Did I mention I studied abroad?
Step off of the Hilltop and outside of the Georgetown Bubble, and you will find many things to learn, do and see. The decision to “study” abroad was undoubtedly one of the best decisions I have ever made in my life. Even so, the Hilltop certainly had me homesick: Georgetown has so many incredible things to offer; from expert faculty to your first New South pregame.
One of the strange parts about being abroad was learning about Georgetown. In fact, there are many things about my home university that I only realized after going to Milan. Some were good things, and others, not so much…
- We all like to poke fun at and react excessively to the swarms of students smoking outside of Lau. Emerging from Lau, you may find yourself in a situation like this:Instead, the EXACT depiction of what students do in Europe is below. They are the real smokers: they don’t just do it to look cool, but they actually like cigarettes. Get ready for secondhand smoke.In reality, we don’t have much to complain about as non-smokers at Georgetown, since it seems most smokers here don’t fall into the latter category. We are nowhere near as threatened by secondhand smoke at Georgetown as we complain we are.
- Our coffee on campus is TERRIBLE. Paying at minimum $3.00 for burnt and stale coffee is not ever justifiable. I don’t even know if stale is an appropriate way to describe coffee, but I shouldn’t have to wonder. Case in point: my abroad university in Italy had vending machines that made better coffee than our campus baristas. Just another thing that machines do better. Since caffeine is such an important part of the student experience in college, its time to up our game.
- We need to give more credit to how beautiful and put-together our campus is. Campuses in the states are exceptional; from the manicured lawns, to the behind-the-scenes campus planning, to the sense of ownership the students take, it’s hard to not appreciate how much we’ve got. Instead, even my (nice and relatively expensive) Italian university had graffiti and was not managed nearly as well as Georgetown. Construction definitely gets old on campus, but it’s always for the better (except maybe the Thompson Center and the architectural disaster that is Lau).
- You’re much more likely to feel supported at Georgetown than anywhere else. While we like to complain about stress and sub-par faculty at many points in our academic careers, try having a class whose syllabus doesn’t even tell you who your teacher is or where your class meets. At least we have capable (i.e. non-tenured) faculty that know what they’re doing. I complain about preregistration results as much as the next person, but try having not one, but two of your classes cancelled for good two weeks into the semester. How do students at a university that does that function (answer: they don’t)?
- WE HAVE SO MUCH MORE WORK. European academics are in fact whack. In all cases, I had just one assignment for each one of my classes: an oral final exam. At Georgetown, we have countless tests, multiple midterms, homework, essays, group projects (the list goes on).
The moral of the story is that Georgetown is perhaps harder than it really needs to be.
- Our campus and neighborhood is even less lit than we realize. Doesn’t need much explanation.
Did I mention I studied abroad?
Photos/Gifs: tumblr.com, giphy.com, otnemea.com, flickr.com, residentadvisor.net