Frequently Asked Questions: Thanksgiving Edition

Hoyas, Thanksgiving is right around the corner. Turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, apple pie: A literal cornucopia of sweet and savory delights awaits you at your family dining table.

(Unless you’re staying here, in which case, Happy Friendsgiving!)

In spite of that thicc feast being prepared at home, one thing poses a threat to the sanctity of Thanksgiving: your family.

Yes, those people whom you may love the most, who have the ability to ruin your short holiday with the annual awkward interrogations about your life away from home.

And so, 4E has prepared this guide to help you navigate those cringeworthy FAQs around the dinner table.

What do you think of Donald Trump?

Oh, damn. Uncle Bob starting off strong.

Politics is bound to come up during the fall feast, and depending on your views, this question could be a real curveball.

No fear, though, because our professionally designed answer is to laugh awkwardly while walking away and saying, “Man, I don’t know.” Make sure to trail off on “know” to feign some “youthful ignorance” to avoid confrontation. Move quickly before your family starts debating immigration over the mashed potatoes.

Do you still go to church?

This one’s for all my people raised with organized religion (looking at you, Catholics) and is the logically awkward follow-up to a political question.

As your aunt plays with her golden cross necklace, you may feel anxiety in answering her inquiry, because, honestly, you don’t. For all those Christian expats out there, you couldn’t even recite the “Our Father” anymore if she asked. TBH, you always just kinda mumbled through that part.

So, to avoid that disappointing revelation to her, just lie and say “yes“.

And, like before, walk promptly away.

What’s your major?  What are your plans after college?

If these two come in sequence, you better be ready, because this one’s the mother of all one-two punches.

We’re actually going to start with the second question, because it’s the easier of the two. Let’s be honest; there are only two acceptable answers: doctor or lawyer. So, no matter what your major is, if you want to avoid a long line of questioning that ultimately leaves you pissed at your stupid cousin you only ever see once a year, just say doctor or lawyer.

By that logic, admit your major honestly and depending on whether it’s a humanity or a science, choose doctor or lawyer accordingly.

And if you do actually want to be a doctor or lawyer, lucky you.

Do you have a [girlfriend/boyfriend/partner]?

Nope. That’s always the answer, because whenever someone asks, you don’t.

Can you help with the dishes?

Alas, the classic parental guilt trap.

Either your father knows you can’t refuse to do a simple favor, or he’s giving too much credit to your turkey-stuffed corpse.

The dilemma lies in that you could never say no and break his heart, but you sure as hell don’t want to say yes.

Therefore, proceed with the most elementary of “avoiding awkward interactions” maneuvers: Walk away like you didn’t hear anything.

And, finally…

When’s the next time we’ll see you?

You’re at the train station, bus stop, airport or whatever means of transportation is taking you back to Georgetown. You’ve had your fill of food and family. You’re ready to go back and be thrown straight into finals prep.

You’re satisfied and holding it together.

Then, your mother throws this one last rock at you.

You smile and reassure her that Christmas is right around the corner, but despite all the ~uncomfiness~ that sometimes comes with seeing your family, you both want it to be sooner.

So, this is the only question we don’t have an answer for, and all we can do is wish you luck in keeping back tears while you start to miss your mom and her cooking.

Let the feast begin!

Go, Hoyas, run! RUN! Go home (if you can) and celebrate Holy Turkey Day! Papers and midterms and projects and WORK have consumed your life for the past two months.

We’ve all earned an extended break.

So, enjoy some real food with the realest people, whether it be your friends or your family.

And, most of all, get some sleep, because we’re all about to lose plenty of it as soon as we come back! :)

Takeaways From a Semester at Georgetown

Congratulations! You made it through first semester (barely). But now you’ve returned wiser, crazier, somehow smarter and definitely fatter! This is what I’ve learned after my first semester of freshman year. Let’s go.

1. Clubs aren’t as big of a deal as they were first semester. If you don’t get into the clubs you want this semester, it’s honestly okay. You have friends now :’)


2. Ask a friend from MSB to print out that paper for you. We basically have unlimited printing. There’s no way we can use all 1,500 pages in a single semester.


3. There’s a method to falling asleep in class. Basically, after you meet eyes with the professor after dozing off, master this face for as long as possible:

4. Take every opportunity to explore and get involved in D.C. First semester is already over and before we know it, this year will be gone. College is short, so savor it.


5. There’s a bus to Safeway in front of Darnall that leaves every 20 minutes after 2 PM. You do not have to walk there.

I repeat:

You do not have to walk there.

6. If you haven’t stolen anything from Leo’s, you’re doing Georgetown wrong. Mugs, forks, spoons, 15 bananas, the panini press–whatever it is, take it. Except the waffle maker. Don’t ruin everyone’s day.

7. You will never stop running into that one specific hookup. It’s a given.

8. Your philosophy class probably sounds something like this:


9. On Thursdays in MSB, there are free bagels, juice, and coffee around 10 AM. Go and grab one, even if you’re not in MSB; it’s scheming time.

10. Time to hit the gym this time around!

And that’s it folks. We got this.

Photos/gifs: giphy.com

Winter Survival Guide

wintersurvivalguide

If you somehow didn’t notice the white stuff that have been falling from the sky recently or the freezing cold temperatures, let this article assure you it is in fact winter at Georgetown.

georgetown

So before you start filling out your transfer application to Berkley or University of Miami here are some tips to help you survive the cold.

1. Before going outside, dress in every single item of clothing in your closet. You may at first feel stupid, but you will be warm.

2. Cold toilet seat? No problem, just sacrifice a few socks to create this masterpiece.

toilet-seat-heater-socks

3. Invest in a sleeping bag suit. It may seem like an impulsive buy, but also quite possibly the warmest thing you will ever own.

enhanced-buzz-24882-1275025670-27

4. Trick yourself into thinking that you are in a tropical location instead of this polar vortex by decorating your room with things that remind you of summer.

5. Avoid ice at all costs. It may seem like a good idea at the time to try and slide across the ice like a cool kid, but you will most likely end up falling.

If you even find yourself feeling down about the weather here in DC, just remember that there are places that have it much, much worse.

boston
No one wants to live in that.

Photos/Gifs: pinterest.com; myemail.constantcontact.com; gifsoup.com; uproxx.com; memcollection.net; reddit.com; giphy.com; faxo.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

How to Talk to a Second Semester Senior

Second Semester SeniorsAs they begin their last semester of college, the members of the Class of 2014 are in a strange place. Some of them have job offers and graduate school acceptances, but many of them do not. Whether they’re happy to graduate or wishing they had four more years, they should be handled delicately. Here are some tips from an expert (i.e., one of those stressed seniors) about what to say to these tender children.

Do not ask what they’re doing next year.

Most seniors do not have concrete plans yet. Even the few who do have law school acceptances, offers from consulting firms or Teach for America acceptances aren’t exempt from the self-doubt and anxiety that can come from contemplating the post-grad life. If you’ve somehow found a senior who doesn’t freak out when considering what lies beyond May 2014, at the very least they’re tired of talking about it.

Do not ask what it feels like to be a second semester senior.

It feels scary and exciting and weird and wonderful. Often at the same time. Do not use this as small talk unless you really want to know those things.

Do ask for advice.

Seniors are full of advice, and they’re also really self-absorbed, so they love giving it. They have wisdom about basically everything: classes, internships, relationships, extracurriculars and friendships.

But do not ask about the future of their relationships and friendships.

Your single friends have never felt more hopelessly single than they do right now, after winter break and a litany of aunts and uncles asking if they have a “special someone.” Those in relationships are all worried about whether they’ll last post-May 17. This also applies to all of their friendships, so don’t ask how much they’re going to miss their best friends. The answer? A lot.

Do accompany them to the Tombs.

Seniors love Tombs and as many of them begin 99 Days next month, they’re going to need some company. If you’re not 21, there’s always weekend brunch, lunch and dinner.

Do not judge them for the #SWUG life.

A SWUG is a senior wash-up girl. The SWUG life means going out without getting dressed up, staying in to drink wine and watch movies and napping at inappropriate times. We know your judgement is just envy.

Do be their cheerleader.

Whether they’re applying to grad programs, going to a job interview, starting a blog or finally showering, support them in their endeavors! A cheerful text or a hug might just make their day. For my fellow seniors, here’s a piece of advice from the latest episode of “Parks and Recreation” and my personal hero, Leslie Knope:

In times of stress or moments of transition, sometimes it can feel the whole world is closing in on you. When that happens you should close your eyes, take a deep breath, listen to the people who love you when they give you advice and remember what really matters.

Photo: Wikipedia

How to De-stress and Get Happy

HappyWith ongoing midterms (and finals around the corner), it’s easy for GU student stress levels to run exceedingly high. All-nighters in Lau can take quite a toll, and sometimes naps – although quite beneficial – just aren’t enough to alleviate the negative effects of the high-workload, fast-paced lifestyle of the Hilltop. For that reason, 4E has compiled a special list of stress relievers that can make every Hoya relaxed and happy.

1. Watch a Disney movie I don’t know what it is – the nostalgia, the opening montage where they show the Cinderella castle, how relatable the characters are to your friends on the Hilltop or even the word “Disney” itself – but something about Disney movies can bring out happiness in everyone. Click here for a complete list in ranked order.

2. Go to the Georgetown waterfront and sit by the Potomac Studies indicate that water has a soothing effect on the mind and can help people to find their zen. Take a moment to relish in the relaxing effects of the Potomac. For an added bonus, sit down and watch the sunset behind the Key Bridge … or grab a relaxing bite at Farmers Fishers Bakers.

3. Play hooky I’m not joking. Sometimes, the best way to avoid the stress of those 200-person lectures is to simply skip class. If you think you won’t be productive or paying attention, you might as well use that time for something more useful. In your newfound free time, try out something on our list or don’t get out of bed. You’ve earned it. (Do not make it a habit, though.)

4. Do something you love doing simply because you love doing it Sometimes college can take away from the hobbies we love the most. Take some time to bring them back into your life. Have a favorite band? Go see them. Want to read a book about 18th century Europe? Do it. Step back from what is required, and look into what you actually need at this moment.

5. Go to a restaurant that has your favorite food For me, it’s the rhubarb pie at Dangerously Delicious Pies on H Street. Take a moment, find your comfort food and seek it out. Your belly will thank you.

6. Talk to someone you haven’t in awhile Nothing feels better than reconnecting with a old friend. Reminisce about good times or plan some new good times. Either way, remove yourself from current stress and invest some time in your friendships.

7. Do something nice for a complete stranger Volunteer your time. Give a compliment. Donate a dollar. Buy a cup of coffee. Swipe someone into Leo’s. A random act of kindness can go a long way, especially to someone you don’t even know (and it will probably make you feel better, too).

8. Spoil yourself That’s right. Spoil your diet. Buy that item of clothing you probably shouldn’t. Order dessert. Fog up the entire bathroom when you take a shower. Sometimes you need to forget the rules and live just for you.

9. Walk (or run) outside Fresh air works wonders on a clouded mind. Get those endorphins pumping on one of our favorite running trails.

10. Smile Research shows that whether real or fake, smiling really makes you happier. Besides, if Simon Cowell can do it, so can you:

smiling

11. [Insert Your Happiness Here] The ball’s in your court. Whatever your methodology, take the time to destress and get happy. We aren’t doctors here at 4E, but hey, we’re ordering you to do it anyway.

Photo: Iagiftshop

That One Time I Got Lost In The Woods…

The Potomac Heritage TrailIt feels so great to be back on the Hilltop. While I missed a lot of things during my summer absence, one of the things I missed the most was the exhilarating feeling of running in D.C.

I’ll admit, I’m not a running aficionado, but there’s something about the running culture of the District that even makes someone like me want to get away from campus and take a nice jog.

So, I did what any sensible person would do. I put on my Nike sneakers and went to 4E’s running guide for some inspiration. I chose to start off with the Teddy Roosevelt Island run. After all, as Martin Hussey wrote in his piece, it’s flat, easy and enjoyable. Piece of cake, I thought, as I set off on my jogging adventure.

But as I ran down the ramp in Rosslyn, I was soon overtaken by my own curiosity. Instead of turning right and heading toward the foot bridge leading to the Island, the little voice inside my head, combined with the thumping electro-pop of Lady Gaga’s “Applause”, told me to turn left…so I did.

Before I knew it, my 3 mile run to Teddy Roosevelt Island became a 10 mile hike on the Potomac Heritage Trail. I ended up hiking to the Chain Bridge and taking the C&O Towpath back to campus. By the end of the afternoon, I had two insanely sore calves and some breathtaking photos of the experience.

For this article, I wanted to share some of these photos and, more importantly, I wanted to give five quick pointers on how to avoid the sore calves and have a pleasant Potomac hike.

1. Bring water and a granola bar I was clearly unprepared for my mini-trek into the wilderness. After all, I thought I was going on a short run to Teddy Roosevelt Island, not a nature hike. However, it’s probably a good idea to bring a little snack and drink to stay fueled up and hydrated.

2. Wear high socks and/or hiking shoes Some areas of the trail involve crossing small streams and working your way through brush. I’m not saying it’s a must, but some sensible footwear will make your hike a lot more enjoyable.

3. Bring a nice camera The sights along this trail are incredible (see below). This type of journey doesn’t just warrant some snaps on an iPhone camera (even if it is the new 5S or 5C). Bring along a nice backpack and pack in your new Nikon complete with zoom lens. You won’t be disappointed.

4. Wear sunscreen Although you might be only hiking in intermittent sun, this trail still gives a little bit of color. Just a word to the wise for the fair-skinned.

5. Bring friends This is the most important tip I can give. The views are unbelievable and there is even a tree you can climb and sit on while looking over the Potomac. It’s perfect for a small picnic or even some fishing poles to cast a line. Don’t be like me and wander into the woods alone– take advantage of this beautiful trail and share it with those you love. Oh, and check out my photos below.

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Surviving Midterms

Midterms. One word that hardly anyone ever wants to hear. It’s hard to believe that we’ve already made it halfway through the semester. Now that the excitement of Homecoming is over and the adjusting weeks have passed, it’s time to get back into the swing of, well, academic things.

But before we all start to panic with one glance at our jammed-packed calendars, let’s try to de-stress and prepare for the upcoming weeks. Here are some simple tips to help you stay on top of your game and to avoid over-stressing:

1. Relax. Yes, I know. Easier said than done. But think about it…will one test truly define your life? Though all the hours at Lau and the good amount of Flex Dollars spent at Midnight Mug will help your cause, sometimes its good to just sit back and take a deep breathe.

2. Take breaks. It’s impossible to study for too long. Go for a run to the monuments, watch that episode of Modern Family that you missed, eat dinner at Leo’s with some friends — anything that can get your mind off your work for at least a half hour. Sometimes taking the time to not study is just as important.

3. Make plans. It’s easy to get caught up in all of the midterm craziness but think about it. Midnight Madness is coming up, Parent’s Weekend, basketball season (!!) By taking the time to think about all the good, exciting things to come, the motivation to focus and get through the week will be even greater.

4. Keep working on your fitness. Exercise can be very beneficial, especially during midterms. By running on the treadmill, sweating it out in a spin class, or even just taking a brisk walk down M Street, you will feel more energized and ready to do your work.

5. Stay organized. Create a schedule for yourself so that you don’t fall behind and/or freak out! Keep that planner up to date and decide what days/times are best to complete your work. By budgeting your time effectively, you will be able to better monitor your stress.

6. Naps on Naps on Naps. A 20 minute nap is actually the best thing you can do for your body. If you find yourself being pushed into that all nighter, set your alarm and take a quick power nap. It will re-energize you and also keep you from pulling your hair out at 4 am. Be careful, though. Any more time than 20 minutes is not good and can actually make you even more exhausted.

7. Reward yourself. You’ve made it! Treat yourself generously after midterms are finally over. I’m going to suggest taking the walk to M for some Pinkberry. You deserve it.

Happy studying, Hoyas! Remember…we will all survive. 

Career Fair 101

The Fall Career Fair will open to students on September 28th from 10 A.M.- 3 P.M. I know I know, thinking about the Real World is stressful, but eventually you have to face it. Might as well do it the right way! Here are a few essential tips for surviving the career fair madness:

Come Prepared

Before stepping into the fair, ask yourself what you hope to accomplish while you’re there. What are your goals? Be idealistic! Don’t expect to be hired on the spot or get an internship right then and there. Make a list of the companies that you want to see. It wouldn’t hurt to do a little research beforehand. This will show them that you’re interested. You don’t want to go in there asking them what their company does. Let’s just be honest, there are stupid questions. Jot down a few questions prior to the event. Have a résumé set aside just in case a recruiter does ask.
Be Yourself!
Think of yourself as a new emerging product. Your job is to sell yourself to these people. Do not pretend to be someone you’re not. Believe me, these recruiters will know when you’re lying. If you’re typically nervous and shy, then you should practice introducing yourself in front of friends before stepping into the fair.
Keep it Short
Communicate concisely and vibrantly in a way that distinguishes you from your peers. Show these companies why they need you more than you need them. Ask them questions and be prepared to answer some. Think about the questions you’ll be asked and how you’d respond.

Have Fun

We already have enough stress in our lives. With school work and extracurricular activities, we can’t catch a break! No one wants to hang around someone so depressing. Smile! Trust me, this goes a long.

Follow-Up!

Thank your recruiters and collect their business card. Send a follow-up email stating how much you enjoyed meeting with them and would love to learn more about the company. If they don’t respond, keep emailing them back. It doesn’t hurt to try.

Summer InternTips: Your First Week

If you’re like me, you just finished your third day of your summer internship. You’re learning the ropes at your new job, and you’re just starting to get to know your boss, secretary and office mates. But you’re still learning the ropes. You still have to check in at the front desk as a visitor because your badge hasn’t been made yet. You’re still eating lunch alone in your office. You arrive five minutes later than you’re supposed to because you missed your bus stop. (Note: these all apply to me. It’s OK.)

Because here at 4E we know that you’re probably in the same boat, we compiled some tips for how to make your first week as productive to your internship as possible:

1. Get to know your office. Explore all of the possibilities your company, building, and neighborhood have to offer. A lot of buildings (especially on Capitol Hill) have special perks to like food courts, cafes, ice cream or fro-yo, or fancy vending machines. Some offices have green roofs for lunch breaks so you don’t have to eat in your office.

2. Learn the ropes of your work. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. This is your first week — bosses expect questions, and always prefer them to incomplete or shoddy work. Now is the time to figure out how best to finish assignments so that you can do them consistently correctly for the rest of your internship.

3. Meet your coworkers, even the ones you won’t end up working with consistently. Don’t be afraid to introduce yourself to everyone. Basically, you don’t want to be the intern that no one knows the name of come July. Plus, think networking.

4. Start off on a good foot. Though you should expect to make some mistakes, be prompt, polite, and make an effort. Your bosses will expect mistakes as well, but they’ll be watching your work ethic and demeanor this week. Even if you make mistakes, making a good effort this week will help you secure more interesting and important projects later in your internship.

5. Save your money. Unpaid and paid interns alike, we all have thin wallets. So save your money by making your lunch ahead of time and bringing it to work, taking the bus ($1.50) instead of the Metro (with an upcoming price increase in July) or a cab.

6. Stay positive. Even if your week is rough (many of ours will be), the rest of the summer won’t be. Believe in yourself and your ability to learn how to do your job, meet other interns and network with your coworkers. The first week is tough for everybody. Almost certainly, next week will be better.

7. Link in with the greater D.C. intern community. D.C. in the summer is an exciting place with tons of other college students visiting us for the summer. Even though we here at Georgetown are blessed with a hefty set of connections in D.C., it is always a good idea to meet kids from other colleges at other internships. There are plenty of blogs, Twitter feeds and Facebook pages dedicated to summer interns here. Most are only relevant to those who don’t have the privilege of living in D.C. during the school year, but they’re still good resources for anyone on the Hilltop with an internship.

Image credit: Vanity Fair