Starting college life at Colonial Inauguration can be exciting and surreal. To make the most of your first few days on campus, keep The Hatchet's do's and don'ts list in mind. Some of these tips could make or break your first impression of your new home.
Take a monument walk at night.
The walk to the White House, Washington Monument and Lincoln Memorial is just a few minutes from campus. Night owls: go further and visit the Martin Luther King, Jr., Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Jefferson memorials on the brim of the Tidal Basin. When visiting the Lincoln, head around back for a view of D.C.’s neighbor, Arlington, Va. See if you can spot the John F. Kennedy flame.
Go to the Vern.
The shuttle ride offers some time to chat up a friend from your small group, and you will get acquainted with some of GW’s best study spaces early in your college career. You will end up taking at least a few classes on the Vern before you graduate, so learn to love it.
Step out of your comfort zone.
High school is over and you are probably in a new city. Do not be afraid to strike up conversations with new people. College is your chance to start over and build a brand new reputation. It all starts at CI.
Watch a Lincoln Memorial sunrise.
Watching the sun come up over Capitol Hill and the Washington Monument really is a breathtaking experience. It might be the first time of many that you see this city in a whole new light.
Scope out student organization fairs.
Learn about the different ways to get involved on campus. Talk to students manning the tables for more than 400 student organizations. They were in your shoes not too long ago and will tell you how student organizations have shaped their experiences.
Detach yourself from your iPhone, Blackberry, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. You will not care what your friends from home are doing when you are out meeting people, and you will be surprised at what you find when you are not distracted by your friend’s new beach photo album.
Drink or do drugs.
According to GW’s book of rules – the Code of Student Conduct – you can be kicked out if caught for substance abuse during CI. In the past, admission has been revoked for under-21 students who were caught drinking. CI will keep you busy enough.
Skip small group activities and skits.
The Colonial Cabinet puts a lot of time and effort into preparation, so check them out. The skits are designed just for the Class of 2016, and small group meetings are informative and will answer your questions about college life. Plus, small group meetings usually take place at hidden gems across the city, like the rooftop of Kennedy Center. You do not want to miss that view.
Sleep at your parents' hotel.
Half of the fun of CI is having the opportunity to stay on your own in a residence hall you might live in next year. Though you are randomly paired with your roommates, one of them may end up becoming your new best friend. Enjoy the new freedom of being on your own and staying in GW’s Thurston Hall.
Wander around D.C. alone at night.
Remember, you are in a city, which means crime happens. Campus is safe, but be smart and walk with a group of friends at night no matter where you go, especially when you’re still learning your way around.