City Life

10 Signs You Went To College In Washington DC

With more than a dozen colleges in or by Washington D.C., it’s impossible to list just one or two defining characteristics of college students in this city. However, there are a few things that at least most, if not all of us, have in common. Some of these telltale signs that you went to college in Washington DC include:

1. You treat brunch like a religion.

And boy, are you devout. If you have brunch plans, nothing less than the apocalypse or catching the black plague will keep you from going. You likely even have a ranking system: you know what places do what deals, who has bottomless mimosas, and where it’s easiest to get a table.

2. You’ve been known to judge tourists.

It doesn’t matter if you’re a freshman who got to D.C. three weeks ago, there is a general air of pride of being someone who actually lives in the city. You claim it as your own, and feel like the capital belongs to you more than, you know, the rest of America. As much you love taking your yearly cherry blossom photos, your favorite time of year is still whenever it’s low tourist season, and you can enjoy the city in relative peace.

3. You’ve been to political rallies–even if by accident.

It’s no secret that D.C.’s college students are very politically active. However, not everyone comes to the city for politics or to study international affairs.Even so, those who aren’t invested in politics can’t always avoid it. Whether you’re going to the museums, the White House, a music district, etc., it’s unlikely you’ll manage to avoid rallies and marches all four years (especially if they happen on campus).


4. You have a favorite monument.

And you scoff at the “regular” Americans who generally say “oh, I love the monuments” or dare to suggest they’re all about the same. Not only do you have a favorite, you can give several reasons why it’s the best. You like the Washington one because you can lie with your feet up on it, or you appreciate the passion of the WWII memorial, or all of the ways you can interact with Lincoln. Not that you don’t love the other monuments dearly, but there is certainly a ranking system.

5. You hate Segway tours (but you’re secretly very jealous).

Let’s face it, being out and almost getting run over by a group of helmet-wearing tourists asking why it’s called the “Reflecting Pool” isn’t one of your favorite things (though it’s certainly better than a giant school group randomly appearing). You have a sense of pride in already knowing the things that would come up on these tours. Nonetheless, you secretly want to be in one of these tours. You love D.C. and visiting its cool places, and you think it would be kind of fun do to it by Segway (especially if you’re one of several schools that banned hoverboards).

6. It confuses you when you go home and not everyone talks politics.

You spend nine months around the center of American politics and law, and then you go home and suddenly people are talking about… sports? Kylie Jenner? A TV show that isn’t Scandal or House of Cards? Not that you don’t talk about sports, or reality stars, or television, but you start to realize you talk about politics a lot more than your friends back home do. This is less true than it used to be, however; with Donald Trump still newly president, more people might be talking politics than they used to.

7. Loving sports is difficult.

Many D.C. college students are not D.C. natives, and already have their teams from back home. But, if you make friends from different places, you’re likely not all going to want to watch the same teams. So, you might try to find room in your heart to love D.C.’s teams, too. Sure, your home team will always be your number one, but why turn down a fun night at Nationals Park? Of course, this only works with teams without sworn rivalries; no Cowboys fan is going to come in and cheer for the Redskins.

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8. You need a diagram to keep school rivalries straight.

With how many colleges are in the district area, a clear 1-on-1 rivalry isn’t likely. Sure, Georgetown and GW go at it, but it’s not the same as Ohio State v. Michigan, Florida v. Florida State, Harvard v. Yale, etc. GW and Georgetown also have feuds with American, and Catholic and Trinity are both religious colleges, but then Georgetown is also technically a Catholic school, but if you cross over into Virginia there’s Liberty, which is Christian but not Catholic, and you still have Howard, University of Maryland, George Mason… you get the idea.


9. You’ve possibly committed a federal crime.

I know what you’re thinking– how? But if you’ve ever littered on a national monument (that includes those of you who leave cigarette butts at the back of the Lincoln; I see you), you have legally vandalized federal property. Are you going to be dragged off to prison? Not likely. But, officially, any crime committed on federal property, especially its monuments/parks, is a federal offense (use this to increase street cred?).

10. D.C. becomes home.

Where you grew up, where your family lives will always be “home,” but for many, it becomes a second home. You proudly tell people that you live in, go to school in, or are from D.C. With all of its history, beauty, and culture, you can’t help but fall in love with the city.

Did we miss any other signs that show you went to college in D.C.? Share your thoughts in the comments below!
Featured image source:
Emily Milakovic

Journalism and Spanish major at GWU and future law student. Interests include anything related to politics, social issues, and dog photos. Find my news pieces at!

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