University of Southern California

Student Life Blog

A Day in the Life


By Isabella Sayyah Thursday, July 18, 2013

Summer is definitely more relaxed than any time school is in session, but it can still be kind of crazy. Here’s a typical day in my life:

6:15 – My alarm goes off. I reluctantly climb out of bed to turn it off before it wakes my sister. I go through my quick morning routine before rushing out the door.

7:05 – My morning commute begins. I live about 35 miles away from Venice, but sometimes it seems like 100. I leave early in the morning to try to miss traffic, but there’s always traffic in L.A. I take Malibu Canyon and PCH, so sometimes my drive is beautiful, but today is a gloomy day. Everything is cloaked in fog and it even drizzles for a few minutes.

A nice day (not today) on PCH.

A nice day (not today) on PCH.

8:05 – I frantically search for parking on a street where street cleaning isn’t happening that day.

8:10 – In the office and ready to work! RYOT moved to its own house this past weekend, a super cute bungalow about four blocks from the beach and two blocks from Abbot Kinney, which means there are tons of great lunch options.

9:00 – We have a quick newsroom meeting where we talk about what the most popular stories on our site were yesterday and why. This is also a good time to pitch any article ideas we might have. The RYOT staff is really great at letting us interns be creative and do what we want, so we have pretty free rein to write about what we want. I’m working on an opinion piece already and two of the other people are collaborating on a satirical article about the recent info that Osama Bin Laden walked around in a sombrero, so not that many pitches are made.

9-1:00 – Usually in the morning hours I post stories from the “queue.” These are mostly AP stories that Brian, our editor-in-chief, has decided we should post. AP stories can be pretty dry, but most of our hard news comes from there. To post these stories we have to come up with a new headline, do a little SEO and tagging, find a cause to link it to, and write the RYOT note. While not the same as writing an original story, it’s a little more complicated than just copying andpasting.

1:00 – Lunchtime! I’m usually starving by this time. Today we walk down to Hama Sushi, a Japanese place with great lunch specials.

1:45 – Back to work! Usually by this time all the stories from the queue have been posted, so we get to look around the Web for stories we think are interesting. I find a quirky story about a man who was robbed by his neighbors, and write and post it. The husband robbed the house while the wife distracted the victim by skinny-dipping in his pool.

4:15 – Time to go home! A great part about getting to work so early is I always get to leave early too. Unfortunately, traffic is always a lot worse on the way back.

5:40 – Home! Usually by this time  I just eat dinner and veg out with my fam, but I told my boyfriend I’d go to the gym with him today. I have my second cup of coffee, chill for half an hour, and then head out.

7:30 – After a quick shower, I heat up some leftovers for dinner.

11:00 – I try and fail to go to sleep. That second cup of coffee is clearly working. Instead I get out my laptop and work on a story for a couple hours. At least I’ll have less to do tomorrow.

2:00 – I finally fall asleep. Thankfully I’m not going in tomorrow and can sleep in!


Follow me on Twitter! @isabellasayyah.

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