So You Want To Go To Georgetown?
Ah, spring of senior year. When a young man's fancy frightfully turns to thoughts of making it in the real world. Where to begin?
Georgetown's early acceptance was not "early decision," which is great if you're in high school. I already had applications into other schools, and it was a relief to be able to apply early like everyone else. Why that was a relief I have no idea now; procrastination is a virtue learned with time, I suppose. In any case I am not catholic, not religious, not politically active, not ethnically or socio-economically remarkable in any way. I have a sneaking suspicion that I'm in the majority.
Georgetown is separated into two broadly defined categories; activists and everyone else. Activists take on many stripes: Gay, Muslim, Conservative, Democrat, you name it- we have someone willing to stage a protest about it. Prospective students would do well to identify themselves before arriving - can you handle the drag of people preaching about something you don't care about? Are you one of these poor souls?
It's good to remember that this IS a Catholic school. Don't expect any official support for homosexuality, cohabitation, pro-choice, or other anti-Catholic-values positions. Interestingly Georgetown has no problem with Muslim extremists - but they won't allow H*yas for Choice to become an official club.
Campus Life and Social Life
Georgetown is NOT a party school. Accept this and move on.
Seriously, your parties in high school are probably better than they are here. Once again, Georgetown falls into two categories - kids who partied in high school, and those who discover it for the first time here. The second sort seem far more prevalent. Rest assured that the freshmen dorms are not particularly soundproof, and your friends and neighbors will let you know how poorly they handle the drink.
Clubs are a dime a dozen. Some are popular, others not so much. Georgetown provides support for some, but the entire official extra-curricular program is communist in nature. Don't expect handouts. The arts program is particularly nasty about sucking profitable groups dry so that niche theater can build sets and sell 3 tickets... This may be discouraging if you're a natural born leader of a cause, but half the students here are just like you, Mr. Future Congressional Candidate. You'll get over it.
Real sports here are well taken care of. Club sports fight for time, just like most schools. The gym is garbage and perpetually undergoing maitnenance. Meatheads and girls who need a sandwich live there. Have fun trying to burn off the terrible cafeteria food.
If you want a frat, be prepared to act Jewish. AEPi is your only option, folks. The "J-Frat" as it's affectionately known, holds frequent parties on and around campus. It's pretty tame, but a generally good group of guys.
Georgetown has 4 undergrad schools. The College, MSB [Business School], Nursing, and SFS [School of Foreign Service]. Everyone lives together. Classes are another story... depending on your major and interests you'll probably encounter one or two other schools, but never see kids from another. Nursing is smallest and most isolated. MSB teaches groupwork and power point. SFS kids are geeks, but smart about it and headed for law school or off to save the world. The College is a mix of everyone else, from undirected American Studies majors to crazy kids writing two theses for their two majors.
Me, I'm a double major for no other reason than the fact that I don't like most subjects. Might as well just take the things you enjoy.
So what sucks? The TAs, for one. If you have one they will do all the grading. Most are self-important grad students. Worse are undergrads, who you might even know outside of class.
Professors are a mixed bag. The bad ones are easy enough to avoid. Drop their classes within 2 weeks to avoid the "W" for withdrawal on your transcript.
Good departments are the ones you'd expect - anything to do with running the country. SFS professors are the best quality. Languages are strong. Theology gets a lot of attention. Science, on the other hand, is in a building with crosses at both end to keep the devil inside.
GenEd requirements take about 3 semesters to complete. Expect 2 philosophy, 2 theology, 2 math/science, 2 history, 2 English, 2 foreign language, and 2 humanities classes. AP credit applies and is a lifesaver if you have it. Student Body
Ah, Joe and Jane Hoya.
Joe pops his collar, wears pastel, and is from just outside of Boston. You'll find him drinking Natural Ice, cheering for the Red Sox and Patriots, and drinking at the Tombs. Joe will study abroad in Australia, and there's a good chance he's in the Business school. He wears Rainbows in spring and docksiders in fall. Joe Hoya thinks state-school frat boys are stupid, but wishes Georgetown had more of that atmosphere. He infrequently gets laid but talks a good game.
Jane also pops her collar, which is probably peeking out from behind a sweater. She might be from Philadelphia instead of Boston, and is probably an English major. Jane wears JCrew and Polo, is a member of 1.8 clubs, and plans on going abroad somewhere safe. Jane enjoys social smoking, drinking too much, and the more conservative social atmosphere Georgetown provides - no Girls Gone Wild stuff around here. She likes the local bars, especially the ones that don't card very well. Like Joe, Jane either has a very steady (matching) significant other or will spend 4 years hooking up with people with nothing to show for it.
Joe and Jane Hoya are well known around here. Black guys are probably varsity athletes, Asian kids are all memebrs of their respective ethnic clubs, SFS kids all consider pledging the Foreign Service "frat," and foreign kids are all friends regardless of the language they speak. Cliques, here I come! In Closing...
Georgetown's really a pretty decent place. If I'm hard on it it's because I have the benefit of experience. Your perspective changes from freshman year - a lot.
If you come here, Go Abroad! You'll regret it if you don't. Most things around here are optional experiences, but staying in D.C. for all of 4 years will get old.
Food on campus is garbage. Marriot (who provides it) rates their food from 1 to 9, 1 being prison food and 9 being a 5-star restaurant. The Jesuits get a 7, the students get a 2. Take that as you will. Lots of places deliver (our Domino's does more business than any other in the nation) including some great ethnic food.
Recently there have been problems with off-campus crime. On-campus is remarkably safe, but D.C. outside of Georgetown isn't the safest place in the world, and the trouble's been coming to us. Consider yourself warned, especially if it's 3AM and you're drunk and alone.