Campus Confusions Part II: Post-Abroad Oddities

You’ve all probably heard the expression “abroad changed me” and thought, “dear God, that person sounds so obnoxious.”

Still, some of us have actually changed. Some of my friends from Madrid are now ~euro~ and dress in clothes you only see when you crash an Expat Society party. In my post-abroad experience, late-night eating is a thing of the past for me…or at least it was until my second night back on campus. Let’s just say I’m back to being a regular at Domino’s.

As my parents were quick to point out, the world did not wait for us while we were abroad. We all have come back to Georgetown — that is, we all came back happy and then were promptly slapped across the face when we had 100+ pages of reading due for the first Monday. Now let’s just say these past few weeks have been a severe reality check.

However, as I sit here stressing about my Spanish paper, readings on Sharia law and Portuguese homework (see what I mean?), I can’t help but also be shocked by how much Georgetown has changed since my last visit in July. Here are just a few ways in which Georgetown has blown my mind in the last three weeks.

1. New Students. This one has to be the most noticeable change for anyone returning from abroad. Who are you and why did you take my favorite Lau 4 cubicle? What makes you think it’s okay to sit next to me in the ICC and make a huge mess of your Corp sandwich? Clearly a semester has put me out of touch with other Hoyas.

2. Apartment Lifestyle. As a friend once put it, I now have a place to cook, eat, sleep, hang out with friends, party, etc. I also technically never have to leave unless I want to go to class, work, be an actual human being, etc. The upgrade from Kennedy to Vil B is much better than many people think, which leads me to my next thought…

3. Village B is slightly nicer. I was quite pleasantly surprised to find a full-size refrigerator in my Vil B when I moved in a few weeks ago. I was not surprised, however, when I was greeted by the unbearable stench of my tower when I moved in. I guess some things will never change.

4. CHICK-FIL-A. One of the weirdest, but certainly not unwelcome, changes on campus. And if the thought of having a renowned eatery on campus isn’t absurd enough, how crazy is it that I haven’t gone yet?

5. Patrick Ewing has returned. Old news, I know, but having a new basketball coach on campus is big if you’re a true basketball fan. Although I’m ashamed to admit I left the game against St. John’s before the epic ending, it’s safe to say we’re in a better place than where we were last year (no disrespect to the former coach).

6. UG is now ~bougie~. Located at the top of the new bookstore, it seems to me that UG has lost its hipster-feel and has now traded for a more mainstream Barnes-&-Noble-feel. Just my personal opinion.

7. Leo’s has a VW bus inside. Considering new Leo’s opened months ago and I do not have a meal plan, this one probably is not that important of news. Just a fun fact, though. I’m glad to see the mice haven’t left.

8. The Drama. Though we all tried to stay updated on what was happening on campus, we were bound to miss some of the biggest drama since Josh Peck didn’t invite Drake Bell to his wedding. Whether two of your friends are dating, three of your friends only talk to each other now or your one friend confessed his/her lifelong love for — the sky is the limit. All you want to know is EVERYTHING.

Can’t you tell I studied abroad?

9. Even printing has changed. I’m really not sure why this change was necessary and I know for a fact other formerly-abroad students are struggling to print documents because an obscure reinstallment is required. While I’m all for advancing technology, we could at least have had a warning before being sorely and publicly disappointed at the Lau 2 printer.

10. New semester, new taste. Of course, I mean the new Burnett’s flavors floating around campus. While all returnees are used to the cheapest alcohols abroad has to offer, that first taste of Burnett’s — assuming you’re 21, of course — is bound to slap you across the face harder than that first homework assignment.

“I bet you thought you’d seen the last of me.” — Burnett’s

Welcome back, Hoyas! While we may miss abroad every day, it’s safe to say we missed our friends, Piano Bar and the Hilltop even more last semester.

Photos/Gifs: giphy.com, washington.org

6 Things I Learned About Georgetown While Abroad

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…

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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).

    A tulip endowment is good for ~something~.
  4. 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)?
  5. 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).
    @everday during months-long midterm “season”

    The moral of the story is that Georgetown is perhaps harder than it really needs to be.

  6. Our campus and neighborhood is even less lit than we realize. Doesn’t need much explanation.

    The ONLY establishment with the name “bar” in it within a mile of Georgetown.
Alcatraz Club, a Milanese mainstay, doesn’t even need people to be lit.

Did I mention I studied abroad?

 

Photos/Gifs: tumblr.com, giphy.com, otnemea.com, flickr.com, residentadvisor.net