Senior Sendoff: Natalie Tran

The first time I received edits on an article I wrote was a little soul-crushing for freshman me. I was alarmed to see dozens of Google Docs comments from strangers pointing out flaws in my writing. I quickly learned that this was all part of the process that would eventually make me a better writer. Over the next four years, I’ve watched my writing improve by miles, and even won an SPJ Journalism Award for it — all thanks to the hard work of the many talented, tireless people at The UCSD Guardian.

The Guardian served as the one outlet that allowed me to be truly creative and independent while at UC San Diego. Here, outside of formal essays and emails, I could write about anything I wanted with the continuous support and advice of others. Through this student paper, I enjoyed my undergraduate experience more than I could have ever expected. Some of the best moments of my life have been documented by my articles: watching the world premiere of “Phantom Thread,” attending the Toronto International Film Festival, seeing Elton John perform live in concert. I also covered many fascinating people during my time here, including Chelsea Clinton, the cast of “High School Musical: The Musical: The Series,” Erik Jepsen, the r/UCSD moderator team, and, of course, the Googly Eye Guy.

I’ve loved all the parts about being a part of this paper, whether it was struggling to punch in the door code, going to A&E movie nights and POOFs, or discovering new artists at free concerts and plays. Every week, I looked forward to walking into The Guardian office, like it was my own secret hangout place, and chatting with my fellow A&E writers about the latest pop culture gossip. Most of all, I will miss being able to open up a newly printed paper and see my writing there on a page. I say that because unlike the several literature/writing majors here, I don’t know if I will ever be able to continue journalism after this. But who knows? I hope to look back on this article years from now and be pleasantly surprised. In the meantime, you can catch me still writing Letterboxd reviews!

Big thanks to the EICs and A&E Editors who have trusted and welcomed me into The Guardian family: Alicia Lepler, Sam Velasquez, Daisy Scott, Chloe Esser, Jahfreen Alam, Hemmy Chun, and Deyshna Pai. And shout out to everyone in A&E — if any of you super talented writers become a professional journalist or get published, please let me know! And finally, to any continuing Guardian staff member reading this, just know that I’m always down to write another article!

Take care everyone, and keep writing!

Art by Nicholas Regli for the UCSD Guardian.

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