GW lacks spirit, community and spontaneity, or so I said in my very first Hatchet column.
I said students didn’t take pride in their school and I lamented the fact that monotony had taken over my daily schedule. How wrong, or rather, how ignorant I was.
Students pride themselves on their school and prove it through getting involved in student organizations that have an impact across campus, D.C. and the world. Community stems from the uniting vein that pulses through the multitude of diverse students, otherwise known as The George Washington University itself. As for spontaneity, GW surprises me almost daily with the arrival of unique speakers, impulsive tie-dye stands and the ever-present but always welcome barbecue in Kogan Plaza.
Unfortunately, that’s a lot to realize in a few weeks. As you enter GW, look at the perks and the setbacks of our school with pride, and use that viewpoint as a filter to determine where you should focus your four years. I wrote a bit naively about the deficiencies of GW without having spent enough time here.
See, a university is only as strong as its students, so it is our responsibility to foster the climate we desire. If you think GW does not have school spirit – a fact with which I now fervently disagree – it is because you are not willing to find it. Try celebrating the men’s basketball team with the Colonial Army. This renders you more attractive than if you simply go around mocking our sports program from afar. Resources exist here for you to have some of the best times of your life, but not without your pursuit of them.
That said, GW is a living institution characterized by the calls for change often initiated by its student body. You are a Colonial, so you are surely well-versed in taking initiative. If there is a flaw in the institution, there is at least one way for you to give it a nip or a tuck. I have found that the students who provoke the most change on campus do so because they are proud to call GW their school. The people who make a living of berating GW not only sound like self-righteous curmudgeons, but we rarely see material gains from their endless blather.
The recipe for a memorable college experience is a bit paradoxical. As the institution seeks your wits to improve it, you must also appreciate where you are. Like all universities, it can be the setting for some of the best times of your life. But that in turn obliges your fresh pair of eyes to amend the faults we veterans no longer see. Though I did not realize it early last year, GW does have vibrant spirit, spontaneity and community, just like the schools our friends attend.
But that is where the comparison ends, and the rest is for you to see.
The writer, a sophomore majoring in journalism, is The Hatchet’s contributing opinions editor.
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