Amy's laptop screen, split between a supervision (to the left) and setting for a Varsity print edition (to the right)Credit to author

The existence of this article is fundamentally contradictory. News is fluid and unpredictable, so summarising a day in my life as Senior News Editor is quite difficult. The fact that I can sometimes write three articles in a week or three articles in a single day quite accurately reflects this. 

Essentially, it is my role as Senior News Editor to guide the news section, cover the most important, sensitive and breaking stories of the section, and either edit or oversee the writing and editing of all of the articles that we publish, as well as preparing News’ section of our fortnightly print edition. I should also mention that I study Classics, and sing with Emmanuel Chapel Choir, two things that feature to varying degrees in my daily life.

I should add, rather appropriately, that five minutes after I started writing this article, I received a series of messages requiring that I stop writing this and go and cover another sensitive and breaking story about [redacted]. This is a fair representation of how several of my days go. 

Cameron, my fellow Senior News Editor for Lent term, said it is rather “meta that my article about a day in the life of being a senior news editor is disrupted by my life as a senior news editor”.

And with that, I begin the near-impossible task of accurately summarising a day in my life.

Anywhere between 8:00am and 9:50am, depending on what week of term it is: I roll out of bed, normally to a series of messages on Microsoft teams from Varsity’s editors and news correspondents, unfinished preparation for my 10am Latin class, and a strong desire for a cup of coffee. Two of these are acknowledged, with my work for my language class remaining incomplete, as is tradition.

"I roll out of bed, normally to a series of messages on Microsoft teams... unfinished preparation for my 10am Latin class, and a strong desire for a cup of coffee"

10:00am: My lectures and language classes span the next two to three hours. I do often find myself somewhat distracted by teams notifications; to quote Gaby, one of Lent term’s Co-Editors: “messaging in a supo #grind”

1:00pm: I normally find myself going on a walk or cycle once my classes end, which will often result in me purchasing a coffee and alleging to my friends that I’ll work on reducing my caffeine intake sometime soon. This is among the more consistent features of my days.

1:30pm, Option 1: This is when I’ll normally be getting on with translations or essay reading, or working on a less time-pressured article for Varsity, or even one for a different section. Fortnightly I will spend my Wednesday afternoon working on Varsity’s print edition. 

1:30pm, Option 2: Mid-translation, a breaking news story crops up which demands my attention immediately, which can lead me off track for anywhere between thirty minutes and a couple of hours. This period of my afternoon is difficult to plan ahead for, as my day really is moulded by that day’s news.

4:00pm: This is about the time when my productivity starts to slow, and I’ll often find myself working with a friend (either via Facetime or in-person) in between afternoon supervisions. I’ll continue working on articles or translations, and probably have a phone call with Cameron to discuss ongoing articles and any issues that may have arisen. 

This is also the time that I’ll start making my way to Emmanuel College for rehearsals or sing at a Eucharist or Evensong service, which normally lasts until around 7pm. I spend three or four evenings a week with Emma’s Chapel Choir, and it is a wonderful way to destress and detach from the busyness of my degree and news. 

"An hour-long catch up by the microwave is not an irregular occurrence"

7:30-9:00pm: The period in which I pretend that there is any possibility whatsoever that I will do any work. I often use this time to catch up on articles that have been published in other sections, too. This is also when I’m most likely to be distracted by my friends, so an hour-long catch up by the microwave is not an irregular occurrence. 

9:00pm-00:00: I realise about now that I’ve been neglecting my degree a bit too much. Thankfully, I find my best work is done between these hours, although it is often punctuated by replying to Varsity messages. I may also give in to the temptation to play a game (or ten) of mafia on Zoom with my friends around now.


Mountain View

An old friend as the road bends: re-reading Anne of Green Gables

00:00-an ungodly hour: Oh goodness, look at the time I can pretty confidently predict that I have definitely not completed enough of my to-do list by this point. I’ll either decide that I am far too tired to think coherently about Cicero and decide to edit or upload some articles in bed, or attempt to continue working on that essay which I should have finished earlier on that day. (I am obliged to note here that a questionable sleep schedule is not a requirement for future Senior News Editors.) I’ll get ready for bed at this point, which often features me falling asleep halfway through a podcast and forgetting what point I got to.

Naturally, this is rather approximate and just slightly idealised: the busyness of news can be tiring and I’ll often spend a bit of time scrolling through social media in bed after dealing with some breaking news. Working in news has often been described as somewhat addictive, so taking time away from technology, even if just for a quick chat with a neighbour over coffee, is just as much a key theme in my daily life as news is.

And thus, I shall obtain myself a cup of coffee (yes, it is 6pm) and return to my Latin translations until the next story arises.