New Student Guide, SigEp Blog

9 Things I Wish I Knew My Freshman Year

1. Timing your trip to Leo’s is a science

During the lunch (12-12:30PM) and dinner rush (6-6:30PM), O’Donovan’s on the Waterfront can be a madhouse. Escape the long lines by going during non-peak times – but avoid the off-hours! Leo’s doesn’t serve hot food between 10-11AM, 2:30-4:30PM, and 8-9PM. At these times, you will be faced with a meager arrangement of salad and cold cuts.

2. Escaping Lau is crucial

Lauinger Library

Source: The Georgetown Heckler

Georgetown’s campus – although somewhat small – is blessed with beautiful views and a ton of great study spots. Despite this, student tend to cram themselves into the “dungeons” of Lauinger Library. If you find yourself losing your mind in Lau, check out spots like the secluded fifth floor of Regents Hall, the riverside terrace at the Healey Family Student Center, or one of the many quiet classrooms on the upper levels of Healy Hall. Don’t be afraid to explore campus to find your new favorite study spot.

3. Just because there are a million applications…

…doesn’t mean you have to apply to everything. When you set foot on campus, you will be immediately inundated with applications to Georgetown’s many extracurricular groups. Don’t let this stress you out. You will realize very quickly that many (but not all!) Georgetown extracurriculars are highly selective. As a result, many Hoyas take the shotgun approach and apply to everything. Research campus groups carefully, and be sure to commit to activities that you are passionate about. As a brother of Sigma Phi Epsilon, part of the Hilltop Microfinance Initiative and a member of Georgetown’s club soccer team, I think I’ve found the perfect balance by pursuing the activities that I love.

4. Don’t sleep on the glorious Epi quesadilla

It’s 2AM and you are starving. End your night with a gut-punch from Epicurean’s finest line cooks by ordering a hefty, greasy quesadilla from Georgetown’s very own 24-hour dining establishment (beneath Darnall Hall). If you want to wake up with marginally less regret, try my personal favorite sandwich – the Prospect Street.

5. Schedule your semester with Classy

Prereg is hard, Classy is easy. Enough said.

6. Not all cupcakes are created equal

cupcake

Source: iheartdccupcakes.blogspot.com

For some reason, cupcakes feature prominently in life at Georgetown. Most days, the line at Georgetown Cupcake stretches up 33rd Street for an entire block. You’ll soon get used to the sight of frosting-hungry tourists crowding the sidewalk. But, if you follow the advice of this post, you will never waste your time waiting in that line. That’s because Baked & Wired – the true cupcake king of Georgetown – is located just a few blocks away. Hiding in a small storefront near the canal, Baked & Wired is generally recognized by Hoyas as tastier, faster, and more fun than its overrated counterpart.

7. When to buy textbooks

Every semester, most students seem to end up with at least one or two textbooks that become heavy, expensive desk ornaments. Avoid buying textbooks you’ll never use by waiting to order books after the first few days of class. After syllabus week, it should be pretty clear which textbooks will actually be important, and which ones are “required”.

8. Go to office hours

This is advice that everyone receives, but that relatively few people actually take to heart. We are lucky to have world-renowned faculty members, and it would be a shame to let four years slip by without getting to know a few of them outside of class. Professors are incredible resources for both personal and professional development, and the same goes for deans.

9. Break the Georgetown bubble

In DC, the world is at your fingertips. Unfortunately, Hoyas are notorious for being a somewhat insular group – our hilltop location and lack of a metro stop certainly don’t help. Some of the best aspects of a Georgetown education actually occur outside of Georgetown. Grab a GUTS bus or rent some wheels from Capital Bikeshare right outside the front gates – adventures in the city seldom disappoint. You have four fleeting years to see all the incredible things DC has to offer. Go out and make the most of them.

Georgetown SigEp breaking the bubble with a run to the monuments on Georgetown Day.

Georgetown SigEp breaking the bubble with a run to the monuments on Georgetown Day.

New Student Guide, SigEp Blog

Upperclassmen’s Tips for Choosing Classes

Not all introductory courses are created equal. The difference between a good Problem of God professor and a bad one can change the trajectory of your academic career quickly. Word of mouth is one of the best ways to learn which classes and professors go the extra mile, and those that will serve mostly as a forum for a midday nap. This puts pre-freshmen at a disadvantage: it’s hard to hear about classes before coming to the Hilltop. To help you out, we asked the brothers of GU|SigEp for their suggestions on which courses and professors would give incoming freshmen the best academic experience Georgetown can offer. Some of the best recommendations are below. 

Principles of Microeconomics (ECON 001) is a class that is a requirement-filling course for a lot of students at Georgetown, crossing school lines from the MSB, to the SFS, and even to the College. I would strongly recommend taking Microeconomics first semester with Professor Arik Levinson, not only because he is a fantastic teacher, but also because he is a great guy to get to know on a personal level. Despite being in a large lecture hall, Levinson combines a clear and engaging lecture-style with humor to capture the attention of every single student in class. Moreover, his grading system is set up to help students do well, so it’s very manageable to succeed in his class, as long as you attend and pay attention. Finally, being in a large lecture hall, you’re guaranteed to have at least a few friends in class, which makes the experience all the more enjoyable, and affords you some study partners. Put simply, don’t make the mistake of missing out on one of the best professors at Georgetown.

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Eric Menna is a rising sophomore in the School of Foreign Service, hailing from Boston, Massachusetts. Along with his activities in GU|SigEp, he also is a member of the Hilltop Microfinance Initiative, and works at the Mortara Center for International Studies on campus.


Intro to Ethics with Professor Terry Pinkard is a must-take class for any freshman Hoya. I came into Georgetown completely unfamiliar with the subject of philosophy and, frankly, not excited to confront Georgetown’s requirement of two philosophy classes.  Now as a rising junior, I will be pursuing a philosophy minor, and Professor Pinkard was definitely my source of inspiration. You may at times feel uninspired by some of Georgetown’s Gen Ed classes, which you may feel relate in no way to your field of study. Professor Pinkard’s course ensured that I felt no such apathy about philosophy. Because of Professor Pinkard, I now find a topic that I once thought was mundane to be a rich and colorful discipline that teaches me the many different ways one can look at and understand the world. I encourage you to take this course and truly experience this incredible professor yourself.

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AJ Serlemitsos is a rising junior in Georgetown’s College, pursuing a major in Political Economics and minors in Philosophy and Arabic. In addition to be a brother of GU|SigEp, AJ works for the Corp at ’Uncommon Grounds’ and gives tours as a Blue & Gray tour guide.


Professor Oded Meyer’s course on Probability and Statistics (MATH-040) answers the question with which so many students struggle: Why am I learning this? Professor Meyer teaches his students statistical reasoning, in order to analyze real data and evaluate actual studies. In this class, I learned to look for biases in the wording of questions that might corrupt a census or survey, and to interpret conditional density curves to determine what the temperature may be in one city, given the current temperature in another. Despite the large size of this lecture, Professor Meyer surrounds himself with a team of knowledgeable and resourceful TA’s who will be there to give you help along the way. As one final bonus, this course is a very manageable way to knock out half of your Math/Science Core requirement.

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Jack Maher is a rising junior in the College, double majoring in the Classics and in Economics and has served on the Recruitment Board of GU|SigEp for two semesters. Aside from his work in the fraternity, Jack is a member of the Student Advocacy Office, plays for the Men’s Club Soccer team, and serves as a tutor for Georgetown’s Academic Resource Center.


The Problem of God with Rev. Hentz, S.J., or “Otto” for short, was by far the most thought-provoking class I took my freshmen year, and I strongly recommend taking it to fulfill your Theology requirement.  Otto is one of the wisest men I have ever met. His lectures concerning the possible existence of a God transcend the topics of existentialism and ontological reasoning and often contain simple yet powerful tips on how to live a fulfilling life of purpose and value. The class is also structured to be extremely personal and easy to keep up with. Otto deviates from traditional lecture-style of teaching and insists on student participation in each class.  The difficulty of Otto’s class is not in lengthy essays (in fact he will rarely ever let you write anything over 5 lines) or extensive tedious readings, but in how you will be expected to reevaluate the meaning of your own existence. In addition, Rev. Hentz makes a conscious effort to develop a personal relationship with his students.  When asking Otto a question after class about the course material, don’t be surprised if his response to your question ends with “let’s grab lunch this week”.  By the end of my freshmen year I must’ve had over ten meals with the man. Don’t miss this phenomenal opportunity to expand your mind.

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Adam Daly is a rising sophomore in the College from Virginia. He is double majoring in the Government and in Theology. Besides his involvement with GU|SigEp, Adam is a member of the Student Advocacy Office, plays for the Men’s Club Lacrosse team, and works for The Corp at MUG.


About SigEp: SigEp at Georgetown is a  social fraternity committed to the principles of virtue, diligence, and brotherly love. We take the best the Greek tradition has to offer — a sense of community through brotherhood; vibrant social life; and a wide range of career and networking opportunities — and exclude nonconstructive elements like pledging and hazing, which aren’t in line with the values here at Georgetown. “This fraternity will be different” is our founding creed.

We invite you to take a look around this site and to check out our Facebook page to get a better sense of who we are and what we do. If you’re considering rushing SigEp, sign up for email alerts about upcoming events, and take a look at our recruitment page,which features a tentative calendar of events. You can learn more about us here.