"If you have a spare evening any time soon, why not give writing a go?"https://www.livehappy.com/practice/4-gratitude-rituals-increase-kindness-and-joy?nopaging=1

Now that our term as Lifestyle editors is drawing to a close, we thought we’d write a little bit about who we are and what we’ve been up to over the past few months.

Tell us about you!

I’m Alex, a 2nd year MMLer (French and Russian) at Fitz. I’ve written for Varsity for a year, and have thoroughly enjoyed it! Writing is my thing and always has been; I’ve taken to haunting Varsity and the various Zines ever since I found out about them.

I’m Scarlet, a 2nd year HSPSer at Caius. I’ve written for Varsity for a year now, meaning that writing has become one of my habits which has surprisingly stuck.

How did you get into editing?

Alex: I started writing for Varsity, Features and Violet in particular, during the first lockdown and got a taste for it; I applied for Film and TV for Michaelmas 2020 and LOVED it. I applied to Deputy Vulture editor for Lent 2020 but changed my mind and went for Lifestyle editor instead. It’s been absolutely great, and has been really fun to keep things changed up. I particularly enjoyed working with the AskVulture team on their articles.

“Journalism is a career path I always umm and ahh about because on the one hand I don’t think I’m good enough but on the other hand I love writing”

Scarlet: This term is the first term I have been an editor. I applied for editor roles for Lent and Easter 2020 too but didn’t get them. After being sad about this for a few minutes or so, I decided to persevere through writing as a columnist for both Arts and Violet, before finally securing an editing role this term. Journalism is a career path I always umm and ahh about because on the one hand I don’t think I’m good enough, but on the other hand I love writing and (now) editing. Hope this makes vague sense!

How long does it take to edit an article?

Scarlet: It honestly depends! Sometimes it takes a few minutes and other times it can take up to an hour. If I’m feeling unproductive and generally listless, editing takes a lot longer than it probably should.

Alex: As Scarlet says, it really depends! I like to fit it in before any other pressing work so I can make myself a celebratory coffee and maybe get round to that essay … if there’s not much to do, it’s quite a quick job. Other times, I’ll have to focus up and get working with the writer to polish it up nicely. Overall, time taken from pitching to publishing can take a few days to weeks, depending on the amount of articles we have and what the section is looking like!

What’s your favourite thing about editing?

Alex: I love stalking the online system, Internal. I won’t lie, it’s supremely satisfying to see the articles being subbed all different colours and then going live. Other than that, I love receiving pitches; they can be the most incredible, niche things, and I can tell people have put a lot of time into them.

“I won’t lie, it’s supremely satisfying to see the articles being subbed all different colours and then going live”

Scarlet: If I’m honest, editing has surprised me with how enjoyable it is. I thought I’d find it fun of course, but I didn’t realise how rewarding seeing an article develop from the first draft phase to being published can be.

What’s your favourite thing about the Lifestyle section?

Alex: On a superficial level, I love the aesthetic of the mixture of images and illustrations, I think that’s so lovely. Aside from that, though, it’s a really cool space to write about pretty much anything, whether light-hearted or more serious, and I think that adaptability is what I like most.

Scarlet: I obviously have such a bias writing this, but (surprise, surprise) I absolutely love Lifestyle. It’s a platform where students talk honestly and insightfully about their own experiences and backgrounds, while tackling taboo topics at the same time. It’s so important that students have a place they can turn to for comfort, reassurance and entertainment; all things which Lifestyle provides.

What’s your favourite thing about working for Varsity?

Alex: My favourite thing is that we actually have a space for students to publish their work and ideas, to get a taste for working with editors and with a proper, bona fide newspaper, and (in better times) to see their name in print. Everyone is always so encouraging, committed to their section, and eager to help; I love seeing the same names cropping up all over my Facebook, whether in Zines or Varsity, or in the countless other things in Cambridge. It helps me to feel like we’re all part of this together, even though we’re not all there.


Mountain View

Why are houseplants the new must-have?

Scarlet: This is a genuinely hard question to answer. For one thing, I love how supportive the team is, and how understanding they are too. I’ve loved working with Alex to bring our visions of Lifestyle to life this term, and I am also immensely grateful for the help I’ve received from the Vulture editors.

We hope we’ve shed some light on the (somewhat) mystical process of editing. And if you have a spare evening any time soon, why not give writing a go? We, and the editors that come after us, would love to see what you come up with!