Over the last few months, I’ve marveled at how “GW” I’ve become. I recently got a cell phone and started working out at the “Hell-Well.” I’m living in D.C. for the summer and have been hanging out at intern nights- weeknight specials at local bars. I say “random” to mean “bad” and I sport a gray GW sweatshirt my mom bought me during Parent’s Weekend. I’ve even been seen lately wearing cut-off sweatpants and New Balance sneakers.
If this school can transform me, a farm girl from Pennsylvania, you as an incoming freshman will certainly feel its effects. You won’t, however, let it overtake you.
I know this because you were the editor in chief of your high school newspaper, a volunteer, a student ambassador to a foreign land, a student government president or a star in the school play. You may add to these accolades athletic accomplishments, National Honor Society membership or involvement in your local community. There’s no doubt about it – GW students are overachievers.
If this were a requirement on GW’s application (“Please check here if you have a ‘B’ average but are involved in at least three after-school activities), the admissions process would be a lot shorter and simpler. There is a reason why you will see your classmates falling asleep in class but achieving elsewhere – whether it be a Capitol hill internship, a job with a big-time media organization or law firm or heading a student group.
The reason is drive. GW students are driven to do more than study. They want to explore the world, find the truth and end injustice. They are not just practicing to become activists, politicians and journalists – they are. Why else would they apply in droves to come to the nation’s capital, one of the most unique places on Earth? Especially just shy of a year after it was the center of a catastrophic terrorist attack? They want to experience all D.C. has to offer, from great bars and clubs to the Library of Congress.
It’s no secret that I don’t like living in the city. Why then, people ask, do I stay at GW? My first response is typical of any of us – because this school gave me the most scholarship money. But then I will explain that I gravitate toward a certain kind of people, energetic, with a love for intensity and life in general.
These are the people you will find at GW, trying to do it all and succeeding at most. Class work sometimes falls into “the rest” in these instances, but it is worth all of your parents’ money if you are happy and learning by doing whatever you’re doing. Right Dad?
Then there are those who manage to somehow succeed outside the classroom, but still make the dean’s list every semester. I like to call those people the enemy (I personally am hovering around a 3.2).
So get out there and do it, and do your reading later. From the CI laser light show to graduation on the Ellipse (for me, at least), your GW experience will be unforgettable. Not because of what you learned in geology, but because of what you did while you were here. Don’t worry about a bad first-semester GPA, but don’t forget to show up for class sometimes. Hint: it really helps if you’re there for the midterm and the final.
-The writer, a senior majoring in journalism, is Hatchet editor