1) NSO can be overwhelming, and that is totally fine.
There are close to 2,000 new freshmen coming in and everyone is just as lost as everyone else (and if they seem like they have it together, they’re doing a fantastic job at hiding it). Do not be afraid to simply go up and introduce yourself to as many people as you can. Everyone is desperate to make new friends, but often people are too scared to take the first step and speak to anyone. Reach out, listen, and find out awesome things about your incredible new classmates. The first few weeks are some of the most fun on campus, so be bold.
2) Don’t be afraid to try something completely new
If you find yourself sitting in your room and have some spare time, walk around campus. You will find flyers for different clubs, groups, and organizations all over campus. Additionally, attend SAC far. This event is the main vein into joining any club on campus and there will be hundreds of people waiting for you to ask about their respective clubs. When deciding whether or not to join a club it’s always better to sign up for something and then leave it rather than regretting you never signed up in the first place. Find people you like, follow your passions, and you’ll love your Georgetown experience.
3) Stay on top of deadlines, coursework, and your email
Your Georgetown email, MyAccess, and Blackboard will be some of your most useful tools over the next four years. Almost everything that you need to know will be in either emails sent to you or posted on Blackboard/MyAccess. Take the time to read those emails and familiarize yourself with the other two services—they will all be an integral part of your academic life.
4) Be frank and honest with your new roommate(s)
Living with someone who you barely know is incredibly intimidating and is not something to be taken lightly, especially if this is the first time you have ever had a roommate in your life. Issues arise and the best way to deal with these is to be upfront and honest with them. Passive aggressiveness and petty power games do not solve anything. You two will be spending a lot of time together during the year, and, given the chance, they may just become one of your best friends on the Hilltop.
5) Formulate a fitness regimen quickly
Those jokes about the freshman 15 you’ve been hearing from everyone…they are based wholly in truth. Regardless of whether you were an elite athlete in high school or never had a thing for sports, a proper diet and fitness regimen goes hand in hand with performance in academics. With all the freedom of college, it’s too easy to opt for eating bad food and gouging on weak nutrition. Therefore, it is essential that you regulate yourself in what you’re eating and how often you are exercising. Leo’s has great healthy options, which actually taste (relatively) good and every single person on campus pays for a gym membership to Yates, so you might as well use it. Additionally, there are many yoga and alternative fitness studios throughout Georgetown, or you could simply go for a run along the waterfront and then back via the Exorcist stairs.
6) Don’t be afraid to be authentic
There is a very classic freshman facade that a lot of new students across any campus don during the first few weeks of college. I cannot stress enough how much this hurts you in the long run. Chances are that if you have to pretend to be someone you’re not in order to get into some club or group, you won’t enjoy it. It sounds cliché, but be yourself.
7) Utilize your RA and other resources on campus
If you ever feel like you’re a little lost or just not feeling 100% comfortable with everything going on, reach out to someone. Your RA is a great resource and is there to make your transition to Georgetown painless. Additionally, there are other more confidential and specialized school services at your disposal. Everyone here wants to see you succeed and has provided you with as many opportunities as possible, but it is your responsibility to take advantage of them.
8) Take advantage of DC
Split an Uber with your friends or hop on the bus and head into DC. It’s incredibly easy to get trapped in the “Georgetown Bubble” and forget the awesome city that we live in. Look into cool food stands or restaurants and take advantage of the free museums around the city.
9) Learn—about everything
The majority of students and alumni would agree that some of the most important lessons that you learn during your four years in college occur outside of the classroom. Keep an open mind and use the experience to grow as an individual.
-written by James Callaway (College ’19)