Shreeya Aranake: Finding a home in The Hatchet

Media Credit: Courtesy of Meredith Roaten

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.

My time at The Hatchet didn’t begin because I had an itch to become a journalist, nor did it begin because I wanted to rise up the ranks of a student organization on campus. Instead, my trajectory to becoming an editor was born out of a simple urge to have a reliable place to go to, a place where I knew I could see the same people over and over again, and hopefully make some friends. In the second semester of my freshman year, I decided that this reliable place would be the weekly opinions section pitch meetings. 

I began to live for these meetings, constantly tinkering with my pitches, looking forward to some lively conversation with good people. I’m so glad and so grateful that I chose The Hatchet to be my safe place during that lonely time. It’s served me well since then. 

As a staffer, I had the opportunity to collaborate with wonderful people, all of whom were passionate about journalism and even more passionate about the sections that they ran. I had the opportunity to lead some incredible writers in their journeys from writers to staffers, and edit pieces from columnists that I am in awe of. 

As an opinions editor, I have grown to love the complexity and contradictions of opinions journalism. I learned that a pitch is usually approved not based on the strength of the opinion but rather on the strength of the facts in the opinion. I learned that the most focused and specific opinions are often the ones that are most relatable and enjoyable for peers to read.

I’ve loved my time as contributing opinions editor. I can’t believe my time at The Hatchet has come to an end, but here are some people who made all of it possible: 

Hannah: I still remember sitting next to you in our freshman year as you took out a list of pitches, passionately listing them off as Kiran and Renee listened. I’ve been in awe of your passion for the opinions section ever since. Even though we’re the same year, I’ve looked up to you both as a fellow columnist and as an editor. You have always been kind and humble. You’ve been a great friend to me throughout my years on The Hatchet. 

Andrew: We’ve been on this journey together from the very start, and I’m so lucky to have topped my senior year off as your contributing editor. I can’t imagine having a better partner to lead the section with, and I hope you’ve had as much fun as I had this year as we led meetings and worked together. 

Kiran: I remember how much of a pain in the ass I was as a sophomore opinions writer, fighting you on every word and phrase right before my pieces were published at midnight. You were kind and never lost your patience with me, and I’m very grateful. Thank you for always making me feel heard. 

The opinions and cartoons section: I’m so proud of all the wonderful pitches you brought to the table this year. I’ve looked forward to our meetings a great deal. Thank you for your exuberance and passion for the opinions section. This section is alive and well because of all of you. 

My friends and family: Thank you for always reading and championing my work at The Hatchet. I appreciate you all so much. 




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