…land an internship
In the nation’s capital, there are hundreds of government agencies, think tanks, nonprofits and companies that hire interns or employees during the school year. These positions will not just fall into your lap, but most are not very difficult to find. Use the GW Career Center’s GWork database, where you can upload a resume and apply for jobs in just minutes. The center also offers resume trips and reviews, along with general advice for internship and job-hunting. You should also befriend your professors, as they are likely connected in their fields in the District and can put in a good word for you.
…get the classes you want
Upperclassmen may warn that fast fingers are the only way to score a dream schedule as a freshman, but do not worry. Students are allowed to add and drop classes after everyone registers, and there will be lots of class-swapping, opening up spaces for you to get classes you could not snag a spot in the first time around. Some classes have waiting lists and you could receive an email when a seat opens up. At other times, professors will squeeze you into a class if they know you are passionate. But fast fingers on the registration portal do help, so have your course registration numbers ready to copy and paste into the form. But remember, that it is just your first semester, and you have plenty of time to get into those classes.
…adjust to your new home
Moving away from your family can be difficult, but striking a balance between different college commitments you will encounter will ease the adjustment. Do not go home more often than you need to. To actually adjust to college life you need to be here. Even if you live near home, save visits for breaks – not weekends. Keep busy with student organizations and club sports, Greek life and internships. Remember that the University Counseling Center offers six free sessions if you are feeling homesick or depressed, or struggling academically.
…get involved with Greek life
About 25 percent of students are involved in Greek life, and GW offers chapters with cultural, professional and philanthropic focuses in addition to more than a dozen social sororities and fraternities. Members of the Greek community find networking opportunities and a tight-knit community. Recruitment takes place in both the fall and spring.
…declare a major
You don’t need to declare your major until second semester of sophomore year, but some students may want to declare majors early. To declare a major, fill out a declaration form and get signatures from your academic adviser and your school or program. For your first year, you are required to meet an adviser to create a plan to fulfill all your academic requirements. Give yourself time to sample classes from different disciplines and get general requirements out of the way before declaring a major. Try to stay flexible and open-minded, as many students end up changing their minds about their fields of study.
…switch your housing
Although having to switch housing is not ideal, it happens. If your living situation does not work out, you are not alone. Living in a college residence hall is a huge adjustment, and it’s understandable if you and your roommate aren’t best friends. If your housing situation is interfering with your quality of life at GW, find someone to switch rooms with through the GW Housing Programs room swap portal. Head to living.gwu.edu and use the online system to reach out to other students who looking for an out. Once you agree on a swap, you can change rooms immediately.
…join a club sports team
For students who played varsity sports in high school but are not interested in the full-time commitment that comes with a Division I team, there are club sports. Joining a team will help you meet people, stay in shape and maintain your competitive edge while keeping some of your free time to yourself. Check out teams at student organization fairs and talk to club leaders about practice and travel logistics since some teams compete locally and regionally. Regardless of the level of competition, most club sports teams become very close and hold social events often. Plus, athletes get access to better sports facilities.