Nick Rice: Redesigning my college experience

Media Credit: Samuel Klein | Photo Editor

Media Credit: Samuel Klein | Photo Editor

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.

Have you ever gotten on a roller coaster halfway through the second loop? Me neither, because that’s an absurd proposition. But that’s pretty much what it was like joining The Hatchet midway through my junior year. After two years of spending Sundays on the couch, binging on television seasons and nursing hangovers, it suddenly became another workday.

Making that time is a special kind of dedication. I can’t say I understood it at first, but everyone seemed to do it – effortlessly and flawlessly. Eventually, I just fell into it. A year and a half later, I’m graduating and it’s all coming to an end. My time at The Hatchet went by as if it were a few moments, but as I sit here thinking back, it seems like a decade of memories.

It all started pretty simply. I was a budding graphic designer, self-taught and eager to bolster my portfolio. The Hatchet needed some help with graphics. I can’t tell you why, but after a few months of juggling this added responsibility on top of classes and internships, I decided I wanted to involve myself more. So I joined the editorial board and added another couple of hours a week to my schedule. I started knowing – and caring – about GW more than ever before. I was proud to be a part of a group so passionate about using our editorial voice to better the community.

Volume 109 came to an end, and I began my first transition. I became The Hatchet’s first visual director under Cory Weinberg’s editorship. I was thrilled for the opportunity to redesign our print edition. Working with Jenna and the rest of the staff to entirely rebuild the brand and visual standards of our paper was one of the most important projects of my college career.

As uncool as this might sound, I get butterflies every once in a while when I see that paper sitting on the newsstands. I will continue to do so as long as that masthead sits atop the front page.

As if I needed more to do, I took over the Bar Bro column as well. I guess that counts as another responsibility, but going out drinking with friends and writing about it hardly feels like work.

Just like that it was over. And now I have to try to list all of the people, past and present, who made my time on The Hatchet worth every assignment I put off, every HBO all-day marathon I skipped and every second of every precious weekend I spent in the townhouse. There’s no way I’ll get everyone into these 30 inches, but here’s my best shot:

Chloé: If you hadn’t dragged me into this, we probably wouldn’t have spent half as much time together and I would probably not be half as talented a designer as I am now. I am constantly amazed at how we push each other to make ourselves better. I look forward to continuing our climb to the top together.

Priya: Thanks for hiring me based on nothing more than my dashing good looks and my girlfriend’s word. You were a great boss, an even better journalist, and an all-around awesome person. I hope we can reunite in New York this summer.

Jenna: It’s been a pleasure working with you. You’re an awesome designer, and we made a great team. I know you’ll be great in your position next year, but I hope you keep designing, whether for business or pleasure.

Cory and Sarah: You guys ran one heck of a paper. It can be scary to lead an organization through times of change, but you turned it into an opportunity. You really brought out some of my best work, and I can’t thank you enough for that.

Brianna: I have a feeling you’re going to do incredible things with this paper next year. Your talent and your absolute dedication to your craft will produce nothing short of brilliance.

Zach: Keep doin’ what you’re doin’. Never change.

Delaney and Elise: Thanks for being my Bar Bro photographers. I’ve had some great nights out with the both of you.

Nick Ong: I like your style and your lack of rules. Keep making a good name for us Nicks.

Traynor: Your 30 shout-out to me was the moment that confirmed that, despite only being on staff for a couple of months, I was truly part of The Hatchet. So I figured I should return the favor.

Sophie, Nora and Isa: You are all incredibly creative and talented. We freaked out for months about building the future design team, and then all of the sudden you all arrived. I have high expectations for you guys and a feeling that you’re going to exceed them.

Team Web: You guys are pretty much the only people I shotgun beers with anymore. That’s a compliment.

Jeremy: You’re the man. The townhouse hasn’t been the same without you. I’m consistently disappointed when I see someone who isn’t you sitting on your balcony outside the Savoy. You’ve got an amazing future ahead of you and I can’t wait to see it play out.

Becky: I never worked with you while you were on the Hatchet, but I figured it would be appropriate to give you a shout-out since I work for you now. Hi!

Justin and Jacob: Edboard was awesome under your leadership. I was always amazed at how you can synthesize a handful of loud, obnoxious, crass voices into an expertly executed argument.

Colleen: I once verbally gave you an award for the “Most Reasonable and Well Thought-Out Graphic Requests.” Now it’s in writing. Congratulations!

Mel: If anything ever happens to me, take care of Chloé for me. It’s a labor of love, but I think you’re the next-best person for the job.

Robin and Rachel: Thanks for fixing my mistakes. You’re both really good at it.

I don’t think I realized I was graduating until I started typing this sentence. This has been an utterly transformative time of my life, and The Hatchet was a big part of that. I am incredibly thankful to everyone involved in this fine organization for providing me with a wealth of memories and undoubtedly altering the direction of my future. I guess this is it, then. It’s been a blast.


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