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

Surviving Senior Week (If You Aren’t Actually a Senior)

SENIOR WEEK

So, you’re still here.

Finals are over. Most of your friends have moved out. Your room is a shadow of its former self, your Pulp Fiction/Animal House/Bob Marley posters and big-screen TV packed away in a Corp Storage box somewhere.

It’s Senior Week, the aptly named period at the end of the year when the soon-to-graduate class gets campus mostly to itself, with no classes to worry about and a plethora of university-sponsored activities to enjoy.

But whether you’re trying to make some extra cash at an on-campus job or helping a club finish its end-of-year projects, you’re just one of many underclassmen sticking around for the week. With classes done and club commitments pretty relaxed in most cases, chances are you’ve got a ton of free time and next to no idea what to do with it.

Don’t be too jealous of the seniors: Just because you don’t get a keg party at Leo’s or a black-tie ball at Union Station doesn’t mean you can’t have an awesome week. Follow a few simple rules and you’ll find yourself wondering why everyone doesn’t stay late:

FIND A HOUSE
If you’re here for a club or work, chances are you know a few co-workers still on campus. Find one that has a townhouse, or at least a big apartment.

This serves two purposes:

1. With Leo’s closed until summer school starts, this week provides a prime opportunity to work on your culinary skills. Cooking is much more fun with a bunch of friends in a house than it is in your common room.
2. It’s not fun (or legal) to fit 25 people and a keg in a Southwest Quad dorm room.

Even if you aren’t into big parties, it’s important to have a home base for people to convene at nights, whether it’s for a potluck dinner or a movie showing (The Georgetown Retaliation, anyone?) University townhouses are best, but a Henle or Village B will work in a pinch.

PACK YOUR STUFF
Seriously, do it. No matter how many times you tell your friends that you’re better at packing when you’re drunk anyway, frantically attempting to shove all your belongings into a suitcase at 4 a.m. the morning of your flight is really, really not fun. Try to pack some of your belongings every day, so by the end of the week all that’s left is this week’s laundry.

When you inevitably figure out that you can’t fit all your clothes and other accumulated crap into two suitcases and a backpack, be sure to donate your unwanted possessions to a move-out drive rather than the dumpster.

BREAKING THE BUBBLE, PART 1
This is where we’d normally tell you to go see a Washington Nationals game. Unfortunately, D.C.’s boys of summer are on a West Coast road swing until NEXT WEDNESDAY. While Nats games are a blast, we don’t recommend flying to San Diego this week to see one.

Seriously, though, there’s nothing like a baseball game on a warm summer night. A river taxi runs from the Georgetown Waterfront to Nationals Park most nights, so it’s easy to avoid the overstuffed Green Line. If you stay late in future years, be sure to catch at least one game.

BREAKING THE BUBBLE, PART 2
“Get out of the Georgetown bubble!” is one of the most repeated and least followed pieces of advice most Hoyas will encounter during the school year. It’s understandable, really — we all know D.C. has a lot to offer beyond the front gates, but we’re too tied up with homework, extracurricular commitments and friends to take advantage of it during the year.

Well, you’re in luck. Use your time this week in between work and partying (trust us, there’s time) to get out in the city.

-If by some absurd confluence of events you haven’t already walked to the monuments with your friends, do that. Seriously, they’re awesome.
-Rent a paddleboat or canoe and go out on the Potomac. We do not endorse the legally questionable practice known as “cabrewing” — in which participants bring beer to drink on the river — but its existence should be noted.
-Take the Blue Line to Alexandria’s Old Town district, where you can hang out with some beer and wings while watching Revolutionary War re-enactors march up and down the street, or check out the awe-inspiring George Washington Masonic National Memorial.
-Go visit a Smithsonian (they’re free) or the Newseum (not free, but 100 percent worth the price of admission).

If you’re not feeling especially adventurous, use your newfound free time to go out for a nice dinner with friends right here in Georgetown. Taj of India, Bangkok Joe’s and Thunder Burger are just a few of the spots you may have missed if you didn’t make it past Wisconsin Ave. this year.

GO TO LAU
*ducks to avoid barrage of textbook projectiles* KIDDING! I WAS KIDDING!

All jokes aside, enjoy your Senior Week, Hoyas!

Photo: Alexander Brown/The Hoya

This Year Was…

this year was

People are packing up and headed home, preparing their late-stay plans, or moving into their spiffy new apartments for the summer. It’s a time of reflection. So we at 4E wanted to know, how was this year for you? For us, it was magical thanks to you lovely readers!

THIS YEAR WAS…

(1) … intense.

(2) …a challenge to finally find happiness and fulfillment on my own terms l– and I succeeded.

(3) …a learning experience.
…when I figured out that I have emotions and that they are overwhelming.
…when I learned what it means to really miss someone.
…a tropical paradise.
…fleeting.
…a new standard for incredible.

(4) …the darkest timeline.

(5) …blossoming of a new relationship.

(6) … SWUG.

(7) … أفضل من العام الماضي

(8) …the one with the best memories.

(9) …the worst I’ve ever had with the biggest silver lining.

(10) …”there’s a first time for everything”. 

(11) … Scooby Doo.

(12)  … frisbee.

(13) … Lau 1.

(14) … BAZINGA!

(15) … awesome and unexpected twists and turns.

(16) … the happiest, most liberating, most experimental, and favorite year of my life thus far. Here’s to 3 more. Hoya Saxa!

(17) … D.O.A.

(18) … commando.

(19) … magically delicious!

(20) … a dramatic learning curve.

(21) This year was, like most years, uneven — full of incredible moments where everything was perfect and I woudn’t have wanted to change a single thing and horrible ones where everything was the worst and I felt like for a moment I’d lost my way. But to quote a certain time-travelling alien, “The way I see it, every life is a pile of good things and bad things.The good things don’t always soften the bad things, but vice-versa, the bad things don’t necessarily spoil the good things and make them unimportant.” Here’s to another.

(22) … more work than I ever thought I would have to do.

(23) … life-changing.

(24) … a whirlwind of new experiences both terrifying and wonderful.

(25) … full of unexpected friendships.

(26) … SO MANY NEW FRIENDS!

(27) … sexual.

(28) … oversexed.

(29) … bangin’.

(30) … supercalifragilisticexpialidocious.

(31) … the best and worst of my life.

(32) … eye-opening.

(33) … better than I could have ever imagined.

(34) … Village B 51.

(35) … incredibly difficult, but equally as rewarding.

(36) … kitchen.

(37) … a step in a totally different direction academically.

(38) … A roller coaster.

(39) … llena de esperanza!

(40) … Voice-tacular!

(41) … more than I could have ever hoped for.

(42) … BEAT ‘CUSE.

(43) … filled with unbelievable experiences and made me glad that I came to Georgetown!

(44) … transformative.

(45) … exhausting.

(46) … the first of a lifelong friendship with Tiffany Li.

(47) … life changing.

(48) … filled with GraceNotes love.

(49) … full of unexpected blessings.

(50) … a learning experience.

(51) … better than I expected.

(52) … dance and coffee.

(53) … 2012-2013.

(54) … more enjoyable than a chai latte.

(55) … different than I expected.

(56) … disappointing.

Housing at a Glance: Picking the Perfect Housing

With housing selection for freshmen fast approaching, there are lots of things to consider. Besides trying to find someone you are willing to live with for an entire year, you also have to consider which housing option to select. While everyone dreams of living in a Georgetown townhouse and leaving behind the days of awkward towel-covered and  flip-flop walks to/from the bathroom, there is something standing in the way: housing lottery numbers. Since there is no way to know what housing number will arrive in the inbox, it’s best to get your hopes up too high. Freshmen lucky enough to get relatively low numbers have decent chances of avoiding a communal bathrooms; with the majority of first-years, dorm life continues. For those confused about their options, take a look at our compilation of Hilltop housing.

Photo: alumni.georgetown.edu

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