The most important faces on campus aren’t necessarily those of administrators or professors. They’re the people you’re going to see every day at some of the most frequented spots on campus. These employees, some of whom are also fellow students, have some advice for newcomers on how to beat the lines and stay on time.
You’re bound to wind up at the Starbucks in Gelman Library – affectionately known as Gelbucks – for many late nights of studying and early mornings for classes. When you’re there, you’ll probably see Starbucks barista Phedra Benoit.
If you’re looking to beat the long line on weekdays, Benoit said to come before 8 a.m.
Benoit, a rising junior, said some students are friendly to baristas about the lengthy lines, but some are less sympathetic.
“Sometimes the other students are really nice and understanding that you have a line out the door and others will get in a fuss if there’s a speck of foam in their no foam latte,” Benoit said. “To new customers of Starbucks, take your time and please be patient with us.”
Want to beat the long line to pick up a package? Mickael Rabezanahary, a customer service associate for mail and package services, said the longest lines for picking up packages are during the first four weeks of each semester and around holidays, when students are receiving packages from home.
To beat the rush, Rabezanahary said to order what you need a few weeks before classes start or a holiday approaches so that the packages will arrive before the place gets busy.
Remember to have your GWorld card handy, as it is required to pick up your package. Rabezanahary said he’s seen freshmen make the common mistake of bringing a tracking number but not their GWorld cards.
Freshmen get “kind of loud” as they are waiting in line and aren’t always paying attention when they’re next in line, Rabezanahary said.
Daniela Keeve, a front desk staff assistant for Colonial Crossroads and a rising junior, said freshmen are often not aware of all of the services offered at the centralized offices on the fifth floor of the Marvin Center, which include career services, study abroad information and undergraduate fellowships and research opportunities.
“Ask for what the different offices can offer you,” she said. “Look around GWork for career appointments.”
Keeve said students should arrive five minutes early for their appointments because the coaches will usually take the next appointment as they become available and not necessarily wait for the next appointment time.
All freshmen make the commute from the Mount Vernon Campus at some point during their first year – either because they live or take the required University Writing course on the campus.
Smith Labrousse, a Vern Express driver for four years, said that while GW brochures say the commute between the campuses takes 15 minutes, he advises students to leave 30 minutes early.
Traffic gets the heaviest before 11 a.m. and after 3 p.m., he said. Labrousse said that the longest delay he experienced was an hour-long crawl from the Mount Vernon campus down to Foggy Bottom.
If you are hungry and want to grab some food while going to the Mount Vernon campus, Labrousse said that the drivers will stop at Jetties on Foxhall Road if students request the stop at the beginning of the ride.
Miles Healy, a rising senior resident adviser in Madison Hall, said that being a fellow student let him connect better with his freshmen residents in Potomac House last year.
“Particularly for freshmen students, the role of an RA revolves around building a community and working to broaden students’ horizons, making them feel comfortable in their GW family,” he said.
Julia Weiss, a former RA in Mitchell Hall who will work in Thurston Hall this year, said students should use their RAs as resources.
“My priority is to exist for them as some combination of friend and mentor,” she said. “I can point them in the right direction, offer suggestions on clubs to join or classes to take or just listen to them tell me about their day.”
Weiss recommended to not force friendships with roommates, but rather to set boundaries and a general understanding for how the room will be used.