By EVAN HARRELL
Let me say at the outset that I wish I had read something like this when I was a freshman. My first semester here at Georgetown was rough to say the least. I didn’t know anybody and I was too scared to try to actually meet new people. So here is a list of things I wish I had done sooner: 10 tips on surviving Georgetown.
10. Do something and do it well. This isn’t your typical, shallow “get involved” recommendation. Find that one thing you’re passionate about and pour your heart into it. Not only will you develop new skills and appreciations, but you will learn so much more about yourself in the process. Go Greek if that’s your thing. Get involved in the Student Abolitionist Movement or Common Ground. Only don’t join Mathletes; it’s social suicide.
9. Skip class. I’m serious; do it. Just make sure you do something productive with your time. If that means working on something for another class, then do it. If it means getting off campus so you don’t go crazy, then do that. Don’t feel bad for skipping class to do something that needs to be done, especially if it means your health (refer to tip 3).
8. Watch a movie at least once a week—preferably one that makes you laugh, cry or think. Because who doesn’t like a good movie every now and then?
7. Embarrass yourself in front of a large group of people, like dancing the Wop in the Caf at Midnight Brunch (not that I have personal experience with that one). This is just really fun and everyone should do it at least once, whether it’s being hypnotized or dressing up like a freak for Songfest. I guess if there were some sort of moral here, it would be to learn to make fun of yourself, or something like that. And yes, I was stone cold sober when I did that.
6. Talk to strangers. Okay, not actual strangers but people you see on a daily basis that you never really meet. Ask your janitor about her day. Compliment that kid in your Gen Ed class on his shirt. It will mean a lot to that other person, but it will also make a difference for you too.
5. Buy a professor a gift. Drop by a professor’s office just to say hello. Developing a close relationship with a professor or two is so beneficial. They will advise you, they will laugh with you and they will cry with you. They’ll go up to bat for you should the need arise. Professors really do care about you and your success. Let them know you appreciate it.
4. Spend time with people who really care about you and stop trying to please people who don’t matter. Haters are going to hate. You will always have people who choose to tear you down rather than lift you up. Brush them off. Like the famous line in “Moulin Rouge” reminds us: “The greatest thing you will ever learn is to love and be loved in return.” Also: “Chicken nuggets is like my family.”
3. Tie up loose ends. The Bible says, “Do not let the sun go down on your anger.” Arguments will happen; disagreements are part of life. But choose to be the force of positivity and construction rather than negativity and destruction. It hurts someone else—another human being—and it is very unhealthy for you.
2. Take care of yourself. Physically, yes, but also mentally and emotionally. You simply cannot be the best version of yourself unless you feel well. Get help if you need it, and trust me: you probably need it. Take advantage of the Wellness Center. Never again will you have such quick and easy access to physical and mental health services.
1. Finally, take risks. Take risks and don’t be afraid. Live without regrets. Know that the past is behind you and cannot be changed, but the future still awaits and you have more than enough faculty, resources, family members and friends to help you out when you need it.
One last thing: never, ever park a motorcycle on campus. People will hate you.