Yasmin Gülec

Last year when I was working on the While You Were Here issue, I was very aware that next year, in 2020, the issue would be made for my graduating class. “That is going to be wild,” I thought to myself. AND BOY WAS I RIGHT — but I definitely could not imagine a whole pandemic … Anyway, let me spiral down the rabbit hole of nostalgia. The first time I walked down the creepy stairs of Third North, down to the windowless basement I would be spending around 3-years worth of Sundays in, I was a tiny (well, I’m like 5’10 but you know what I mean) first-year. I had two writing samples from my highschool that I brought with me, nervous that my first attempt at joining something at NYU would be unsuccessful. It was obviously not and I ended up working for the newspaper, first as a staff writer, then as the Dining Editor, the Features Editor and finally as the Under the Arch editor. I remember the day Pam ( ex-managing editor for UTA and newspaper partner in crime) told me to come to the backroom to show me a whole whiteboard covered in her pretty handwriting, a plan to create a long-form magazine. She knew this was exactly what I wanted to do, she stopped me from quitting the newspaper. My friends were shocked since, every week I would tell them, “That’s it. I am quitting the newspaper, I am done.” Well, I never did and we started working on UTA ( known initially as our child, Karen). Our senior year, we left the newspaper, allowing others to step in since we had been there for too long and did all we needed to do.

What did WSN do for me? Many things. First of all, I got to write stories about things I cared about and got to interview important people that I was excited about. It introduced me to awesome people. Thomas, an awesome B-style editor. Natalie and Liv, my features desk partners, whom I got wine drunk with almost every month at Murray’s Cheese Bar. I also went on a 24-hour kind-of-bender to New Orleans with Liv (but that’s a story for another day). I got to work with the multimedia king Justin (whose plant I am kind of looking after) and the sweet Joel (who sends me Bon Appetit videos). Met my bird-lover friend, Alex Domb and my adorable bowl of chicken noodle soup and international comrade, Finley during long-hours in the office — whether that was for a breaking news story or editing a story about recycling. I spent many nights walking back to my dorm room at Broome St. or my apartment in the east village while the rest of the city was quiet in the late hours — well, relatively quieter hours — with one of my absolute best friends, Fernanda, (who was the copy chief). Finally, WSN really helped me become a better reporter, writer, pitcher, interviewer and editor. I got cool invites from restaurants, was able to attend fun events, scored dope internships and toured awesome newsrooms. Ironically, it also allowed me to cover my major, Global Liberal Studies, graduation which in retrospect was extremely important since my graduation is postponed right now. I was able to see and touch articles and issues I worked hard on, printed and distributed all around campus. I was allowed to write about my never-ending passion for food, changes in nightlife and profiles on awesome people around campus. It had its ups and downs, but I would never change it for the world. I am pouring one out to all my seniors, I hope I get to see all of you soon in our postponed graduation extravaganza.

Email Yasmin Gülec at [email protected] Read more from Washington Square News’ “While You Were Here 2020.”

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