- Class: Senior
- Major: Other
- Gender: F
- High School: Garfield High School
- Transfer Student: N
Georgetown is a school of 6,000 undergraduates. Thanks to the four school structure (School of Foreign Service, Business School, Nursing School and the College), students get to know their peers who are in the same program. Walking across campus, I might recognize 10 out of 40 people I pass, and stop and talk to three. Often, when I tell people I go to Georgetown they are impressed with the name, and I find myself in a somewhat awkward conversation about the application process. Washington, D.C. is a great city, both for studying, with great resources such as the Library of Congress, and for culture, with the Smithsonian museums and the Kennedy Center. There are lots of fun neighborhoods with endless restaurants and bars, although as a student I don't eat out often. Three things I would change: 1) I would eliminate the requirement that freshmen and sophomores have a meal plan. We have one dining hall, Leo J. O'Donovan's, fondly dubbed "Leo's." Although the dining hall does not have bad food, it's not great, and the all-you-can-eat set up makes gaining the "freshman 15" an easy trap. In fact, almost all my friends did gain the freshman 15, on "Leo's chocolate chip cookies" and "fro-yo." I don't have a meal plan this year, and I don't miss it at all. I have a much healthier life style, and I save a lot of money! 2) It would be nice to have a closer grocery store. There is a student store on campus, run by "The Corp." They stock the basic necessities, like soda, chips, pasta, sandwiches and milk. The closest supermarket to campus is Dean and Deluca, a gourmet food shop on M Street. You might treat yourself to a sushi lunch out there, or a two dollar tomato if you're feeling fancy, but for daily food shopping, it's necessary to go father afield, either to Trader Jo's, Safeway or Whole Foods, each about twenty minute walks from campus. 3) I would make birth control available on Georgetown campus. Currently, it is impossible to buy any form of birth control on campus, including condoms and the day after pill-- and the student health services cannot prescribe it. This is supposedly because of Georgetown's status as a Jesuit institution. Students can get condoms from H*ya's For Choice (not allowed to use an "o" in "Hoya's" because of the group's controversy with the Jesuit heritage) or from CVS, a ten minute walk from campus. The biggest recent controversy on campus may have been violence directed at gay students. The administration has responded with new support for LGBT groups, numerous emails, etc.
I came to Georgetown to study International Politics, and the school has certainly lived up to my expectations in this category. For Freshman and Sophomores, classes can be large. Introductory courses in economics, for example, have between 50 and 100 students. Even in these classes though, professors are generally accessible, holding weekly office hours. Larger classes also usually have discussion sections with a T.A. once a week. My T.A.s have all been quite knowledgeable and helpful, although occasionally I have heard stories about T.A.s who don't know their subject matter very well. In this case, I think a student should always feel comfortable going to their professor for help. Georgetown academics are very much what you make of them. Professors are willing to help and discuss subjects at great length if you as a student make the effort. It's hard for me to gage how much time students spend studying. My friends and I spend most of the days doing work, especially on the weekends-- but we do all our reading, and have generally reading-heavy courses. My boyfriend and his friends work hard during the week, and generally take the weekends off to go to basketball games or explore Washington. Students at Georgetown work hard for good grades, but aren't too competitive with one another. In general, students are willing to help each other, and even in courses with curved grades (such as the economics or government departments), students will form study groups before exams and help each other review. Education at Georgetown can be geared either towards getting a job or learning for its own sake. I think generally the social sciences and philosophy draw students who are very much interested in the subject matter and less concerned with future careers, while courses in government, business and science all tend to focus on future career. The Career Center at Georgetown reflects this, focusing largely on careers in law, consulting and banking. There are fewer resources for students who hope to go into public service or research.
I have addressed some of these questions in earlier prompts. Students dress nicely for class. Girls often wear high heels and fancy jewelery, and do their hair and make up. Boys also wear nice clothes, like polo shirts and khakis. There is a large body of international students at Georgetown as well, that tend to be fairly exclusive. They generally have more (even) more money than Georgetown students and take their studies less seriously, and so it sort of makes sense that they do their own thing. They go out to clubs in designer outfits and sit in the VIP lounge. They have fake IDs and go to Panama for Spring break. Students joke that most people at Georgetown are from New Jersey. There is a large contingent of students from New England, although California and the South are also well represented. Most students are quite well-off, but also financially responsible. Students are generally politically aware and politically active. Georgetown is a leading school in International Politics, and its location in Washington, D.C. also calls attention to these subjects. Students watch the debates, work on campaigns and play drinking games to the State of the Union address. Internet home pages are often set to the New York Times web site. For a college campus, Georgetown is quite conservative, although most of my friends are liberal and, although this was not true when I was a freshman at Georgetown, it is now commonly accepted that George W. Bush is not a good president (although still not accepted that he's all around bad). Students do not talk about how much money they earn in a day, or what grades they get. They are not secretive about this sort of information, but they are modest and socially graceful.
The Best Things
The location and multitude of interesting things to see and do.
The Worst Things
A non-creative student culture focused on career. It's necessary to look for interesting people.