BackgroundInterview Date:December 2018
Gender Identity: Female
Graduation Year: 2019
Sexual Orientation: Heterosexual
High School Experience: Public school in Long Island, NY with a graduating class of about 300 students. There was a culture of going to college.
First Generation College Student: No
Majors: Double Major in Government and English
Extracurricular Activities: I have an on-campus job, I participate in the Blue & Gray Tour Guide Society, and I work for a non-secular retreat for freshmen.
Have any of your extracurricular activities had a particularly big impact on your experience?
Doing the retreats and being a tour guide has had an impact on my experience because I’ve met a lot of friends through them and I think it’s really connected me to the university and the institution itself.
Can you describe your weekly coursework for your majors?
It’s mostly readings. For English, there are a lot of weekly postings on an online platform that other students can read. For English, we have almost exclusively essays, and then for Government, it’s essays in the upper-level courses and in the lower level courses it’s a lot of exams.
Is there anything that you feel either of your majors’ department do especially well or especially poorly?
I think the English department does an especially good job of encouraging you to speak up in class and participate because they are usually small classes. Discussion is encouraged, and in the discussions, you have the opportunity to go over what it is that you’ve read and understood about the reading. For Government, it’s especially good that you’re in D.C. so you’re exposed to a lot of different opportunities that related to your coursework. The professors generally have had careers in politics or government and then have come to teach at Georgetown, so you’re learning from people who have had the experience that you might be interested in.
How would you describe the learning environment? Do you think it’s particularly competitive or collaborative?
I think both of them have been extremely collaborative. Even in classes where there has been some sort of a curve, I’ve never felt like I was in competition with my peers. I think people do work together and share their notes and go over things with somebody who doesn’t understand something. I think it’s very collaborative.
What has been your favorite class in your majors?
Government: International Organizations because I’m interested in international relations and the professor had a lot of experience working with the institutions that we were learning about. He was also a very engaging professor.
English: Winning Fiction, which is about books that were winning awards or nominated for awards, and why some books remain in the public sphere for longer than others.
What has been your least favorite class in your majors?
Government: Elements of Political Theory, just because I’m not as interested in political theory as I am in other areas of government.
English: Literary History 1, which wasn’t that bad but it was one of the main requirements you have to take. It was a lot of going over texts that are really old or that I read already in high school to make sure that you’re prepared for the upper-level courses.
Do you feel people are open to multiple schools of thought in the classroom?
Yes, I think everybody’s pretty comfortable sharing their beliefs and opinions in the classroom.
How accessible have your professors been?
My professors are extremely accessible. I’ve had some semesters where I was working two jobs and could almost never make office hours. I was still able to meet with all my professors, they were really good about finding other times that they would be available.
Why did you choose your major? And are you happy with your choice?
I chose Government because I have always been interested in working for the government, and that’s also why I came to D.C. English was a more deliberate choice when I actually got to college because the classes are really small and you get to participate and speak up in class, which is something I wanted to work on. I think the English courses work really well together with the Government classes for what I’m interested in doing for my career. English has given the skills and space to practice what I want to do with my Government major.
On and Around Campus
Where have you lived on campus?
Freshman: Harbin Hall with one roommate.
Sophomore: Henle Village with three roommates who shared an apartment with me.
Junior: I lived in Henle Village again with four other apartment-mates.
Senior: Nevils with four apartment-mates.
What was your favorite living situation?
How was transitioning from your hometown in Long Island, NY to the Georgetown neighborhood of Washington, D.C.?
I think it was a good transition because Georgetown is still in the city and after living close to New York city I wanted to be in an urban environment. Georgetown is definitely its own neighborhood in D.C., so it’s not overwhelming. It made the move from the suburbs to the city a lot easier.
Can you describe the level of safety you’ve experienced on campus?
I’ve always felt really safe on campus. They have a lot of programs for people to feel safer. I’ve never had an issue with safety.
What is your favorite off-campus restaurant?
Probably The Tombs. It’s a Georgetown tradition.
What is your favorite place to get away from campus?
I don’t have one specific spot, but I’ve always loved D.C. because of the museums. If I’m trying to get away from campus I’ll probably go to one of the museums I haven’t been to before.
Pros and cons of being located in the Georgetown neighborhood of Washington, D.C.?
Pros: (1) I think it’s safer because of the location.
(2) The secluded gives Georgetown a smaller-town feel. You’re in a city, but, at the same time, it feels like you’re in a college town.
Cons: (1) We don’t have a metro stop in Georgetown, so it’s a little harder to leave.
(2) If you’re driving, there are smaller streets so it’s more difficult when you’re moving in.
(3) It’s not right in the center of D.C., so you have to travel to D.C. to go do stuff off-campus.
What kind of weekend activities do you like to participate in?
They put on a lot of stuff, like plays, acapella showcases, and they have movie nights on campus. I’ve gone to a bunch of those over the years. There are parties that are thrown by clubs so you can hang out with people in your organization over the weekend, which can be fun. I also like to go off-campus and explore D.C. on the weekend too.
What are some of your favorite on-campus events to go to?
I like any event that a club puts on, whether it be for fundraising or just a get-together, because the people who join the clubs with you share a lot of similar interests with you and you probably wouldn’t have met them just in your classes. It’s fun to hang out with them outside of what your club or organization is specifically working towards. Those happen in the later part of the week, so Wednesday – Saturday. On Monday and Tuesday, stuff doesn’t really happen because that’s the busier part of the week.
What impact do clubs have on the social opportunities on campus?
It’s a pretty big impact. That’s one of the biggest things about Georgetown. People are generally involved in two to four clubs that they spend a lot of time doing. That’s generally how you meet a lot of your friends, I’d say more so than your classes, because those organizations organize dinners, parties, and get-togethers. I think that’s really what the social circle revolves around.
What is an example of an event that a club will host?
A lot of people organize events to go into downtown D.C. or go watch basketball games together, which is fun. It’s fun to leave campus and see something new with a group of people who you’re normally working with.
How happy are you with the weekend options at Georgetown? Is there anything you would change if you could?
No, I really enjoy the club culture, being able to go out and explore D.C., and all the different events that happen on campus.
What have been some of your favorite times at Georgetown?
In general, it’s just spending time with my friends, either going to do stuff in D.C., going to a basketball game together or just catching a movie on campus.
How did you meet your closest friends?
Mostly through clubs. My freshman year roommate became one of my closest friends, but, other than that, through clubs.
How would you describe the overall social scene at Georgetown?
I think it’s fun and inclusive and generally revolves around clubs and organizations on campus.
To what extent do people of different races and sexual orientations mix on campus?
A lot. There are organizations, like the Black Student Alliance and the LGBTQ+ Organization that old separate events for their members, but, for the most part, I think people do mix outside of their own identity group.
How would you describe the student body?
Really active and engaged. Students are really interested in the work that they’re doing and whatever it is they’re participating in. They’re really passionate about what they’re doing or studying.
Do you ever feel that you are more so a resident of Washington, D.C. than you are a student at Georgetown?
No, I always feel like a student at Georgetown.
How do you like the size of Georgetown in terms of undergraduate enrollment? What impact does that have on your social life? [Georgetown has about 7,200 undergraduate students.]
I think it’s a good size because, even as a senior, there are always new people to meet, but at the same time I know a lot of people. I can feel comfortable walking around campus and feel like I have a big support system.
Do you think people are generally happy with their choice of Georgetown? Do you think people leave loving Georgetown?
Yes, I think people are generally happy.
How strong is the Catholic or Jesuit presence on campus?
I think the Jesuit presence is fairly strong in terms of the values of being men and women for others because there are a lot of community service opportunities that are really encouraged. At the same time, diversity is really encouraged and celebrated. As far as the Catholic or religious presence in terms of the doctrine, I think it’s there if you want it but it’s not forced upon the students.
Has the alumni network helped you find internships or jobs?
I think the alumni network is really helpful if you take advantage of it. I’m currently doing the job search now and I’ve spoken to a lot of alumni who have helped me narrow down different career paths that I might be interested and gave me a little more information about their field, which I’ve found really helpful.
What have you used the career office for? How helpful have they been?
The career office is very helpful. They have mock interviews, specific one-on-ones with people in the field so they can specialize their feedback, resume reviews, cover letter reviews, and that’s all the stuff I’ve done. I’ve always found it to be extremely helpful.
Have you learned any computer programs or languages through your coursework that will be helpful to you professionally?
No, I haven’t.
Have you used financial aid? If so, how accommodating has the office been to your needs?
Yes, I used financial aid. They’re really helpful and easy to access either via email, phone, or in person. They’ve been able to explain a lot to me, so very helpful.
Advice for Prospective Freshmen
What is something you wish you knew before about Georgetown when you entered as a freshman?
I wish I knew about the club culture. I didn’t know about it before coming here, and I personally like it, but I think it’s important to know about before deciding to come here. To reiterate, most people’s friend groups come from the clubs that they are in.
What is something a prospective student interested in politics may want to know that we haven’t touched on?
I really like that there are a lot of speakers who come to campus and they are free for students. You get to have intimate conversations with some politicians and government officials.
What is something a prospective student may miss on a visit that’s worth checking out?
Because of the core curriculum, you have the opportunity to pursue other things that you’re interested in. Even if you major in one thing, it doesn’t limit your opportunities to study something else.
Reasons to attend Georgetown:
1) The entire campus is really supportive. You will always have people to turn to. You feel like you are part of the institution.
2) The student body is really diverse, so you’re always meeting people with different perspectives, backgrounds, and beliefs. It really helps you form your own opinions and learn from your peers just as much as you learn from your professors.
3) The location. I think it’s a good mix of feeling like you’re at college and living on a campus, but also having access to things that you get in a city. You get the best of both worlds.
Reasons to not attend Georgetown:
1) If you are looking to be in a completely urban environment, that’s not entirely Georgetown. You have access to the city but it’s not like where you feel like you’re more living in the city than living on the campus.
2) It’s definitely a lot of work. You won’t have as much free time as you do at other schools.