When I was 8 years old, I was pretty sure that, when I grew up, I wanted to move to Tanzania and study chimpanzees for the rest of my life. When I was 13, I was pretty sure that I wanted to be a chef. And when I was 18, I came to GW pretty sure that I wanted to be a journalist. But The Hatchet made me sure.
I joined The Hatchet hoping to learn some video skills, produce some pieces and make a portfolio. I never expected it would be such a defining aspect of my college experience. But four years later, here we are, and it’s clear that I’ve gained so much more than planned. The townhouse has gradually become my second home, and the people within it my second family.
Being a part of a group of people learning, working, creating together and supporting each other is indescribable. When I’m sitting at the computer, slaving over Final Cut Pro for hours on end, there’s nothing better than sitting in a newsroom of people who are working their hardest to produce the best content we can.
Between the late nights, long hours and necessary snack runs, is a community striving to build something bigger than all of us. A team of people who have seen you at your strongest, weakest and weirdest is supporting you every step of the way. This team of people has a passion that is so inspiring it encourages me to be a better journalist and editor every day.
I remember walking into the townhouse as an intimidated freshman, unsure of how I had gotten onto the paper. The closest I’d been to journalism was taking a one-semester class my senior year of high school. The fear eased as Gabe, my editor, told me that I could join the multimedia section with no experience, and that they would teach me everything I needed to know. That was encouraging because my level of video journalism experience was, quite literally, less than zilch.
Gabe: Thank you for taking me under your wing with my skill set in its most raw form and teaching me everything I know. From how to pick up a camera to how to run this (awesome) team, I learned it all from you, and I am eternally grateful.
Marie and Gaby: Thank you for being the two most kick-ass role models out there. You are incredible artists, and it has been an honor to learn from you both.
Ferris and Cory: Being a part of the Hatchet staff turned out to be so much more than I anticipated. Thank you for showing me the ropes when I was a new editor, and supporting me along the way.
Gabe (Salkin): I’ll always remember the days when I called you frantically because the computer was broken, and you kindly reminded me to plug it in. Thanks for your help through the technological struggles and for our website.
Brianna: It has been nothing short of amazing to work with you this year. You have such admirable dedication to this paper and the people who work on it. Thank you for supporting my wild ideas and teaching me how to be a better journalist and leader.
Jeanine: The way you came into your position under high-pressure circumstances and stepped up to the plate is incredibly admirable. I’ve loved collaborating with you and can’t wait to see all the amazing things to come from culture. You brighten the townhouse figuratively with your spunk, and literally with your hair, and it’s all awesome.
Justin: You bring the staff together and make us a more cohesive team. It’s been great getting to know you as a friend and strangely bonding over broadcast journalism at parties. I hope we get to work together again soon.
CNN’s Jeremy Diamond: From hanging out as freshmen in Poto to working at The Hatchet to interning on the same floor, it’s been a great four years. You’re already well on your way to doing big things and I couldn’t be happier for you.
Colleen: you’re going to do an amazing job next year and I can’t wait to see you take this paper to a new level. Jacqueline: I remember taking you on your first video, and now you’re the senior news editor. It’s been a privilege to see you grow within The Hatchet. Eva: You have one of the most challenging jobs at this paper and I admire your determination. Thanks for your moral support during my late-night wine runs.
RSG and Sophie: You both are great team players for this paper and that is something that doesn’t go unappreciated. In your own ways, you each radiate a style and individuality that is truly awesome. Please keep doing you, cause it rocks.
Chloe: Thanks for welcoming me onto staff back when I was a newbie, and for being an awesome friend throughout college. You are a such a great journalist and I’m excited that we’re both ending up in New York so we can extend the shenanigans post graduation.
Mel: I’m grateful for The Hatchet in many ways, and easily one of the most significant is that it led us to become the best of friends. Without you by my side for these past couple of years, I would not have had half as much fun and also would not have been able to keep my sanity intact. Your passion and drive is incredible and I can’t wait to be there every step of the way to see all the amazing things that you will achieve. P.S. The separation anxiety is already too real.
Zach: You’ll be happy to know that this is the last thing I wrote. To think about how much has changed since we started out as co-editors this time two years ago is crazy. Even though you pretend to be a grumpy New Yorker, you are actually one of the most caring people out there. Our dynamic is absolutely hilarious and unique, but it works for us, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. You’ve been a great co-editor, web editor and friend, and I am sure that I wouldn’t have survived my run on staff without you. You continuously put so much effort into this paper and I can’t wait to see all you’ll accomplish in your new role – even though to me you’ll always be a part of the video team.
Kendall: You are full of ideas and passion, and your potential is limitless. Your chill vibes are very welcomed on this team, although I know (and love) that you’re a nerd at heart. I have complete faith in you and know that you’re going to thrive next year as editor of our awesome section. Do it big.
Blair: You’re reliable, efficient, fun, supportive and caring. This is not an easy job, but you make it seem effortless. I was lucky to have you this year and I can’t wait to see what you will accomplish in your new position.
Sarah and Halley: I could not be more excited for both of you to join staff. Sarah, you have so many great ideas and everything you produce is nothing short of phenomenal. You have been amazing as an editor to me when I needed an extra set of eyes, and also a great friend. Halley, never lose that drive, dedication and enthusiasm – they add a necessary dynamic to our team. It has been the most rewarding experience to watch you both grow from new videographers to editors and I can’t wait to see what is next for each of you.
My team: It has been the best experience and a complete honor to have been your editor for this past year and a half. I can only hope that you’ve learned half as much from me as I have from you. I’ll keep watching to see what amazing videos you all produce.
My roommates: Lindsay, Angela and Ashfia, who have doubled as a support group, and Lauren (you essentially fit into this category, too). Thanks for always being there and listening through the madness. It means the world to me.
My family: Thank you for always being the first consumers of my content and my biggest supporters. There’s no way I could have done any of this without you.
I could never have predicted the impact The Hatchet would have on my life, but I wouldn’t have had it any other way.
This article appeared in the April 20, 2015 issue of the Hatchet.