I hated my first semester here.
I told Ezra Siegel that I wanted to try out for the Sports department and gave him my email address. My email ended in .net, he wrote down .com.
I never heard from Ezra, so the next week I walked back into the office with a garbage recap of the Texas-Notre Dame football game that I had printed out to hand-deliver. Ezra wasn’t there, so I gave it to Jackie Wang, the managing editor, instead. She told me they had just finished hiring staffers, but would let Ezra know I came in.
Ezra hired me, probably out of pity. My first assignment was to write a preview over Kevin Durant’s debut with the Golden State Warriors. Ezra assured me it was going to run in the paper, and my mom asked me to grab her an extra copy.
My eyes went straight to the byline.
“By Nick Sauseda”
My name is not Nick Sauseda. Never has been. I’ve never met Nick, and I’m not entirely convinced he’s a real person. But that’s who got credit for my first story.
I only wrote two other articles that fall, and neither of them ended up in the paper. It was frustrating. I wasn’t sure I wanted to come back. I’m glad I did.
A few people who made my time worthwhile:
Shouts to Ezra for hiring me. Shouts to Michael Shapiro for promoting me to senior staff.
Shouts to Sydney Rubin for getting on my case about my first story not having quotes. Shouts to Leah Vann for showing me how to get good quotes.
Shouts to Dad for telling me “You’re the best writer they’ve got” after each of my articles ran.
Shouts to Madre for checking in on me once a week to make sure I wasn’t homesick.
Shouts to Rena Li, Sunnie Lee, Mallika Gandhi, Paolina Montes, Andrea D’Mello and the design department for stealing my candy.
Shouts to Bella McWhorter, Kirsten Handler and the copycats for ganging up on me during debates.
Shouts to Angela Wang, Carlos Garcia and Juan Figueroa and the photo department for talking mad trash and taking bomb pictures to go with my articles.
Shouts to Tyler Horka and Trent “Dachshund” Daeschner for being horrible bosses, but halfway-decent friends.
Shouts to Justin Martinez and Dalton Phillips, my favorite pick and roll partners. Shouts to Alex Briseno and Vanessa Le, my least favorite pick and roll partners.
Shouts to Peter Chen for being too honest 100 percent of the time.
And shouts to all the other people I’ve become friends with during my time here, but didn’t have enough room to name.
I hate all of y’all.