Hey, incoming Class of 20
1615, we know you’re not all freshmen. In fact, some of you have already seen the highs and very, very lows of college life and are looking for something better. But you’re back to being a freshman again and I know, from experience, that it isn’t fun. Transfer students are a breed of their own, a group of motivated individuals who come to Georgetown hoping that this second time around will meet their expectations.
I started out at New York University, surrounded by a predictably eclectic and vivacious bunch. On my floor, I would wake up to the sound of an aspiring Broadway actor practicing “Defying Gravity” down the hall. Two weeks into classes, our entire hall had memorized the lyrics to a wanna-be Justin Timberlake hallmate’s atrocious and over-produced single (he was very clear to tell us the piano lights on fire in the video to symbolize his fiery passion.) We had everything from the “you haven’t seen that movie?” budding film majors to the “you don’t wear high heels to class?” fashion and design majors.
Coming to from Manhattan to Georgetown was certainly a dramatic change. During the ten-hour car ride with my parents to Georgetown, all I knew was that I wanted to be in a school that emphasized a campus over a city, and focused on the academics. I knew that my life at NYU was great, but didn’t quite satisfy my academic interests and the loans I’d be incurring in three years. Not only was that exactly what Georgetown gave me, but it was the best decision I’ve ever made.
One of the biggest mistakes I made starting out at Georgetown was borne out of pure laziness. I didn’t want to get much out of New Student Orientation, so I didn’t. Developing some sort of “I transferred from NYU and I’m over it” mentality, I didn’t quite realize the people around me were some of the most engaging and interesting students I’d meet. I chose not to apply myself in student groups, and basically went back to New York every other weekend.
Once my second year came around, I finally embraced everything that is Georgetown. I joined a Georgetown Solidarty Committee where a group of students successfully provided the backbone of student support for unionizing the cafeteria workers on campus. I began going out every week to Virginia to tutor prison inmates in a program called Prison Outreach. I interned at various organizations in D.C. My first article for the Georgetown Voice was in October 2011, and now I’m running this blog – I don’t know if you’ve ever heard of it but Vox is pretty cool and you should write for us next year (shameless self-promotion.) But seriously, I became a part of a real community that I’ll always remember and love after graduating next spring.
There’s no right way to adjust to college life. It can be quite a tumultuous experience; you fall in love, you think you’re in love when you’re not, you meet a diplomat’s son, or the daughter of the inventor of Viagra (actually though). You listen to an uninspiring speech from a politician; you finally get to meet your academic or political idol. You find yourself surrounded by more Arabic than English speakers, you start to wonder if the CIA or the FBI is going track your inappropriate texts from last night. You learn to make Lauinger Library a place that doesn’t incite feelings of dread. Actually, I’m not sure that last one ever happens. But just know that even if you’ve already been through one, two, or even three years of college and are heading to this campus, there are a cohort of students just like you here who will be an invaluable source of support.
My last advice to all you transfer students coming to Georgetown in the fall: stick together. Some of the coolest people at Georgetown are transfer students. They bring their past experiences and stories from other schools. They have a different perspective and made a decision that isn’t easy to make. Transfer students are motivated because we know we only have a limited amount of time to take advantage of being in college. When you know you’re starting over, you have the power to reinvent.
My closest friends at Georgetown are transfer students. We used to call students who came here as freshmen “real Georgetown students.” Now we’re all as real as any other Hoya.
Welcome to the Hilltop, future transfers.