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The best thing about GW is that its in a good part of DC. I mean Georgetown is in a good part of DC, but the school sits in a residential area and is kind of isolated on a hill. GW is in the thick of things, right in downtown near the mall, near offices (if you land an internship), near good restaurants, near the metro (subway), and better or worse, GW took over the neighborhood where people used to live so there are lots of students mixed in with working folks. We're not an isolated entity, but there are times when the residents of Foggy Bottom wish we were, like Thursday nights through Sunday Morning. Catholic is in the hood, Howard is in a hood that is undergoing substantial gentrification, American is isolated, but they have metro. People say that GW is a good school, usually because they don't know much about it. If they do know anything about it, they know that its expensive as hell. Its not like Georgetown which has immediate name recognition and reputation, so whatever. I spend most of my time on campus in either my place or a friend's place. Its not like there are any places that students just hang out in, though GW has tried to create that in the Hippodrome. I refer to GW's "college town" as GWorld (also the name of our ID cards). Its not just limited to Foggy Bottom, but GWorld is the totality of everything that is GW. Pentagon City Mall is part of GWorld, Dupont Circle clubs and bars, Adams Morgan bars and clubs, Georgetown bars and clubs. There are places that people will go and say "oh I know DC", but really DC is so much bigger than their concept of the city. GWorld is a mindset that if you go further than three stops away on the metro, its not worth going to. Students will hardly ever venture outside of NW DC, and will seldom discover some things even in NW like Tenleytown, which is on Wisconsin Ave, but beyond Georgetown. They will go to Adams Morgan, but not Cleveland Park, or down U Street. GWorld is buying an Ipod on your GWorld, or having a $400 impulse buy at Coach on a Tuesday afternoon with daddy's credit card. GWorld is getting EmerGed and not getting in trouble because your mother who is a lawyer in Jersey called to "smooth things over". GWorld is the complete lack of real-world consequenses because we keep ourselves insulated to our concept of "college life". Karl Rove was the biggest controversy on campus lately, but this is being rivaled by the commencement speaker who is equally polarizing on the other side of the political arena. Most people at GW are "too cool" for school pride.
GW is proud of it's diversity, whether it's through ethnicity, religious views, or sexual preference. We are very unique not only with our student body, but our location. Since we're the only school 4 blocks away from the White House, we have a lot of resources other American schools don't have. In the beginning when I told people I was enrolled at GW, then immediately thought Georgetown; however, now GW has it's own image. GW has grown a lot over the years after what SJT had done for the University, but the best way to see the progress is when GW reached a $1 billion endowment. There is a lot of red tape at GW for anything, but they have improved a lot of it when scheduling classes and selecting housing. Since GW is in the heart of DC, it is difficult to provide beds for EVERYONE, so some people can be forced to live off campus. Greek life has been growing immensely. When I first joined my fraternity about 11% were involved in Greek life, but now it is closer to or above 20%. One complaint from some students and families is the food options. Since we don't have a cafeteria it is easier to eat unhealthy; however, this doesn't mean there aren't healthy options. It's all there but some choose some meals over others.
GW is not your typical college. We don't have rolling green hills, crazy pride with our sports teams or that we're all blonde or super smart. Yes we have our stereotypes, but you will seriously find every kind of student here from the ones with the long hair playing guitar on the quad, to the frat boys throwing around the football in front of the sorority houses to the kid who never seems to not be in a business suit. Its almost like living in the real world but not quite. We're not protected by some big gate - walk five blocks in either direction and you're in the city, but you still sometimes get a sense of the bubble. So you can really chose how to live your GW experience, either in the bubble or taking a step outside.
Our campus in the middle of the metropolitan DC area is the best of both worlds: we are a college campus with a very campus-y feel, but we can take a drunk monument tour whenever we want. Also, the endless internship and experiential learning opportunities is invaluable.
The best thing about GW is living in Washington DC. If I could change one thing, it'd be the eating situation. Food is incredibly expensive and incredibly unhealthy. And there should be a grocery delivery service that accepts GWorld. At a city school where no one has a car, food shopping is a pain. And mandatory spending at JStreet, the food court, is ridiculous. The food is all overpriced and unhealthy. When I tell people I go to GW, I think they're impressed, because it's a really good school, and they think it must be great to live in DC, which it is. I spend most of my time in rehearsal for theater! I live in campus, so I'm here all the time, hanging out in my friends' rooms. Or on nice days, it's great to sit outside in Kogan Plaza or University Yard and relax. There's no college town better than DC! So much culture, and most importantly, drunk monument tours! I don't know too much about the administration. All I can say is there's a lot of red tape to get anything done, and people are overpaid. The biggest controversy on campus was a Jewish girl who had reported that swastikas had been drawn on her door and all over campus. She made a big fuss about it and made the school start an investigation. They found out that it was her who had been drawing them. It was ridiculous. There's a lot of pride for the basketball team. I wouldn't say there's school pride here like there is at big football schools, like my friends at Michigan or Rutgers, but we've definitely god pride. Everything about GW is unusual because of its location. I'll remember all my nights of drunk roaming the streets of DC. (Well, I can barely remember any of them, but you know what I mean.) The most frequent student complaints are about food and high tuition.
The best thing about GW is that students are exceptionally driven and passionate-and if you come here for political science or international affairs (as A LOT of students here are) you're going to have so so so many outlets for that passion and it's a college that is recognized by the field as exceptional. When I tell most people about going to GW the reaction is "Oh, so you go to Georgetown?". This is a response that riles up every GW student. No, we are not Georgetown, but that doesn't mean that we're inferior. We are more in the city than they are, making it a true DC school. You don't need to be super involved in student organizations to have a life. There are so many things literally right outside of our doors that there is never really a dull moment. GW's administration is a popular and aggravating topic of discussion amongst the students here. They really try to reach out to the students, but being so into politics most students are suspicious of their actions and are quick to criticize. This is not without basis though; the school is known for spending excess amounts of money to the point of large debt, even though we pay the highest tuition in the nation. From what I've seen they say they listen to our comments, and frequently send out surveys, but whether or not results actually come about is uncertain.
Annie FreshmanReviews provided by: Unigo