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A (Tues)day in the Life

Posted by on Sunday, November 23, 2014 in College Life, Extracurriculars, Student Life.

Most of my days are pretty standard for a college student — classes, meetings, workouts, homework — but with print-editions of the Hustler coming out every Wednesday, my Tuesdays are a little different than most people’s. Here’s my schedule from one particularly packed day earlier this month:

-9 a.m. Wake up. In terms of my schedule and sleep habits, this is actually pretty early. When I actually wake up on my first alarm (instead of my third or fourth… sorry roommates) I consider it a personal victory, and proceed to marvel in small morning moments. But usually this doesn’t happen and I am left scrambling to brush my teeth and hair to look like a presentable human.
The daily breakfast of at least 500 Vandy girls. Photo via Instagram

-9:35 a.m. Head to Grins, the vegetarian cafe on campus. It’s known for its amaaaazing food and amazingly long lines, but at this hour it’s never bad. I get my usual — the quiche of the day (one of my absolute favorite entrees on the meal plan), a side of oatmeal and a cup of Earl Grey — before I claim a table to catch up on what’s happened since I was last awake (via Twitter and theSkimm), shoot some emails, make edits to newspaper content, and catch up on any last minute reading I have to do before class.

-11 a.m. Class. My American Studies seminar on Privacy on the Internet Age is my only class of the day on Tuesdays! Sounds like an easy day, but when there’s a 16-20 page paper that comes out every Wednesday, a light Tuesday class schedule has become an indispensable luxury.
-12:15 p.m.- Meeting with the Managing Editor of the paper. She wrote a feature that’s coming out in my section tomorrow, but it still needs to be ironed out a bit. We meet quickly in the newsroom to touch base on edits before we’re back there tonight.
-12:40 p.m. Maymaster Fair in Rand. I didn’t realize that this was going on today, but right outside the main cafeteria there’s a huge info fair for all the Maymester trips this year. Since I’m editing the Life section of the paper this year I’m not studying abroad as a junior, but to make up for that I really want to go on a Maymester, so I stop by and grab some info packets on the trips. As I leave, I shoot some texts to friends who have been on the trips I’m interested in and a girl in my sorority says that the Art & Architecture class in Paris is TO DIE FOR. I love art history, so this one shoots to the top of my short list.

-12:50 p.m. Head to the Rec for a swim. The Rec is about 10 minutes from Rand, and a little ways away from my dorm, but on Tuesdays I like to make the trek out there for the pool. When I run or do anything other kind of workout I tend to focus on the music playing, but swimming forces me to be alone with my thoughts, which I enjoy. I also tend to spend a lot of time sitting and snacking in the newsroom on production nights, so it’s nice to get a workout in beforehand.
-2 p.m. Dry off and pick up lunch. After toweling off, I head back to Grins to pick up lunch to-go (my lunch favorite is the sweet potato taco entree). I usually head back to my room to scarf these down before I shower, but tonight my sorority Kappa Kappa Gamma is hosting War of the Wings, a philanthropy event benefitting a non profit that a girl in my pledge class started. We teamed up with the brothers of Sigma Chi to put this on, and they agreed to host the event, so I stop by their house to help set up for a little.
-2:45 p.m. Back to Towers — finally. I finally get to eat my (still warm and delicious) tacos and shower.
-3:30 p.m. Head to the newsroom. Production doesn’t technically start until 4, but today will be a loooong day. I make some more edits to my content and get started on some design sketches so when designers and copy editors get here they can get started on things right away. I also manage to squeeze in a quick interview for an upcoming piece — it’s all about the multitasking over here!
Food and philanthropy — two things that Kappa does exceptionally well.

-5 p.m. Head to War of the Wings! $10 for all you can eat chicken wings and dinner + live entertainment + all the Kappas and my friends at Sigma Chi? I’d be there even if it wasn’t going towards a great cause!

-5:45 p.m. Back to production. I come back with a huge plate of wings for the designers who are currently hard at work on my section, which instantly makes me the most popular person in the room. Funny how that works, right? Since I’ve been gone, the editor-in-chief decided that he wants to cut the feature in my section into two separate pieces. I like this idea a lot, but that means there’s LOTS more editing to be done. I also have to come up with catchy titles and decks for my articles, which I decide to do now because I’m a lot more creative at this time than I am five hours into production.
-7:30 p.m. The Managing editor is done making edits to her piece — now its on to me and the EIC to read it and make our edits. Since this is our cover story, we’re paying extra attention to it.
-8 p.m. FROYO TIME. It’s officially that time in the night — I need a pick me up. Thankfully the newsroom is right down the hall from the Last Drop Coffee Shop, which happens to serve froyo until 9 p.m. Considering that this night’s not ending anytime soon, I might as well have a sweet treat to make it go by faster, right? Today’s flavors of the day are Chocolate Caramel Turtle AND Red Velvet, which are my two favorites. The cashier sees my indecision, so she lets me mix the two.

-9 p.m. Finally done with rewrites and edits on the review! Now I’m on to editing the second article. This one requires some reorganizing and digging through transcripts, in addition to writing a whole new intro. Ah, the life of an editor.
-10 p.m. Table read with EIC and Managing editor of both the review and article. We go through both articles, word for word, copy editing while we go, to make sure everyone’s cool with the edits and every part of the story and review were accurately represented. This is one of the more extensive editing processes I’ve been a part of this semester, but I think our final products are really phenomenal so I’m happy we spent the time we needed to on them.
-10:30 p.m. My designer places the edited text on the page and its finally ready…for copy editing on the page. All of our articles are copy edited on Google Docs and again when they’re placed on the page just to double check. While this is going on, I come up with a deck (subhead) for the front page headline.
-11:15 p.m. MY PAGES ARE DONE!!!!!! If I could bottle and sell this feeling of elation, I would be the richest person on the face of the planet. Editing and designing has been backed up all night because our Chief Copy Editor and Design Director are both sick, but everything’s finally done! I pull the text and pictures into BLOX — the content management system for the Hustler’s website — and schedule the articles to go live at 9 a.m. tomorrow morning. While I do this, Tyler, our Editor-in-Chief, and Karen, the Assistant Design Director, go over the final versions of the pages and PDF them. It takes a while to get to Life’s pages, because we’re the last section that’s done, but this is just my day job — I still have homework to do! While I wait for my pages to get the ok, I type a paragraph about ‘Singin’ In the Rain,’ the 1950’s film we had to watch in my film class this week. Our screenings are on Tuesday nights, but between production and the philanthropy event this week, there was no way I was getting a free two hours for that tonight. All it took was a little foresight plus the class syllabus to make sure I got to see it beforehand.

-11:50 p.m. Closing Time. All my content is online and ready to go for tomorrow morning, all my pages are PDFed and have been sent to the printer, AND my film homework is done! I can finally leave the newsroom, which is a good thing because I’ve been missing my bed since my roommate texted me at 10pm telling me she was going to sleep.
-12 p.m. Back to Towers. Usually I’ll do a little homework after production, but I have time to do my Communications reading before class tomorrow, so I decide to treat myself to some melatonin gummies before bed. Not sure if these actually work or are just the world’s greatest placebos…
-12:15 p.m. Make a schedule for tomorrow. This is my little ritual after I get ready for bed — I open up Evernote and write down all my to-do’s, usually assigning everything a time. I don’t necessarily follow it — sometimes I don’t even check it the next day — but it helps me remember everything I have coming up, and (more importantly) lets me know how long I can sleep in until.
There you have it, folks — just another Tuesday in the life. This was one of those days that I feel is pretty representative of what Vanderbilt’s like in general. There was time in the classroom, but there were also friends, extracurriculars, unexpected discoveries, and time for myself. It was the ultimate mix of everything I love about being here, and while exhausting (which is not altogether unlike the Vanderbilt experience), I wouldn’t have changed a minute of it.

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