Freshman year at any school can be very confusing and frustrating especially if you don’t know what to expect. Here are 20 things I wish I had known before my freshman year at George Washington University.
1. You’re going to meet a LOT of ambitious kids who already have a 5-year plan mapped out. Or maybe even a 10-year plan.
But don’t be alarmed if you have no idea what you want to do with your life. I know that sounds like pretty generic ~college advice~ but it’s really important that you remember that when you go to a school like GWU.
2. Having classes on the Vern is a right of passage so don’t complain if you have to get up at 8:30 for your 9:35 because we’ve all been there so none of us have any sympathy.
(If you LIVE on the Vern I wish you the best of luck).
3. You’re not actually going to hang out with kids that you met in C.I. once you get to GWU.
Yeah, it’ll be nice to have some familiar faces for the first few days of school, but you will make other friends very quickly.
4. You’ll get used to that Thurston smell pretty quickly too.
On move-in day you’re going to be overwhelmed by the heat, your mother yelling at you, and the distinct smell of sweat and mold.
5. You’re really going to miss Thurston when you become upperclassmen.
Thurston is a right of passage and it will seem gross and awful when you discover all the black mold in your shower, but there will never be a time again when you will have so many other people in your grade in the same building. Thurston is definitely a beast, but once you get through it you’ll really miss the place (but if you ever set foot in it again after freshman year you’re gonna want to run TF outta there).
6. Fridays. Takes. GWorld. Enough said.
7. You’re going to go broke if you only eat Beefsteak and Devon & Blakely.
Going shopping at Whole Foods is a real pain and it may feel like you’re spending MORE money, but in the long run you’re going to save your Dining Dollars and you won’t have to get out of bed to get food every time your stomach growls.
8. I know I just said shop at Whole Foods, but most people overlook the fact that there is a Safeway on the Vern that takes GWorld.
The Vex ride is free, the groceries are cheaper, and if you go with some friends the uber back won’t be very expensive.
9. The freshman 15 is real and it goes by the name of Carvings.
The beautiful hell that we call Carvings is THE place to be at 1 am, but that grease is going to come out of your pores and after a while, you’ll feel like Squidward when he couldn’t stop eating Krabby Patties (it’ll go straight to your thighs and then you’ll explode).
10. Going to Georgetown is really fun, but don’t spend all your time/money there.
Try to save up all the little things you need to buy and just go on one big Georgetown run because it’ll definitely lower the risk of spending all of your money at Paper Source if you have a list of things you actually need.
11. Although Gelman looks like a prison, you will actually get a lot of work done there.
Don’t fall into the mindset that doing homework in your room will be productive in the long run. If you have light reading then by all means do it in your dorm and watch Netflix, but if you have an 80-page reading by Ikenberry then put some pants on and go to the library.
12. People will shit on the Vern a lot, but it really is a very peaceful place to be.
The fields and small buildings will make you forget that you’re in a big city like D.C. and you’ll feel like you’re at a small liberal arts college in, like, Bumblefuck Pennsylvania.
13. Remember there is a LOT of free things to do in D.C. like the Smithsonian museums.
You’ll get some culture, some air, and some truly memorable exhibits and experiences.
14. You can’t be afraid to use the metro.
There isn’t traffic underground and you will save some money if you’re going all around the city.
15. If you start out in the Elliott School and decide you want to switch to CCAS to major in philosophy, go for it.
If you decide to go from a Bio major to a Business major, go ahead. Just remember that GWU is a VERY competitive place so don’t be disheartened if you don’t make the cut the first time you apply to transfer in between the schools.
16. Greek life isn’t everything.
Movies drill in the idea that joining a sorority or fraternity will make or break you in college. Although it’s an AWESOME community, it’s actually a very small fraction of the total GWU population.
17. If the front desk people in Thurston see a flash of your fake I.D. when you open your wallet to get your student I.D. they will take it and they will write you up.
18. Don’t try to get into Sign of the Whale if you’re under 21 or it’s not summer.
Just don’t try because honestly, the bouncer will laugh in your young looking face.
19. Marvin and Duques are great places to study if you really don’t feel like studying at Gelman.
There are study rooms and lounges to spend your Sunday crying, I mean studying, in peace.
20. Don’t be afraid to be a fuck up. It’s freshman year, live a little.