Senior Sendoff: Hector Arrieta


Hector Arrieta, Former A&E Editor

I will be honest, although I knew of Tyler, the Creator and listened to his music around 2015, I didn’t really become a “Tyler fan” until I hopped onto the bandwagon … I mean … listened to his 2017 album “Flower Boy.” 

I relate to this album to a great degree because of how vulnerable Tyler is in the album, and no line in the entire album resonated with me as much as this one from “911/Mr. Lonely:” “One thing I know is that I wanna / Win so bad, but I’m not Chicago.” Despite the absurd interpretation of the line on “Genius,” I think the interpretation is even simpler — at least in my sports-fan mind. The line is in reference to the NBA’s Chicago Bulls during the Michael Jordan era, who went on to win three back-to-back-to-back championships, not once, but twice for a total of six trophies. Needless to say, the Bulls are considered, even to this day, to be one of the, if not the greatest dynasties of all time. Thus, to say a line like this is in reference to the fact that Tyler wants to reach greatness much like the Bulls — although one could argue that he’s reached such success in the time since “Flower Boy” — but simply cannot, and I can relate to that. But, for the purposes of this piece, I will be replacing the Bulls with the MLB’s New York Yankees (who have gone on plenty of similar dynasty stretches). 

When I first began my career here at both UC San Diego and The UCSD Guardian, I had high aspirations … to put it very lightly. On the university side, I saw myself coming in here and getting an on-campus job before the end of my first year. Then, come the end of junior year, I would study hard for the LSAT, take it towards the start of my senior year, apply to law schools, and get in. On the newspaper side, I saw myself walking in there and earning a spot as the Editor-in-Chief in the span of a year or two. 

I wanted to be the Yankees, but, needless to say, neither of those things ended up happening. 

The pandemic and the eventual lockdowns happened during the winter quarter of my first year. I accepted the fact that I wouldn’t be getting a job on campus anytime soon. During this time, I lost my passion for writing completely and essentially fell off The UCSD Guardian’s radar for a while. When I eventually came back and became the Editor for A&E, the section’s personnel had shifted so much that nobody even knew or could barely remember who I was. When the end of my junior year did roll around, I started studying for the LSAT, only to completely bomb it and proceed to get waitlisted or rejected by every school I applied to (at least, at the time of writing this piece). 

I wanted to win so badly, but I’m not the Yankees. 

However, during the pandemic, one of my favorite sports writers of all time, Jon Bois, uploaded a documentary series to YouTube about the MLB’s Seattle Mariners. In the series, he emphasizes that if one is looking to the Mariners for any semblance of winning or statistical prowess, then they are looking in the wrong place. Rather, a baseball fan is to look to the Mariners for something deeper, for the small things that one might overlook: the moments of sadness with silver linings, the moments of camaraderie amongst friends, and small moments of success that made the suffering all worth it. 

Although I didn’t get a job until well into my sophomore year, I got a job with the UCSD Design Lab as a copywriter and eventually, a content producer as a whole, which helped me fine-tune my craft of writing and photography. Although I didn’t become the Editor-in-Chief of the newspaper, I did become Editor for A&E, where I met my girlfriend and made a really good friend along the way. The position also allowed me to work at a deeper level with those in A&E, something that I will forever be grateful for. And, lastly, although my aspirations for a future in law are uncertain, at least I know I will learn something new and meet new people along the way. 

Maybe life isn’t always about winning. If winning all the time meant I learned nothing and never grew, then I probably wouldn’t be writing this. I wouldn’t have the tears in my eyes as I try to conclude my senior send-off, and if these kinds of tears aren’t a part of winning, then I would much rather be a Mariner than a Yankee — or Chicago Bull, for that matter — for life. 

Thank you to everyone who’s been part of the journey, to everyone who’s been part of the moments of happiness, but especially to everyone who’s been around in the losing seasons. I promise I’ll bring home a World Series eventually.



Hector Arrieta,

A Mariner


P.S. To my future Co-Editors Xuan and Kamiah, I chose the two of you to lead the greatest section at The UCSD Guardian because you both demonstrate the skills and prowess necessary not only to lead but to provide a space for growth, which is by far the most important thing a leader can do. This part of my letter is kind of like a family member passing off the keys of their favorite car to another … all I can do is stand and wave as the two of you drive off into the distance. 

Godspeed, A&E.