands for a portrait. (Michael Gallagher/Photo Assistant editor)

By Sharla Steinman

June 10, 2024 8:51 p.m.

I was supposed to go to law school. I even applied to law school.

But this paper, man. Changed everything. Transferring to UCLA changed everything.

I came to UCLA from UC Davis without any prior experience in journalism. I still remember my dad saying, “Maybe you should join The Bruin, get to know campus better.”

I knew I could write. I’ve been writing my whole life, whether that be for school or in my diary where I planned my wedding at the age of 12.

So I did. I joined the Daily Bruin my first quarter here. I was happily placed in the city and crime beat within News, where I met Matthew Royer, my editor at the time.

And I loved it. Every second of it.

The hustle and bustle of the newsroom, everyone deep in their work but so attentive to what everyone else was doing at the same time – it was electric.

I loved how much passion each editor had for their section and I wanted that. So, I applied to be the city and crime editor during the spring. And, damn, was that a great decision.

A life-changing decision some may even say.

Becoming an editor made me realize the importance of journalism. I had the opportunity to connect with writers, expand my beat, develop relationships with sources and, most importantly, share stories that really mattered.

I found purpose in the Daily Bruin and passion I hadn’t experienced since being a kid.

The days were long and there were days where all I did was work on stories, whether that be developing ideas, editing, writing, attending meetings or even just hanging out in the office in case of a breaking story.

And to be honest, I enjoy having to drop everything to write a breaking. Those 30 minutes of pure stress, anxiety, adrenaline and extremely long slack threads, only added to each already great day at UCLA.

After months of online high school during my senior year, two years in a city I never felt I belonged in – half of which were spent completely online during the pandemic – I didn’t think I’d ever be able to enjoy college.

I wish I could go back and do it all over again because of the Daily Bruin.

I wish I had more time.

More time with the friends I made, more time in the office, more time laughing so hard to the point of tears, more time listening to Oliver’s bark or petting the beautiful Suzy, and more time working on stories that I’m passionate about – all because this place and this community really matter to me.

And unfortunately, my time to graduate has come, but one thing I can keep are the friends I made and the memories we created together.

The assistant news editor team made every day enjoyable. Even though there were times we all wanted to scream into an abyss due to the stress of being students, workers and journalists – all at the same time – I’d do anything to see Dylan Winward walk into the office with his tea mug one more time or see Anna Dai-Liu lug around her massive book of literature.

I’m lucky to call them both friends and I can’t wait to see how the paper will continue to blossom in their hands.

With everything this year, I have to thank Isabelle Friedman, Abi Siatkowski and Abigail Goldman for their support, guidance and laughs.

I also have to mention the people who made coming to the office so enjoyable every day: Nicole Augusta, Mia Tavares, Gabrielle Siegel, Shreya Dodballapur and the king of podcasts, Jack Garland.

There’s no one else I’d rather be runner-up with for Best Podcast at the California College Media Association Awards other than Jack.

And although he’ll bring these words up for the rest of time, to have had Matthew by my side for the past year was the greatest honor and gift. His passion for news was infectious and I couldn’t be more grateful to have been taught by him.

When one of our news editors stepped down, Matthew stepped right up because that’s just who he is. He’s kind, compassionate, supportive, helpful and, best of all, one of the funniest people I’ve ever met. And Matthew and I became pretty inseparable. I can’t imagine ever doing life without him.

I always heard the sports and news sections were rivals. I didn’t think I’d ever become friends with people who live-tweeted baseball games.

Then I met Benjamin Royer and Joseph Crosby – or, as I like to call them, Benji Wenji and Josey Wosey.

Joseph, Benjamin, Matthew and I spent so many days and nights in the office and at our apartments laughing so hard at all of our insanely terrible jokes, but especially Matthew’s horrible catchphrases. They were there for me through all the highs and lows of student journalism and my personal life – even though I don’t know what life is outside of Kerckhoff 118 – and I couldn’t be more grateful to have found lifelong friends.

I also have to thank my dad, who has been my biggest supporter throughout my time at the Daily Bruin. His wealth of experience as a journalist has helped shape my career and foster my personal and professional growth. He’s challenged me to work hard, be an honest reporter and follow my dreams – I’m blessed to have a dad like him.

So, yes, I was supposed to go to law school.

But that was then, and this is now.

As I embark on the next chapter of my journalistic endeavors at Columbia, I do so with a twinge of nostalgia and a heart full of gratitude. For the friendships forged, the lessons learned and the memories that will forever be etched in the annals of Kerckhoff 118.

Nooows? Nooows.

And, for the last time:

BY SHARLA STEINMAN
The last city and crime editor.

Steinman was a news contributor 2022-2023 and city and crime editor 2023-2024.

Email Steinman at sharlasteinman@gmail.com or tweet at @Sharla_Steinman

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Sharla Steinman | City and Crime Editor
Steinman is the 2023-2024 city and crime editor. She was previously a city and crime contributor. She is also a fourth-year political science student.
Steinman is the 2023-2024 city and crime editor. She was previously a city and crime contributor. She is also a fourth-year political science student.
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