My first year and a half of college was a flirtation with The Hatchet.
And now, two-and-a-half years after I was hired as a news editor, The Hatchet is dumping me.
I’ve struggled to accept that the most constant part of my life will soon be over. The rigid schedule I’ve become so reliant on will change. I’ll be able to go to Sunday brunch.
When you become an editor, The Hatchet seems to take a lot from you: your time, some freedom, occasionally your sanity. Nothing about this job is easy. But for everything it takes, it gives something back.
It was in our townhouse on G Street that I found a purpose, fell in love with journalism and came to understand all the effort that goes into publishing just one article, let alone the entire newspaper. When we moved to our new home on F Street last summer, we were all nervous about what types of changes we’d face. Sure, some traditions changed, but what didn’t was the dedication and determination of this staff.
A lot of things did stay the same in our new home. We kept old photos and bulletin boards and historic issues hanging on the walls, inspiring us to be like the editors who came before us. The daily grind stayed the same, too: Sending emails and making calls, reworking stories to find the perfect lede, eventually forcing yourself to finally move on to the next issue.
The problem with moving on to the next issue this year was that each issue finished was one fewer that I had left to leave a mark on.
For all the times I complained about spending Sundays at production, I always left 2140 G and 2148 F glad to have contributed to something so historic and meaningful. Knowing that I was building on traditions that had accumulated over more than 100 years made me proud to keep going every week – and responsible for passing them on.
We have a lot of traditions at The Hatchet: hot seat, April Fool’s, Hatchet Prom. They all mean something because they bring the staff closer together. This job has introduced me to several of my closest friends, perhaps the most important Hatchet tradition.
Sarah: You made me feel like I was part of Team News since before day one, and helped me realize my full potential every step of the way. Thank you for never accepting less than my best work and for working with me until I got there. I’m so lucky that one of my favorite mentors also turned into a best friend (and wing girl).
Cory: You took me under your wing, gave me more opportunities than I’d earned and shared with me your love for journalism and academics. You set the bar for academics high, and I can only hope that I’ve managed to set it higher. Thank you for everything.
Traynor: I never would have stayed with The Hatchet if you hadn’t given me a glimpse inside. You were the first person who showed me how to love this place, and for that I’ll be forever grateful.
Nick Ong: I’ve seriously missed having you in the townhouse this year. Thanks for being my therapist when I needed it, and for letting me pretend I was still part of Team Sports.
Nick Rice: Sorry for third-wheeling so many of your dates. You’re way too cool for me, but I’m glad we’ve become friends anyway.
RSG, Design and Brandon: Every week you all put up with our shenanigans, and we wouldn’t have a newspaper if you didn’t. Thanks for all your dedication and hard work.
Robin: I’m glad we were able to reconnect in the last two years. You and Blugis have done a great job of keeping page four full of new ideas this year and made the ops window the most colorful spot in the townhouse. I hope that stays forever.
Jeanine: You took on a tough role this year but have impressed us all. Keep working hard and being a ray of sunshine in the townhouse, and you’ll bring the culture section to even greater heights.
Cam and Desiree: I’ve been in awe of your talent since I met you both. Enjoy your senior years, but keep working hard.
Kendall, Blair and Sarah: I’m so excited to see where the video section goes next year. Keep pushing the boundaries and being creative.
Sam: Thanks for bringing me wine at Gelman and for taking pictures of China for me. I know I still owe you travel fare.
Ryan and Ellie: Your enthusiasm and passion for this newspaper has inspired me in my final semester. You guys are taking on the hardest jobs at this paper. Keep working hard and you’ll see why so many before you have stuck with it.
Brandon and Robin: The Hatchet will change you. Let it. I can’t wait to see what you both accomplish.
Zach: I’m honored that I’ve consistently been your favorite person at The Hatchet. Stay dedicated and keep doing great things here. I can’t wait to drag you to bars this summer.
Justin: We’ve been lucky to have your leveling voice on staff. I’ve always been impressed by your dedication and work ethic. I know you’ll do big things.
CNN’s Jeremy Diamond: I’m glad you were the person I struggled through my first budgeting sessions with. It’s time for us to be real friends outside of Hatchet craziness.
Jacqueline: Keep Team News fun because that’s the only way we’ve all survived. I’ve been so proud to watch you grow this year, and I’m excited to see where you lead the team next year.
Eva: I’ve loved watching you find your place here in the past year. I know you’ll face new challenges in your second year as a news editor, but you’ll overcome them if you stay determined.
Colleen: Working next to you has made me a better journalist. We all know you will take The Hatchet above and beyond next year, but only because you are so dedicated to keeping this institution the best it can be. I can’t wait for Chron!
Nora: I knew you would be my little from basically the moment I met you, and you’ve been my rock these past two years. Thanks for taking late-night phone calls, too many coffee runs and always being my biggest supporter. I’m so proud of all you’ve accomplished and I can’t wait to see what’s next for you. PPL&Hatchet?
Bri: I’ve known how talented you are since we took the Vex to news writing as freshmen. You’ve led our staff through the ups and downs so well this year, and we’ve been lucky to have such a dedicated leader. You’re going to kill it in Arizona this summer.
Diana: I wouldn’t have had half as many adventures in college if I hadn’t met you. You are the most dedicated, hard-working and fun person I know, and I am so lucky to call you my best friend. Your friendship has been unfailing, and it means the world to me. I know we’ll come to know the route between D.C. and New York well, and can’t wait to see what craziness is up next.
Chloe: The Hatchet has given me countless things, but our friendship is among the most important. Your work ethic made me a better editor and person. I wouldn’t have wanted to get pedicures during business hours with anyone else. I’m going to miss you so much next year, but I can’t wait to continue to bring out your inner biddie in the years to come.
To my friends in the real world who have put up with this crazy obligation year after year, thank you. Ilana: You’re the greatest roommate and put up with more of my craziness than anyone. Emily: I miss living down the hall from you. Thanks for always listening and having baked goods. To my Pi Phi girls: I know I haven’t always been around, but your friendships mean so much to me. Love always.
Kevin and Jill: You’re both so successful already, and I hope you find something in college to be this passionate about. I love you and can’t wait to see what more you accomplish.
Mom and Dad: I wouldn’t be where I am today without your support and motivation. Thank you for everything. I love you.
After all this time, it’s hard to believe my name won’t be on The Hatchet’s masthead anymore. It’s a breakup that stings a little. If I’m being honest, it’s a breakup that stings a lot.