Priya Anand: I’ll always have The Hatchet

Media Credit: Jordan Emont | Photo Editor

Editor in chief Priya Anand's desk features three things she can't live without: coffee, hot sauce and Hatchets.

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.

If you only fall in love once, I’m screwed.

That’s the only thing I’ve been able to think while writing a final thousand-or-so words for The Hatchet.

This farewell is supposed to encapsulate my entire collegiate journalism journey. It’s supposed to be a goodbye, a thank you to coworkers, a brief memoir of the countless nights you barely slept, and leapt out of bed to chase cop cars or fire trucks. You can only hope it conveys to your readers how much this damn newspaper changed everything about your life. Or how this dumpy, dilapidated townhouse became your home. Or how you feel like you’re losing a really big chunk of your identity and heart with every character you type onto this page.

I couldn’t bring myself to write this until the very last moment – the night before my final production, then the morning of, then that night. Until after there were no stories left to edit, no issues to plan. Until my last issue as editor in chief hit the printer, and hours before I’d be forced to delete the email signature that shows I’m a proud staff member of this beautiful institution. Until Connor was yelling at me at 5 a.m. to just finish this stupid thing.

I downed coffee, beer and more coffee in an attempt to accept this finality and find the words to accurately describe what these last three or four years have meant. Still, these words won’t tell you enough. There’s no way to tell you enough.

***

No words will be sufficient enough to show how grateful I am that Lauren gave me stories as a baby freshman and quickly after brought me on staff, the biggest turning point in my life. Or how Emily was the lifeline who taught me what news is and how to write, likely turning into the most influential person in my Hatchet career, one who I could turn to for years after her graduation for both friendship and advice.

If it wasn’t for Amy, I wouldn’t know anything about metro news. Her endless support meant more than she will ever know, and Morgenstern made me feel like a member of team news even as a sophomore.

When you’re the new kid in the townhouse, it’s hard to feel like you’re worthy of joining the personalities whose photos hang on these peeling, Smurf-blue walls. But then you meet seniors like Justin Guiffre, Becky and Louis, who make you feel like you can join the cool kids’ table.

I don’t know how to describe where my experience ends and Annu’s begins, or that time we laid the groundwork for our best-friendship over a pizza in Ocean City a few months later. She is the kindest, smartest and most sincere human being I’ve ever met, and I don’t know how I got lucky enough to call myself her best friend. Who else would I eat coffee grinds and jalapeños with?

Gabriella is my rock – the best, most understanding roommate I could have ever asked for. Words will never be able to match the breathtaking beauty of her photographs. She’s so goddamn talented, and I know she will excel. She already does.

I’ve given Gabe shit so often because I consider him very much my own. I’ll always envy and admire his ability to make people laugh even in dismal situations, and be thankful for his candor.

Connor has got to know at this point that being his coworker and friend (admit it!) has been among my favorite things about The Hatchet this year. If I can pick up even tiny elements of what he knows, I’ll be thrilled. This guy is going places. And somewhere between plotting how to take over the Internet – or help The Hatchet do that better – and driving across the city at 4 a.m., I realized our friendship is one that I sincerely hope will continue. Coffee? Bier Baron? Coffee while we walk to the Bier Baron?

Sarah’s partnership is what made this year. Without her, The Hatchet would not have accomplished all it did. I’ll miss finishing each other’s sentences and staying up until the sunrise. Ok, maybe not the second part. But farm girl’s incredibly capable, and I can’t wait to see where she takes the paper.

My successor and dearest of friends, Cory, will help this paper reach new heights. I’ll be around (or on Gchat) when things get rough, but I’m sure he will be more than just fine. Rock it. Be tough. Have fun. This is the best job you’ll ever have.

Traynor’s prolific writing never ceased to blow my mind. Maybe life will let us become coworkers for a third time. If it does, there better be more cookies the size of our faces.

If you think the humanities are utterly unemployable, you’ve clearly never met Patrick. He is among the hardest-working people I’ve ever met, and the opinions section benefitted from his dedication. Also, no. I don’t recall. Doug, find something else to hack next year and I’ll repay you with white food.

The most worthwhile thing to ever come out of an ANC meeting was my friendship with Jordan, who teaches everyone he meets what true fun actually is. I promise to get through at least three pages of the public health book he will eventually write without falling asleep. Prom!

Chloe is going to kill it – she’s already exceeded expectations. Look out for her byline. #adopted forever. I’ll always be her No. 1 fan.

Brianna, my little one, has come so far. And she’s not stopping anytime soon. I knew from the start that she was a keeper. Isn’t chasing cops fun?

Copy is, simply put, fucking insane. I’m glad to have had Amanda and Ryan by my side every late night, along with the laughter, snacks and crudity. They have a gift. Please record Bohemian Copsody for me.

Francis will always be my partner in (breaking news) crime. I hope he knows that nothing will ever get in his way of success besides him.

I’m going to maintain that Dev is one of the most underrated, funny staffers. He made crashing with team web worth losing sleep.

Late-night chats with Allison are what made us friends and gave me a reason to look forward to the end of production. Serena’s stories were hilarious and she was a joy to have on staff.

Lisa and I will always have the pumpkin squares. And sriracha. And coffee. I’m glad she jumped into the very, very deep end of the pool just because I asked.

The coolest kid on staff was Nick Rice, hands down. With that personality, creativity and work ethic, he is bound to succeed.

Karolina, Justin and Nick have grown so much this year and I know culture, ops and sports will be in good hands. Yes, Justin, you can still pester me on Gchat. Jenna, you are already doing great. It’ll be a good year.

Being a news assignment editor is a rough job, but Jeremy can do it. He’s got the spark.

Sam and Delaney are consistently hard-working and will only do good things for team photo next year.

It’s hard to say how I’ll ever repay every former EIC who I’ve bugged on Gchat, or over email or coffee for advice, criticism and help. Thank you. Tim, our talks have meant more than you know, and I’m so glad we became friends.

Nothing compares to the summer of sunshine with Becky, or the endless cheer Anne, Michelle and Marie bring everywhere they go.

I don’t know when I’ll ever have an office again, but when I do, I hope I have a couch so Sammy can nap there, too. One of my first friends since freshman year has grown into one of my best, and there is nobody who can make me smile faster than him.

I’ve missed Lyndsey and Rachel, but know we will make up for lost weekends this year for the next 80 to come. These girls are my anchors, and 718’s space in my heart has only swelled. Meow.

For a long time, I have wondered how to write to my sister Pooja, or explain the degree to which she has been a force in my life. She is my leveler, my confidant, my best friend, my other half and the reason I stay sane. I can’t thank her or my dad enough for their unconditional love. I can’t thank my mom enough for passing on her moxie – it’s probably why I’m a reporter.

***

I discovered my burning passion for journalism when I fell in love with The Hatchet four years ago, around the same time I developed an inhuman addiction to coffee and indifference toward sleep.

For four years, I have been known as the Hatchet girl. For four years, our 2140 G St. office has been my mailing address. For four years, people have asked me “How’s The Hatchet?” in lieu of “How are you?”

I could write more, but no words will ever be enough. They’ll never capture that this newspaper is perhaps the biggest piece of my heart.

It’s time to let this goodbye publish. My love, along with 324 bylines and some photos on the walls, will remain with The GW Hatchet.

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