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.
For the life of me, I can’t remember what made me join The Hatchet.
I think it might be because for a few months in third grade, I took it upon myself to start an advice column in my elementary school’s version of a newspaper (why anyone would let an 8-year-old dole out advice is beyond me).
It could also be because I spent most of my senior year of high school fighting with the kids in my Contemporary Issues class about how they should “read the news for once” (high school was rough for me, OK?).
Once I got to GW, I knew exactly what my plan would be for the next four years. I would audition for an acapella group, apply to one of those freshman positions on the Student Association, maybe join a sorority in the spring and sign up to write for The Hatchet.
The moment I stepped into the townhouse for the first time, that plan went out the window. I watched as people way smarter than me rattled off the acronyms of things I didn’t know existed. A flurry of photographers and reporters streamed in and out of a cramped newsroom to upload photos and file stories. Behind me, some editors were yelling about a story on financial aid.
It’s corny and cheesy, and I’m rolling my eyes as I write it, but in that moment I knew there was no where else on campus I was supposed to be.
There’s a line in “The Office” when Michael Scott talks about how he’s writing a book called “Somehow I Manage.” Sometimes, as managing director, I felt a little like Michael Scott, helping lead a team but being kind of absurd. But being managing director of The Hatchet will probably be a top ten life moment for me (unless I end up winning that Tony Award, but here we are). The past one and a half years of being the “hype man” of GW’s independent student newspaper have been a better learning experience than any college class could have given me.
The Hatchet has taught me a lot of things, like how to ask hard questions and write under pressure. I learned how to be a good listener, structure an argument and maintain some self-control when someone tweets something factually inaccurate about us (to be fair, I’m still working on the last one).
I’m going to miss everything about The Hatchet, even things like not being able to open the townhouse door on the first try, trying to find the Golden Hatchet during staff meeting or missing out on Sunday brunch for almost four years.
The last few weeks, I’ve tried to come to terms with leaving The Hatchet. It kind of feels like at the end of a sad movie, where you know you’re about to cry but the tears haven’t started flowing yet. I know it’s because The Hatchet has defined my time at GW, and now I have to say goodbye to my favorite part of being here.
I’m not sure what I’m going to do with my Sundays now that I have one less email account to check and ed board to sit in. But I have a hell of a lot of faith in Volume 114 to keep The Second Oldest Newspaper in D.C. as amazing as it has been for more than one hundred years.
So now, for the last time, I’m going to look around the room and identify way more than three people whose qualities I admire and wish I had.
Olivia Anderson | Contributing Photo Editor
Mel: If you hadn’t friended me on Facebook my freshmen year of high school, I wouldn’t be writing this today, because I wouldn’t even know The Hatchet existed. Thanks for pushing me to be a better writer. (And remember, Go Astros!)
Chloe: Thank you for teaching me how to tackle The Fear and having faith in me as an editor, even when I didn’t. One of my favorite Hatchet memories was that night you made me spaghetti while I cried about roommate drama. Thanks for pushing me to care about The Hatchet. One day, we’re taking a SoulCycle class in NYC together.
Colleen: Thanks for letting me try something new and helping me feel secure in my decisions at The Hatchet. Thanks for teaching me all things metro and being an awesome resource for staff.
Jacqueline: Without you, I wouldn’t have stayed on this paper past sophomore year. Thank you for being there during some pretty rough months. I’m so excited to see how you take your passion for keeping people accountable and do great things.
Ellie: A little more than two years ago, I remember coming into news budgeting and watching you taking notes into your notebook as other editors pitched their stories. I was in awe of how calm, cool and collected you were during a meeting that, to me, always seemed terrifying. Looking back on it now, it makes a lot of sense that you led the helm this year. Your even-keeled demeanor and sense of humor made coming into the townhouse a joy, even when I was “having a day.”
Thanks for being my sound board, confidant and friend. I know my best memories at The Hatchet will be sitting on your couch, showing you an absurd tweet from a peer and laughing at the wildness of GW. No matter what you do next year, I can’t wait to see you shine, notebook in hand.
Ryan: The moment you came on staff, I breathed a sigh of relief. Having you on the news team was a breath of fresh air for a lot of reasons, but mostly because you were (and still are) a reality check when things can get hard. Maybe one day I’ll finally build up the courage to go to Soul again, so you, Ellie and I can “tap it back” together.
Victoria: Confession time: when I need a good laugh or download of what’s happening in pop culture, I scroll through your Twitter likes. Thank you for being a wealth of pop culture knowledge, and a human being with one of the best senses of humor I know. My Thursday mornings were made so much brighter knowing I’d be reading your jokes in the email edition tipsheet. I hope, one day, to see you outside Foggy Boton.
Robin: To this day, I still feel terrible that I forgot to tell you you got accepted to The Hatchet. But hey, it still kind of worked out! Watching you lead Metro and train editors has been such a treat. Thanks for letting us trash your apartment every few months.
Emily, Anna, Zach and Yonah: You guys are, without a doubt, some of the most underrated members of this newspaper. Thank you for letting me make the visualized and dealing with my last-minute requests for the conference and recruitment. Every time I see the four of you post on social media about each other, I know the visuals of our paper are in good hands, because there’s a close-knit group of friends leading the show.
Dan: If I’m the mom of The Hatchet, you’re definitely the grandpa (something tells me you’ve heard this before, though). Your passion for this newspaper makes me remember why what we do is so important. Thanks for reminding everyone to take out the trash, and coming all the way out to Virginia with me TWICE (!!) to chase down a story.
Olivia: Another one of my favorite memories of The Hatchet was sitting on the steps outside Hatchet Prom with you last year. You’re a hilarious story-teller, and I hope you’re never afraid to friend anyone on Facebook.
Max: Your bubbly charm and infectious laugh made some very hungover prodos a little more bearable. Thanks for being patient when I thought Nail was a member of One Direction. Keep Liz in line for me, will ya?
Tyler: Coming into ed board was a highlight of every week, probably because I knew I would get to hash out GW’s biggest issues with you. You’re one of the funniest, smartest people I know, and I’m so excited you’re going to be there to keep everyone in shape next volume. Remember to keep being the contrarian voice of this paper, because that’s where you truly shine.
Melissa H.: To be honest, I’m jealous you get to have my job. Being managing director is stressful and joyful and a little bit wild, all wrapped up in one. Make recruitment and the conference your babies, and it’ll pay off tenfold. I’m so proud of your passion for the paper.
Irene: I am so thrilled you’re leading ops this year. Your sass and wit will be so cherished on The Hatchet. I’m really going to miss waving to you in the hallways before class.
Olivia Anderson | Contributing Photo Editor
Sam: You’ve brought a lot of things into my life: a working knowledge of One Direction, “The Bachelor,” Brittany. All of those things are good (I think?) but the best thing you’ve done is been a phenomenal friend. When you joined The Hatchet, I was so excited that I’d get to wave at you in the SMPA hallway and not just be a stalker from Twitter. Your sense of humor and wit makes my days brighter. Thank you for listening to all of my dramatic text messages that start with “OK, so,” and walking around Tyson’s for three hours when I needed to find a Hatchet Prom dress.
Sarah: My first editorial board meeting, I was terrified because I didn’t know if I had what it took to debate GW issues with such a heavy-hitter. Your brilliant argumentative style pushed me as a debater and a writer. But, more importantly, you’ve been an amazing friend. Thank you for putting up with my frantic group messages when there’s drama and being the voice of reason (yes, those two things are related).
Brandon/Brow Do: You were a much needed breath of fresh air during some really low points in my time at GW. I’m continually thankful that The Hatchet brought you into my life. While you failed at making me even a bit more libertarian, your friendship is something I really cherish. My watch at The Hatchet has ended, but I’m glad you got to be there with me for most of it.
Andrew: I am so proud of you for being senior news editor next volume. The first time you submitted a story to me, my jaw fell to the floor because I was in awe of your talent. Your job is hard, but I can’t imagine anyone else doing it. And a word of advice, don’t let any news editors take their laptops in the shower.
Avery: It’s been a blessing to be your de facto neighbor this year. Your kindness and deadpan sense of humor are some of my favorite things about you. Thank you for being a source of stability to staff. I can’t wait to be actual next-door-neighbors in a few months.
Jake: Thanks for bringing a level of weird to The Hatchet. Coming into staff meeting means that sometimes I have to brace myself for your wild hot seat questions, but I always loved that. Please keep in touch, because there’s nothing I love more than your stories after a wild Saturday night.
Liz: There’s not one person in the world I would rather eat Subway sandwiches in my car outside a gas station in Maine with. Getting Sunday morning text messages about your weekend antics has always been a highlight of my week, but becoming your friend has definitely been a highlight of my year. Watching you lead the culture section leaves me bursting with pride every single day, and your sense of humor and killer work ethic is going to take this paper to great things. Just promise me you won’t make bacon at Easter brunch next year. Thanks for being the “perf” Hatchet little, ily.
Nathan: I am thrilled, nay, ecstatic that we hired you. You achieved what we thought was an impossible task. The website is beautiful, but your time at The Hatchet shouldn’t be defined by that. It should be defined by how patient, kind, and funny you are, and how much I loved having you on staff.
Sam H.: Your sense of humor brings such a bright light to the townhouse every week. Thank you for making all the photographers feel at home here. Go Navy.
Sera: If I ever become rich/famous/a combination of the two, I’m hiring you as my personal stylist. I also admire how you stuck with The Hatchet. If you ever need someone to vent to in a dog park, you know where to find me.
Team News: You guys are rockstars. I know the job is hard sometimes (well, all the time,) but your dedication to stories makes my heart burst. No matter which paths you take, I can’t wait to watch you guys attack the next challenge with tenacity.
Catherine: The Hatchet would cease to exist without people like you. I am forever in awe of your passion and enthusiasm for your stories. Thank you for being such a vibrant member of staff.
Halley: You’re probably the only other person in the universe who knows what it’s like to be on a college paper and the craziest marketing class ever. Thanks for letting me vent to you about presenting and bringing such a bubbly attitude and genuine kindness to The Hatchet. I think everyone in this world would be blessed to know more people like you.
Mark: Your chill attitude and way of living life to its most savage makes me so glad to be your friend. You and Nora made me actually care about college basketball, and that’s a feat in and of itself.
Matt: Look, I’m still not sure you go to GW. Even so, thanks for pushing back on my tangents during ed board. You’re gonna do great things with the sports team next year, and I’m so proud of you.
Melissa S.: I’m TERRIBLE at copy, so I really don’t know how you do it. Your attention to detail and straight-forward way of tackling big issues are such a blessing to the paper. I’m so glad I got to be your editor.
Ed board: Thanks for letting me rant and talk about some things I get pretty fired up about. There was not a single moment I felt like I would be judged for speaking my mind. You guys are the best.
Lillianna: You’re going to crush it as EIC of Volume 114. Watching you interact with staff fills me with pride, and I’m so excited to pick up the paper on Mondays with you at the helm.
Volume 114: You guys are about to embark on a remarkable journey (dramatic, right?). Some of you are new to this and some of you have done this before, but no matter what, hold on to every single memory.
Mom, Dad and Joseph: Well, here we are. Thanks for picking up the phone no matter how many times a day I call, being there for me when I was losing faith and making me laugh. I love you guys so much.
CapAd: I’m really kind of surprised I bonded so well with a group of acquaintances in only a single semester. The goal of our campaign was to…nah, I’m just kidding! Thank you for listening to me talk about journalism sometimes. You’re a group of people I’ll hold in my heart forever, and I’m blessed to be just a small part of Team 374.
Brittany: Peep peep. It’s hard for me to shoe-horn like, 10 inside jokes into a few sentences, so I’ll leave you with this: Your friendship has been one of the most rewarding things about GW. Your sense of humor has made me a funnier person, and I’m glad I always get to brag about being friends with the meme queen. Let’s order gabbagool soon.
Emily: Thanks for answering my Facebook messages when I’m in full crisis mode and literally sleeping on my floor when I’m actually in full crisis mode. There’s no one in the world I would rather hold hands with when the Patriots are in the Super Bowl. Just remember, Georgetown sucks.
Mike: Bet you feel pretty bad that you rolled your eyes through this whole column and now I’m thanking you, huh? Thanks for saying everything I’m thinking, and being the Leo to my Jed.
Alex: The Hatchet gave me a lot, but I’m most thankful it gave me you. (Pretty gross, right?) I know I drove you nuts in the business office sophomore year, but I think it worked out alright. Thanks for being my biggest cheerleader, a reality check after a long day and my best friend. Here’s to a lot more Sunday afternoons spent eating brunch, watching baseball and with each other.
This article appeared in the April 24, 2017 issue of the Hatchet.