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.
Well here it is. My first and only byline. I’ve been anticipating these 30 inches for years, never completely knowing how I would fill them. How can an organization that has stolen so much of my heart be summed up in a mere 30 inches? How do I even begin to thank, to praise and to remember all that this newspaper has done for me?
Pretty soon, a new volume will be taking over the staff box. Pages will still be designed, stories will still be written, phones will still be answered. Reporting will continue, just like it has for the last 110 years. And slowly, the memories of volumes prior will begin to fade away with the pages of the blue bound editions. But that’s the beauty of it, the beauty of The Hatchet. With every year, with every group of new editors, The Hatchet continues turning its wheels.
Exactly one year ago, I left the most fun, most stressful and most worthwhile job I’ve ever held. As a naive little freshman, I was lucky enough to be hired by The Hatchet’s production department. I quickly got swept into the fast-paced world of college journalism, design and the drama of 2140 G. When I first met all of the older editors, I was surprised at how good friends they all were. I remember thinking, ‘I guess this is more than just a job.’
Three years later, I cleared out my desk after my last late-night prodo. I was passing on the design torch to Jenna, just as Rachel had done for me two and a half years earlier. It was a bittersweet goodbye. As much as I was excited to work on the development team for my senior year, I already missed being a designer. I love designing for the same reason I love math – everything has to fit together in the end, and I was responsible for making that happen.
As my tenure as design editor came to a close, so did many of The Hatchet’s traditions. Froggy Mondays, a staple for the editors – and GW – wasn’t moving with the bar to its new location. But neither were about a dozen or so pint glasses that currently sit in my kitchen cabinets – an almost fair trade.
I left design with the twice-weekly publication, timely newspaper design and traditional masthead coming with me to make way for a new incarnation of The Hatchet. Volume 109 represented many lasts. The constant phone calls between photo, the EIC and me; the real paper slugs; our old printing service; the last real April Fools’ prodo.
But now, I’m leaving for good along with the largest part of my college career: the 2140 G townhouse. By the time this will be published, we will have had our first production night in 2148 F: the new beautiful home for The Hatchet. We will all have said our last goodbyes, sorted through all of the random mementos and carved our names into a wall somewhere.
In the past four years, this grungy two story townhouse has been more of my home than anywhere else around campus. It’s where I’ve gone to celebrate, to cry, to sleep and to hide. It’s where I’ve pulled every all-nighter since freshman year. It’s where I always had someone to listen to country music with – or someone to force to listen to my horrible top 40 playlist. It’s housed some of the best friends I’ve made over the last four years. It’s home to Hatchet Bench, my favorite place to drink deli coffee, tan and procrastinate. It’s where I spent 170 full production nights, and about 30 more staff meetings and ed boards. It’s where I learned some of the most important lessons of my college career.
It’s where I learned all of my InDesign skills, how to design front pages and how to crop photos without photo noticing. Where I learned that any food brought into the townhouse was communal – especially with French. Where Cory and I learned and performed ‘Take Me or Leave Me’ over and over again. Where Caroline and I learned the correct way to use nerf guns, and the correct way to get them confiscated. Where Connor tried to teach me all of the inner workings of the internet. Where I learned the meaning of ‘no one bastes alone.’ Where I learned that going to work with norovirus won’t kill you. Where I learned every word to ‘Kittens Inspired by Kittens.’ Where I learned probably everything I know about politics, culture and the SA.
Where I learned the real meaning behind a thank you and a job well done.
Brianna & Chloe – You will do amazing next year. Don’t ever doubt yourselves.
Justin & Jenna – Look around the room…
Prodo’s past – Thank you for putting up with my horrible music, annoying prodo rules and everything in between. You all helped make this newspaper beautiful.
Evelyn – We miss you. Ferris and I will be at the rodeo with you soon enough.
Lyndsey, Priya, Annu – Thank you for taking me under your wing, making me laugh and introducing me to Froggy and deli coffee.
Rachel – You are truly the one who made me feel at home at The Hatchet. Thank you for hiring me, for teaching me everything about design and always being there to answer my stupid questions – even from London. You have always been such an inspiration to me, thank you for giving me the chance to leave my mark here. And thank you for not firing Cory and me after the first basketball guide.
Francis – We made a great team. Thank you for all of your design wisdom and keeping me sane through too many Wednesday’s and Sunday’s. I miss you terribly and am so excited for all of the adventures we will have next year.
Cory – I knew in the first few weeks of meeting you – after I got past thinking you hated me – that you would do great things for this newspaper. It’s crazy how far we’ve come. You are one of the few people I know who embraces change – instead of fearing it. You have been an amazing EIC, and I am so lucky to have gotten to work so closely with you over the last four years.
Ferris – Thank you for everything. For keeping me entertained with your life chronicles, listening to country music with me and always being there to talk. I am so happy that we have gotten so much closer over the years. You will never cease to amaze me.
French – I’m pretty sure most of my favorite Hatchet memories somehow involve you. You made my first two years on staff the most memorable and made me somehow look forward to late night prodos. Thank you for showing me what this job is all about, reminding me of what is important and not letting any of my food go to waste.
Traynor – Our friendship means the world to me. You are a beautiful, hard-working, talented individual, and I have always admired your dedication to your work. I know we’ll have many G&T’s ahead of us.
Josh – You are possibly one of my favorite things to come out of the last few years on staff. You are absurdly kind and loving and I can’t wait to see what amazing things you do for this world. Thank you for letting me be your best friend and steal all of your food. At least now I’m pretty sure my debt is repaid?
Glynn – I always wonder how different our lives would have been if we had become friends freshman year like we should have. I would have had two extra years of splitting pitchers and squirt bottles, YOLOing and fake cuddling. I guess we’ll just have to make up for it in the next two years.
Justin – It sure took us long enough, but I’m glad we finally got to where we are now.
Meesh – You have been my most steady support system since freshman year. I don’t think I could have made it this far without you. I don’t think I tell you I love you enough – but I really do. You will always be my PGR, 4Loko, waiwanan, pillow pet stealing best friend.
Caroline – Along with everything The Hatchet has given me, I’m so thankful that it gave me you as a best friend. You have continued to always be the smiling face that has believed in me, even from across the country. From the car clique to Lindy’s to the Lincoln to Vegas, you have always been there to make me laugh and remind me of the good in life. You’ve become like a sister to me, and I honestly don’t know what I would do without you.
The 808 crew/the clique/the cool kids – We are the most dysfunctional, co-dependant group of friends I have ever met – but I wouldn’t have it any other way. I love you all, thank you for becoming my family here. Now let’s go back to Vegas, I think Clint has more tables to puke on.
Mom & Dad – I owe you both everything. Thank you for always supporting me.
Next year’s volume and those after will continue to leave their marks on the walls of the new townhouse, just as the old townhouse has left it’s mark on me.
RIP 2140 G. You will be missed.