While this may seem like strange advice to give you during your intense three-day orientation program, the most important thing to do during Colonial Inauguration is to stop and take it all in.
After all, CI is a one-of-a-kind experience. I mean that literally. You will never go through anything like this again. And very little of what you see at CI will remotely resemble your GW experience.
For example, no one is as excited about GW as your Colonial Cabinet leaders are right now.
This will include your Colonial Cabinet leaders in two months. By the time the school year comes around, they will have ceased collecting their sweet stipend checks from GW and will no longer be contractually obligated to be as chipper as a squirrel on amphetamines. Oh, and yes, some of the squirrels around campus are on amphetamines. D.C. has a substance abuse problem. Say no to drugs.
Over the course of your CI, you might be able to engage in some truly unique activities. At some point, you might find yourself touring the monuments at night, marveling at the architecture and the beauty of our nation's capital lit up in the twilight. This may be the last time you do this sober. Enjoy the fact that none of your companions are vomiting in bushes behind the Lincoln Memorial.
You should also make sure to enjoy the skit nights. Especially the one on diversity. Every year, GW works very hard to find the only 25 or so people on campus who actually defy stereotypes. You should enjoy that while it lasts; most of the people you meet during your four years will actually be exceedingly easy to figure out. Feel free to have preconceived notions about everyone. They'll mostly be right.
The Colonial Cabinet's attire is misleading, too. Striking as those polos and khaki shorts may be, the color scheme is all off. You should be prepared to see more pastel at GW than in an elementary school crayon box. And that's on the guys. If the girls were accurately represented, the CI uniform would include leggings and Uggs. The footwear is completely disingenuous as well; nobody actually wears socks anymore. Why would they? Sperry's just had a half-off sale on boat shoes!
Also, make sure to pay close attention when President Steven Knapp addresses the incoming class. You won't know it then, but this just might be the last time you'll actually hear him speak. Or probably see him at all. If President Knapp isn't at your CI, you should appreciate his efforts at making at least one part of the ordeal realistic. The closest you'll come to interacting with our president again is the sternly worded letter you'll receive when you leave some empty Natty cans on his front lawn late one night. Hey, his fault for living across the street from Thurston.
Speaking of Thurston, CI is the last time you'll be excited to have roommates you've never met. By three weeks into the school year, you'll probably have discovered that your roommates are moochers or alcoholics. During CI, though, everyone is excited to be living with complete strangers, and you'll be out of there before you figure out that one of your roommates went three days without showering.
Of course, none of this is to say that you shouldn't enjoy your CI experience. I sure as hell did. But you should enjoy it in the same way you enjoy meeting your favorite celebrity on the street, hitting a hole in one, or getting prescribed Vicodin after a dental surgery; it's a wonderful feeling, but it's something that will probably never happen again.
The writer, a senior, is a student in the Columbian College of Arts and Sciences.
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