Dear Georgetown Freshman,
My name is Stacie, and I am a rising sophomore hailing from a small town in Massachusetts. When I was driving down to DC for freshman move-in, I had no clue what to expect. I had never lived in a city at any point in my life, so I was nervous to begin life in our nation’s capital, especially away from my parents, friends, and everything I had ever known. It was nerve-wracking on the drive down, but the moment you step on campus and set your sights on the breathtaking view of Healy Hall, you forget about all your anxieties. You are met by hundreds of current students waving signs at you welcoming you to the hilltop. You see your new classmates unloading their cars and pushing carts into their freshman dorm. Suddenly, you know that you’ve just arrived at what is going to be your second home.
The greatest piece of advice I could give to you after completing my freshman year is to come into it with an open mindset. Throw away any preconceived notions of what you think Georgetown will be like, or what type of people you will meet. Do not be afraid to step outside your comfort zone and interact with people who may be different than your friends from high school. I know when I came to Georgetown it was a bit of a culture shock because I went to a public high school in a very homogenous town. Since I’ve stepped foot on campus, I’ve encountered people from all walks of life and from all corners of the world. I can honestly say I have learned just as much from hearing about my classmates’ lives and experiences as I have in the classroom.
Keeping an open mindset does not just entail being receptive to new cultures and new people, but also to opening yourself up more and stepping outside the areas you might’ve stayed in while in high school. This means joining new activities and trying new things. Georgetown has hundreds of student clubs, so it can be a bit overwhelming, but that is why I encourage you to try activities that you may have never seen yourself doing before. These experiences will challenge you and make you grow outside the classroom. Some of the most formative experiences I had my freshman year were in clubs where I had never really seen myself joining, and these clubs were also where I met some of my best friends.
Lastly, don’t forget to just breathe. Make sure you have time for yourself and some free time to go explore the beautiful city we have the privilege to live in. One of my biggest regrets from freshman year was getting caught up in professional development opportunities and career fairs, but freshman year is not a time when you should be worrying about post-graduation. Your freshman year is one where you will learn so much about yourself and those around you, so take a deep breath and get ready for the ride. The hilltop cannot wait to welcome you!