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.
They call me a slayer.
And by they, I mostly mean Doug. I don’t remember when my nickname arose, but it’s had incredible sticking power. Every time I hear it, I remember why I love being on The Hatchet: the only institution that rewards enterprise reporting with a moniker so violent.
From the second I walked into the townhouse, I recognized the dedication that goes into making the newspaper. I knew already that I wanted to be a part of it. I thought I knew how cool all the editors were, until I found out they spent their weekends editing.
But once I got a taste of the grind, I couldn’t stop. Running on just a few hours of sleep became normal; thinking in news articles developed into a constant habit and talking to sources more often than my friends didn’t seem strange anymore.
And once it does stop, I won’t know what to do with all my time. After all, I especially didn’t know how to write my final piece.
I thought back to the assignment that introduced me to the person that would become my best friend, back to the late-night trips to Ivory, back to the days of running from one interview to the next. I thought that it was all over.
But the photos on the walls tell me that it doesn’t stop. For 108 years – soon to be 109 – it has kept going. Even though there’s only one more issue left for me, only a few more weeks until GW is no longer my home, The Hatchet will still be there. It won’t be mine anymore, but I will still belong to its circle of alumni.
That is what makes all the hard work worth it – knowing that it will live on in bound editions, knowing that a staff member will become an icon like the ones I hear about now and knowing that my relationship with The Hatchet is not over.
To my walking companion: French, you have an uncanny ability to instill both fear and love, but your talent as a mentor has pushed me to become a better journalist. While your standards seemed impossibly high when I came in, I have confidence that the next news team can exceed them going forward.
To my other half: Team Campus News Wednesdays brought us together, and I hope we never lose touch, no matter how far across the world we end up. Chelsea, you helped me get through thesis-ing, editing and jaunting across Europe. Your tenacity is something I hope to emulate. If you only live once, don’t let anything get in the way of pursuing adventure.
To my exploring companion: Gabe, you have been there for me like no other friend, and I only hope I can return the favor. Even though you never covered my shift, I look forward to reading your dissertation in a database one day.
To someone who always wants to do more: Ferris, your drive is almost scary. Somehow, you manage to stay on top of everything and never get tired. I know the senior news legacy of keeping the administration in check is in good hands. Keep on slaying.
To my adopted roommates: Priya, Annu and Lyndsey, you always make me smile. Your room became my second home, and I hope you keep a spot open for me to come visit next year. Never stop being that sunshine for The Hatchet.
To the only one who understands my academic jokes: Cory, keep making me proud. I can’t wait to see what you accomplish.
To someone who constantly impresses me: Turley, I always consider it a successful prodo if I can make you laugh. Your energy inspires me to be half as good a writer as you.
To the judge of my quote-gathering ability: Doug, your impressions of sources have gotten me through the worst of prodos, and your invention of my nickname encourages me to live up to it everyday.
To team photo and prodo: Your creativity makes pages of text look beautiful and fulfills the twice-weekly miracle of making jumps fit.
To team sports: Traynor, your passion for what you do is apparent, and your blogging puts team news to shame every time.
To copy: We will get to IHOP one day. You two totally deserve it.
To my actual roommate: Julianne, you listened to tales of drama and tedium, but always reminded me that there is a world outside The Hatchet. Thanks for keeping me sane and showing me what true dedication looks like.
To Volume 108: Thank you for making the townhouse my favorite place on campus. -30-