What to Do on GAAP Weekend: Prospective Student Edition

Dear Class of 2021, and so on and so forth,

WELCOME to the Hilltop. D.C. or, as both the cool kids and the geotag call it, “the District,”  is breathtakingly beautiful and the Georgetown bubble (aka my happy place) is nestled in a cozy corner of this vibrant and inspiring city. Home to an ambitious and driven student body, professors for whom one is willing to spend hours studying on Lau 4 and one well-loved bulldog, Georgetown is well worth visiting. Sign up to have a Blue and Gray tour guide escort you along patios strewn with empty beer cans the Vil A rooftops and point out where Bill Clinton lived in Harbin Hall, before he left communal bathrooms and his cluster for a marginally-more-upscale White House residence. Additionally, please make note of following important “Do’s and Don’ts” of visiting our campus.

Don’t try to join the meme page

Please don’t pretend that you’re a non-conforming Jesuit teen. Prep school has not prepared you for this type of meme mastery. One ~incredibly persuasive~ reason to attend this university and surround yourself with peers who also did quite well on the SAT, is the high caliber of meme quality that you will find here. However, seeing as you don’t go here (yet), you probably won’t be able to fully appreciate our self-deprecating jokes. Additionally, by bemoaning the state of Leo’s, Lau and the basketball program, the meme page fails to highlight the many things that make Georgetown so wonderful, and we don’t want you to get the wrong impression.

Don’t disrespect Leo’s

What are the odds that Leo’s will look like the Hogwarts’ Great Hall after the remodel? (unfortunately slim..)

To the hordes of red-sweatshirt clad minions getting WAY too excited about the weird ice cream flavors and groups of parents concernedly poking at salads, I don’t really understand why you are here. First of all, it’s O’Donovan’s by the Waterfront, to you. You are not allowed to poke fun at Leo’s mysterious lack of forks, soggy scrambled eggs, or constant abundance of gross Rum Raisin ice cream unless you have spent 14-18 meals a week in this fine establishment, and Kim Kim knows you by name. Second, while Georgetown is truly an incredible place, our on-campus dining options are not the reason that my future children’s first words will be “Hoya Saxa.”

Don’t brag about going to Georgetown “Frat Parties”

I would like to help you make the important distinction between a “frat party” and a party (or awkward, sweaty gathering) thrown by a frat in a cramped and dimly lit Henle apartment. I suppose I am powerless to stop you from putting a video of yourself singing along to Closer on your Snapchat story or taking a shot of Vanilla Burnett’s (Disclaimer: teen drinking is very bad, and also illegal). Just know that you’re not as cool as you think you are.

Do bask in the glory of Healy Hall

Does looking up at the Healy clock tower give you chills? Copley Lawn, peppered with Hoyas studying on blankets, throwing frisbees and laughing with their friends, feels so perfectly collegiate. The idyllic-ness of the hundreds of color-coordinated tulips gently swaying in the breeze by the front gates (almost) justifies the exorbitant cost of arranging such botanical displays. Can you resist taking a picture with John Carroll? Of course not. He is the GOAT, and you probably won’t get in if you don’t document meeting him (in statue form). Please note, this is not all too good to be true. I can assure you that one year later, when I am hammocking with my favorite people on the front lawn, it still feels just as magical.

A few additional points of clarification:

  • If you got the impression on your tour that The Corp rules this campus, this intuition is quite correct.
  • Jack the Bulldog and I are in an exclusive relationship. Take as many pictures with him as you would like, but he and I have already booked a date for our Dahlgren Chapel wedding.

Photos/gifs: msfs.georgetown.edu, giphy.com, facebook.com

GAAP Weekend Etiquette

Judging from the crowds of young children with name tags and the abundance of middle-aged men wearing backpacks, it looks like GAAP Weekend is upon us! GAAP Weekend is a weekend where accepted students come to campus to see if Georgetown could be their home for the next four years. The people at GAAP set up three different weekends for prospective students to come to Georgetown and they work tirelessly to make sure these weekends run smoothly.

WARNING: Things are about to get real sentimental. To be completely honest, GAAP Weekend was one of the main reasons I came to Georgetown. Without GAAP Weekend and the chance to meet all of Georgetown’s awesome students and professors, I might not be writing this post right now. GAAP Weekend can be an awesome look into what it’s like to be a Hoya, but there are a few things that can ruin the wonderful experience of the weekend. In order for everyone to enjoy their time on campus, I have come up with a few pieces of advice for both prospective and current Hoyas. Follow these, and I’m sure you’ll be donning a blue and gray t-shirt and shouting “Hoya Saxa!” come August.

Prospective Students:

1. Avoid mentioning your application to Harvard, Stanford, Yale, Northwestern or (insert name of prestigious university here).

You wouldn’t be here if you weren’t smart, so you don’t need to prove that any longer. During GAAP Weekend, you will be among some of the smartest kids in the U.S. Use that as something to bond over. This isn’t the college application process, so there’s no need to be competitive. Really get to know the other prospective Hoyas!

2. Take advantage of the professor lectures.

One of my main regrets  my GAAP Weekend was that I didn’t get to attend one of those awesome lectures. I showed up five minutes late and there was no standing room. Attending these lectures will be an awesome way to get a feel for what it’s like to attend class at Georgetown. Plus, they are given by some of Georgetown’s most interesting professors on really interesting topics. Make sure you arrive ten minutes early and get a good seat!

3. Go to the TOMBS!

Do anything you can to fit in a lunch at The Tombs. There’s nothing more quintessentially Georgetown than a Bulldog Burger from The Tombs. The wait may be thirty minutes long, but it will be more than worth it. If you’re not willing to wait, head on down to M Street for some more Georgetown favorites like Dean and Deluca or Baked & Wired. Basically, get off campus and enjoy the area because you will be definitely be frequenting these places if you do decide to come here.

Current Students:

1. Let’s keep the Village A madness to a minimum.

This goes for all typical party spots, but Vil A in particular. Over the next few days, campus tours will be flocking to the rooftops to get pictures with the classic view of the Potomac and the Washington monument in the distance. No one wants a picture with a pile of Nattys in the background. Let’s be considerate and at least clean up a bit!

2. Avoid classic happy hour spots if you can.

Paolo’s, Mei Wah, Cuates. Let’s just avoid them all. I know it sounds impossible. But it’s for your own good. These places will be filled with families for the next few days. There’s nothing I’d hate more than to see mothers cry about the inevitability of their child going to college while I munch away on my complimentary bread stick. Plus, no parents want to see you sloppily fall out of your high top chair when happy hour comes to a close. (It happens.) So let’s avoid that experience all together. 

3. Give the best directions possible

I can’t begin to give an estimate of how many times you will be asked directions for the next few days. And trust me, the destinations will never call for routes that are easy to explain. You’ll be getting a lot of mothers asking “Can you show me where the St. Mary’s building is?” or “How do we get to the barn where all of the cars are?” Please be considerate and try and help these people out. If you have no idea, “Yo no hablo ingles” should suffice. I mean we are known for our language programs, right?

GAAP Weekend should be an enjoyable experience for everyone involved. If you follow these tips – whether you’re students avoiding prospective parents or parents avoiding current students – your GAAP Weekend will be a success!

Photo: facebook.com

GAAP Group Etiquette

gaap groupSo you were accepted to Georgetown, and now you’re in the GAAP Facebook group. First of all, congratulations! But you’ve heard enough of that from Aunt Bertha, now it’s time for some constructive criticism. We’ve all been there, and we all know the classic mistakes people make posting in these groups. So let’s reminisce on our own awkward prefrosh posts and help teach you prospective Hoyas some GAAP group etiquette. These are just a few things that you really should not do…

Don’t talk about how you can’t decide between Georgetown and Harvard, Princeton, Yale, etc. We know you’re smart, and we are very happy you’ve gotten into so many prestigious schools, but throwing the Ivies in everyone’s face is never a good idea. Also, don’t even think about posting your SATs scores.

Don’t friend everyone else in the group. We all want to make friends, and soon you’ll have more new friends than you know what to do with, but friending strangers is a definite no. Control yourself, you can do it.

Don’t post about some of your wild nights. Trying to look like a party animal doesn’t really make a good impression. And definitely don’t post during one of those nights… or try not to. We all make mistakes.

Don’t post all the time. Remember that the GAAP groups are open, which means all of your friends can see what you’re posting. They will see it and they will make fun of you.

Don’t stay in the group after you’ve decided on another school, although lets be honest, you’re probably going to choose Georgetown.

So whether you’re a current Hoya who has made some of these mistakes (I too might be guilty of a few… all… of these) or a potential Hoya stumbling upon 4E for the first time, remember that these things are never a good idea, in any Facebook group. Good night, and good luck.