Op-Ed: Don’t roll your eyes at #OnlyatGW

Media Credit: The steps of the Marvin Center are lined with promotional messages about GW's location. Hatchet File Photo

The steps of the Marvin Center are lined with promotional messages about GW's location. Hatchet File Photo

Carly Abenstein is a sophomore majoring in political communication.

In my first class of spring semester, as usual, my professor had us introduce ourselves. He wanted us to go over the basics: our name, our major, our year in school and where we were interning this semester.

The steps of the Marvin Center are lined with promotional messages about GW's location. Hatchet File Photo
The steps of the Marvin Center are lined with promotional messages about GW’s location. Hatchet File Photo

That’s right, my professor did not ask if anyone had an internship this semester, but where we were interning. Up and down the aisle, each student presented his or her information without missing a beat.

This is the “Only at GW” kind of thing that the University loves to hype up, and it’s become the butt of plenty of jokes. Like many others, I admit that the frequent hashtags and shameless promotion can become tiresome and repetitive.

But without that reality, I would not have chosen GW over other universities across the country. There is no other university that combines location, work, play and education so seamlessly.

I applaud the University for highlighting one of the key reasons I, like many others, chose to spend four years here. In fact, as a new batch of students is accepted and determines whether to come here next fall, it’s a marketing strategy GW should continue to play up.

Next time you walk past the old entrance to Gelman Library, take another look at the pictures branded with the #OnlyatGW and #HistoryHappensHere hashtags on the side of the building.

If you look closely, you’ll see my “selfie” with President Barack Obama front and center. No, GW didn’t personally hand me the tickets to go and meet the president, but GW has helped my interest in politics flourish.

While no one was knocking on my door in Thurston Hall last year handing out internships at the same rate that my R.A. was handing out free cookies or condoms, the opportunities to seek out internships are right at our fingertips. GW prides themselves on the hundreds of “Hill-terns” they send to Capitol Hill each semester, but who wouldn’t take advantage of interning in one of the highest government offices when it is just a 15-minute metro ride away?

Listen, I am not letting the University get all the praise for my hard work and determination that led me to incredible internships and learning experiences over the past two years. I am, however, giving credit where credit is due.

I didn’t pick GW for their sports. I didn’t pick GW for their dining halls – we all know Whole Foods is better than J Street. But I did pick GW for its ideal location in D.C., its one-of-a-kind political communication program and for the opportunity to make those “Only At GW” moments I dreamed about in high school come true.

So instead of sitting around and whining about GW’s publicity stunts, go out there and prove them right.

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