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.
As a photojournalism major, it was no surprise that I arrived at the old F Street townhouse as a small freshman, eager to join the Hatchet photo team. Little did I know that I would stick around for four more years, and it would guide my whole college experience. Throughout my time on the Hatchet, I’ve met the perfect roommate (<3), was awarded incredible photography opportunities, grew as a photographer, public speaker and pursued my passions.
Photo meetings in the basement were a time like no other. I looked forward to this change of pace from class to catch up with photographers and be surprised by tasty snacks. I do not miss the variety of smells in the space or struggling with none of the Hatchet pens working. Assignments encouraged me to have a break from classes, get out of the on-campus bubble and meet new people. I was happy for the motivation to always have my camera with me. Through all the laughs, cries, nonstop days, texts and emails, I wouldn’t change a thing.
Starting sophomore year, I had an unexpected but amazing time on the sports beat. There were lots of late nights, long walks weighed down by the 300 lens and many slices of pizza. Photographing several games a week became one of my favorite routines. Each time, I became more comfortable on the sidelines and saw my action photography improve (and my knowledge of the games as well). I gained some extra time on the Vern at soccer, returned to my chlorine roots for swimming and water polo and even got to visit my relatives (and their chinchillas) in Richmond, Virginia, covering basketball. A few months ago, I had the opportunity to work the Super Bowl. Although it had been a while since my last in-person sports game, my Hatchet reflexes kicked back in.
As I depart, I’m very happy to know the website now includes a photo tab🤩. Shout out to Sarah for putting up with my pestering on this! When we were abruptly sent home, organizing photo stories switched drastically, but we went with the flow and tried out archival photo research and cross-country photography to student collaborations. It was a challenge, but I’m so proud of the pieces! I never could have done it without all the kind sources who participated. I can’t wait to see the projects expand and get to know the Foggy Bottom community better.
Of course, thanks to The Hatchet, I’ll always remember all the incredible #Onlyat(the)GW(hatchet) moments from Bernie Sanders on campus to students sleeping outside Lisner waiting for Kanye to lastly, covering Zoom meetings. Just to remember a few:
Lillian: Four years ago, I’m sure neither of us thought we would be here working, hatcheting and exercising all from our shared home. You’ve done an amazing job leading the photo team with grace (literally), and I can’t wait to see you thrive as a professional journalist. P.S. Thank you for saving me from rodents.
Donna: Omg, we made it, from the first day to the last. I’m so glad we both showed up to that September photo meeting freshman year and became a photo pair and photographed DAR Constitution Hall, Women’s Marches and SA portraits together. Although we’re parting ways here, I’ll see you in class, in my texts over facetime and Insta.
Sabrina: Wow oh Wow, I’m so glad we sat next to each other at your first Hatchet photo meeting. Thank you for sharing my love of Survivor and Shark Tank, accidentally converting me to veganism and always answering my phone calls. Your dedication to the photo community is inspiring, and I have no doubt your senior year will be excellent. Rest up and fill me in!
Emily: You are a force to be reckoned with! You’re incredibly kind and hilarious. The quality and amount of coverage you’ve produced with sports is continuously impressive. Thank you for teaching me the lingo from our local games to the national stages. As you say, basement gang forever.
Sarah: Freshman year, I told Donna that I bet you would be our grade’s EIC. Little did we know you would lead the paper fearlessly for two years throughout a global pandemic where our worlds turned upside down. I will always appreciate your patience with me when I had to write and improving my story pitches immensely. Thank you for being open to all my crazy photo ideas! P.S. I apologize for any plastic guilt I may have made you feel.
Lizzy: No need to fear, this is not the last time you’ll be hearing from me with grammar questions. Your patience with my writing skills is very much appreciated. Your dedication to the hatchet is astounding and I’m so glad we’ve met!
Grace: You’re such a rockstar! I’m so happy you joined team photo and stuck around to handle news, it’s been so impressive. There’s not a doubt in my mind that you will do amazing things next year. I’ll miss our district elevator rides and whole foods run-ins.
Heidi: It’s been so nice getting to know you over the years from the video table in the back corner to hip city veg to connecting over environmental journalism and making our way through SMPA classes together.
Sophia Y: It’s been amazing to see you grow these past two years. Thank you for your help with last-minute assignments last year, sourcing this year and your group me hype skills. Have so much fun with culture!
Sophia M: I’m so excited you’re joining staff and the PJ major. Enjoy the sports beat, it moves fast but is full of great energy and will teach you so much.
Camille: Yay! Thank you so much for bringing features into the next volume. I’m excited to see where you take it but will miss your elaborate photo illustrations. Have a great senior year!
Sarah, Alex, Jack: I missed you all this year! I’m glad we started out on staff as newbies together and will always remember our trails trip.
Aaron: Thank you for being so flexible with me and using your coding skills to bring our photo projects to life!
Olivia: You are so talented and have designed the paper perfectly. Your calming presence was always helpful during guide seasons.
Lia: Congratulations! You are such a talented journalist, I know you’ll lead the paper fearlessly.
Past Editors: Arianna: Thank you for your kindness and patience, I had so much fun helping out with the video section. Meredith: I’m delighted we collaborated on team podcast and thank you forever for the tiny desk ticket! Olivia: Thank you for teaching me the ropes of team photo, sports and supporting me since day 1!
Mom, Dad and Corey: Thank you for always giving me the best advice and being there throughout this wild ride. Your support means so much!