Becky Reeves: A rocky road worth traveling

Each year, graduating editors are given 30 final column inches – “30” was historically used to signify the end of a story – to reflect on their time at The Hatchet, published in the final issues of the year.

My start at The Hatchet was nothing short of rocky. It was my sophomore year, and after a year of freshman shenanigans, I decided I needed to buckle down in academics and extracurricular activities. Journalism had caught my eye and I was determined to join The Hatchet. Easy right? Not quite.

I started by sending multiple e-mails to multiple editors with no success. Still stuck on joining some kind of campus media, I decided to try somewhere else. I wrote for the Daily Colonial for a couple months, but was ultimately disappointed by the organization’s editorial direction. I look back on it fondly as my first byline, but it just wasn’t where I wanted to be writing.

By the spring semester of my sophomore year I dropped the Daily Colonial and recommitted myself to breaking into The Hatchet inner circle. My plan of action: Go straight to the top. I e-mailed then-editor in chief Eric Roper three or four times demanding to be put in touch with an editor, something I look back on comically and with supreme embarrassment.

It was extreme and a little bit brash, but it worked.

Before I knew it, I was sitting in a Hatchet meeting in preparation for covering the 2009 Presidential Inauguration. As I mingled with Hatchet editors, I played it totally cool, but deep down I felt so important.

That same day, I met the person who would become my first Hatchet editor and one of my closest friends at the newspaper: Emily Cahn. Emily had just become an assistant news editor, I had just become a reporter and our serendipitous pairing laid the groundwork for arguably the most absurd friendship within The Hatchet. After feeling shut out from the organization I was so desperate to join, Emily, you were the first person to make me feel welcome and wanted at The Hatchet. You gave me front-page stories to cover and taught me the ropes. For that, I will always be grateful.

Each year, graduating editors are given 30 final column inches - called 30 pieces - to reflect on their time at The Hatchet. Browse all.

This is not to say that I never had doubts about The Hatchet. I quickly learned that to be involved with this organization, you have to be dedicated and, at times, self-sacrificing. I went through bouts of exhaustion, but even in my most uncertain moments, something always kept me coming back.

My junior year, after taking an unofficial hiatus from reporting to focus on an internship, the Hatchet itch was getting at me again. I decided to apply to be a copy editor, thinking it would be a great outlet for my anal retentive tendencies while also grooming my writing and editing skills. A few grammar and style tests later, I was hired and back into the inner circle.

Had I any lingering doubts about my place at The Hatchet, they were squashed when I met the other new copy editor, Miranda. Even though I’ve dated Louis for three years, Miranda – you are my Hatchet soul mate. Whether we were pondering facets of Jewish culture, reviewing sex-ed, or just speaking sarcastic nonsense – most often the latter – you made every long prodo night bearable. You’re actually one of the funniest people I know and I will always remember the weird or confused looks we got from pretty much everyone… all the time.

The number of times French threatened to separate us from each other or from Emily for laughing too much – almost every other prodo night – is a testament to how we much we just clicked. I don’t think French realized when she hired the two of us she was actually hiring two lunatics who were going to fall in love with each other and be possibly the most inefficient editing team in the townhouse. Sorry French that we were perpetually distracting one another, but thanks Miranda for somehow making copy editing the most amusing job I’ve ever had.

However, Miranda’s not that important, and there are many other people that I would like to thank for making The Hatchet so special to me.

Anna, I appreciate your patience with the Copy Corner this semester. Thank you for tolerating Emily and my weird, bathroom-centric banter. You also take the award for Best Dressed at Prodo, not that my leggings-Uggs combination was much to compete with.

Priya, thank you for letting me write about the Gelman pooper. Even though you were only my editor for a few months, you assigned me the best story of my entire Hatchet career.

Gabe, thank you for constantly cracking up Miranda and I with your hilarious impressions and random insights. You always made me smile at 1 a.m. when I was in the worst mood of the night.

Justin, I’ll always look back fondly on the summer you, French, Louis and I spent convincing incoming freshmen to join The Hatchet at CI. I also secretly love all the corny things you say.

Lyndsey, I don’t know if I would have survived professor Harvey’s class without you. I truly looked forward to sitting next to you and sharing glances during our bizarre class discussions. You’re going to do an amazing job bringing the staff together next year. And even though the ops page was the heaviest, longest page to read every issue, I still love you nonetheless.

French, you used to scare the hell out of me. Although I know better now, I hope you never change. You’re an amazing journalist and leader, even though I sometimes wonder where you learned to spell based on your creative letter combinations. Truly, I feel honored to have worked under you and I want to thank you for giving me the opportunity to be a part of this amazing newspaper family.

Emily, you’re an incredible journalist, editor and friend. I owe my love for The Hatchet largely to you, so thank you. And just know you can always talk to me about your digestive health.

To all my girlfriends – you know who you are – you guys have been my second family for the past four years. Thank you for always making me laugh and entertaining me with your crazy antics. I take pride in the numerous fun, ridiculous, irresponsible and amazing experiences we’ve shared over the past few years. I hope to have many more. I love all of you so much.

Louis, you have been with me at every step of my crazy journey with The Hatchet. Who knows if I’d have stuck with it without you cheering me on. I feel so lucky to have shared this experience with you, and I’m comforted in the fact that as long as we’re together, a piece of The Hatchet will always be with me. I love you.

Mom, Dad, George and Tori, thank you so much for all your love and support. You always told me to do what makes me happy and I feel so lucky to be given that privilege. I love you guys.

For all those subjected to the cackling emitting from the Copy Corner — You know you will miss me. I know I will definitely miss all of you. -30-

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