BackgroundInterview Date:August 2018
Gender Identity: Male
Graduation Year: 2020
Sexual Orientation: Heterosexual
High School Experience: Private school in Annapolis, MD with a graduating class about 55 students. There was a culture of going to college.
First Generation College Student: No
Majors: Double Major in Economics and Government. Government is essentially Political Science.
Minor: African-American Studies
Extracurricular Activities: I’m in a mentorship program called the Male Development Association (MDA) where we go to different high schools and middle schools and mentor them or tutor them. I also am on the Student Activities Commission.
Can you describe your weekly coursework for your majors?
For Economics, the workload is not very big. All the Economics lectures are optional. There will usually be a weekly or bi-weekly problem set that’s graded and one or two exams for the year. Government is much more reading, so a few hundred pages a week for those courses.
Is there anything that you feel either of your majors’ department do especially well or especially poorly?
In my experience, it’s all based on the professor you get. Sometimes you get a professor that’s not that great, but that’s not the department’s fault.
How would you describe the learning environment? Do you think it’s particularly competitive or collaborative?
Georgetown’s probably the most competitive learning environment I’ve been in. Every aspect of the Georgetown competition is like a competition. If you’re in the business school, all the classes are graded on a curve, meaning that only a certain amount of people in the class can get an A. Whatever you have to do to be ahead of the curve, kids are willing to do. Sometimes in projects that are peer graded, peers will grade each other’s projects lower. Thankfully, I’ve only had a peer-graded project once and it wasn’t a class in my major. But in different majors that could come up a lot. In Economics there’s a curve, so only a certain percentage of the class can get an A, so naturally, there is a lot of competition.
What has been your favorite class in your majors or minor?
Government: My International Relations class was probably the best experience I’ve had. I had a really knowledgeable professor who worked with Bill Clinton. A lot of the professors at Georgetown are very knowledgeable and experienced people. He was able to put the information in a way that was really digestible.
Economics: Intro to Microeconomics was really useful and gave me a good foundation for the rest of the studies that I had.
African-American Studies: The intro course or Race and Racism in American Culture. Those were two really important classes that shaped my understanding of my minor.
What has been your least favorite class in your majors?
Economics: Intro to Macroeconomics just because the professor wasn’t very good.
Government: Elements of Political Theory. To this day I still don’t know what was going on in that class. It tried to relate current American political theory to Greek philosophers and their writing. It was a really advanced course and the professor was so knowledgeable that he couldn’t put it into simple terms for beginners.
Why did you choose your major? And are you happy with your choice?
I’m definitely happy with my choice. I have always been interested in politics since I was a kid, so I knew when I went to school whatever I wanted to study would involve political science. There’s not a better place to study that than Georgetown given the location, the prestige of the Government program and all the alumni. As far as Economics, I got to Georgetown and I took an intro course to see what it was about and I really liked it, so I added it as a major.
On and Around Campus
Where have you lived on campus?
Freshman: Darnall Hall with one roommate. That is probably the worst dorm you can get on campus. It’s really old and kind of dirty. But, the culture is very strong. Everybody gets really close because of how isolated the dorm is from all the other freshman dorms, and that rings true for my year because everybody on that floor I’m still very close with.
Sophomore: Reynolds Hall with one roommate. It’s pretty standard sophomore housing. It’s part of a three-dorm complex where most of the sophomores live.
Junior: I’ll live in an on-campus apartment in Village A with three roommates. That’s a pretty decent spot for juniors to live in. My rooftop has views over the river into Virginia. It’s a big party dorm.
Can you describe the level of safety you’ve experienced on campus?
I’ve never felt threatened or afraid while on campus. They have a really good campus security system. The campus is really small and is almost overpopulated with security.
What is your favorite place to get away from campus?
My friends and I will go biking to the monuments or go to the waterfront late at night. It’s a really nice, chill environment at that time.
Pros and cons of being located in the Georgetown neighborhood of Washington, D.C.?
Pros: (1) You are within walking distance to a lot of really nice shops and food options.
(2) The people that live in the Georgetown area are really important people. You never know who you’ll run into walking down the street. It’s a high caliber of people situated in that area.
Cons: (1) Being in an area with a bunch of wealthy people, they want the neighborhood to be quiet. Parties get shut down earlier.
(2) There’s no metro station in Georgetown. You have to take a bus to get to a metro stop. It’s not bad because the university runs buses there, but it’s inconvenient sometimes.
What kind of weekend activities or nightlife do you like to participate in?
I don’t go out a whole lot. Every couple of weekends I’ll go out. Lots of people go to parties on campus and then a lot of people go to bars and clubs in D.C. Personally, I’ll just go to an on-campus party because it’s a little more convenient to get back to my dorm.
What have been your favorite times at Georgetown?
Georgetown Day, which is the last day of classes in the spring semester. The entire day is a whole campus party. Every year that’s been crazy fun.
Can you describe a typical night going out freshman year?
My floor was really close, so we’d probably all get together in somebody’s dorm and have a small party. We’d then take Ubers to a club or go to a party on campus.
What is the impact of being in the neighborhood of Georgetown on the nightlife?
The only people that live in the neighborhood of Georgetown are old, wealthy people. [Median household income in Georgetown is about $143,000]. Sometimes students will live in a townhouse and throw parties, and it’s very easy to have those parties be too loud. The residents will complain and it’s not unusual to have parties get shut down early.
How happy are you with the weekend options at Georgetown? Is there anything you would change if you could?
I don’t think it’s the best scene in the country. If you’re looking for a party school, I don’t think I’d pick Georgetown. There is still definitely a lot of fun to be had, but it’s not a big state school.
How did you meet your closest friends?
Most of them lived on my floor freshman year. I have met others also through other clubs and things like that.
How would you describe the overall social scene at Georgetown?
It’s based on your extracurricular activities. Whereas at some schools it might be based on Greek life, here it’s based on what clubs you do. For example, the International Relations Club will have their own parties on the weekend, so if you’re in that club you might go to their party. For a lot of people, who you know depends on what clubs you are in.
How would you describe the student body?
A good chunk of the student body is very wealthy. [21% of students at Georgetown come from the top 1% and 51% come from the top 5%.] I would say the school is cliquey in some ways and a little segregated because international students will stick together. The Black community is pretty close-knit and does not really intermingle a whole lot with the White community. It’s not an issue as an individual, you can hang out with whoever, but in terms of cliques, they don’t mesh that much. Within the international community there are some [very, very wealthy kids], so they tend to stick together as well. [The White population makes up about 54% of undergraduates and the Black population makes up about 6%.]
Advice for Prospective Freshmen
What is something you wish you knew before about Georgetown when you entered as a freshman?
I wish I had known how segregated the school is before I got there. That is something I wish I paid attention to before I came. I also wish I would have done a little more research on the dorms and on how the on-campus food is.
What is something a prospective student may miss on a visit that’s worth checking out?
Go talk to actual students on the tour because the tour guides’ job is to sell you on your school. Go ask a random student about something you may be concerned with.
What is something that we haven’t touched on that a prospective African-American student should know?
As an African-American student, one thing I wanted to know about each school I looked at was how strong the Black community was there, so I think they’d be interested in learning how strong the Black community is at each school they look at. At Georgetown, I’d say it’s above average. All the Black people at Georgetown know each other. But, in terms of the strength of the community, it’s above average.
Reasons to attend Georgetown:
1) The caliber of people you’re put within the network of Georgetown. There are regular Georgetown students sitting at the cafeteria with you that you later learn are royalty in a different country.
2) The resources you get. There are so many people who would be interested in you for a job or internship solely because you went to Georgetown.
3) The location, especially if you’re interested in politics. Getting an internship on Capitol Hill is really competitive, but if you’re in D.C. you have a leg up on other students because you can do something there during the year and other students can only be there over the summer.
Reasons to not attend Georgetown:
1) It’s pretty expensive. For a lot of people in the middle class who don’t qualify for huge sums of financial aid, it’s really tricky financing it.
2) The school spirit is not so great all the time. The past couple of years our basketball team hasn’t been so great, so there haven’t been the huge displays of school spirit that you may see at a state school.
3) The food on campus is not so great.