While this year has been unprecedented on various fronts, new Hoyas from across the world are eagerly trying to immerse themselves in Georgetown life from their laptops, phones, and devices. Indeed, this time is quite challenging as new students attempt to learn the ins and outs of college life and find a sense of community through their screens, but that doesn’t mean it has to be any less fun. As a Hoya who has both navigated ever-daunting Freshman year and a semester of the virtual environment at Georgetown, I’ve compiled some tricks to help make the best out of this semester. Remember, it will take the efforts of every Hoya everywhere to get through this time together, so we must work to unite as a school.
Hoya Tip 1: Get out and Stay Active
It is easy to spend the entire day on the computer when almost every aspect of our lives is now virtual; I was guilty of this myself last semester. If possible, get up and get active: it doesn’t have to be an intense workout or jog— getting active can be as simple as taking a walk around your home or throughout the room. This is a great way to stretch your muscles and activate your brain so that you’re fresh and focused for the rest of the day. In fact, I recommend getting up and stretching between your classes— especially, if they’re back-to-back. What’s most important is that you take a break from the screen!
Hoya Tip 2: Get Involved!
Because it’s harder to meet new friends in passing on Healy Lawn or in Leo’s, it’s more important than ever to get involved in clubs. Georgetown offers a vast array of activities, so you are guaranteed to find a community that suits you. Everyone is eager to find any source of community, so joining a club will be an excellent way to connect with other Hoyas.
Hoya Tip 3: Log on early
It can be quite daunting to log into Zoom early or go to Office Hours, but I’ve found that it’s definitely worth it to get an extra few minutes before class starts to chat with your professor and other peers before class begins. More now than ever, it’s more difficult to feel that sense of mentorship and connection that naturally comes with the in-person experience. If you take that extra five minutes to chat with your International Relations professor, however, you’ll find that it really does a lot in terms of bonding. Lastly, professors know this is a difficult time, so never be afraid to reach out for extra mentorship or just to chat; this process is new and uneasing to them too.
Hoya Tip 4: Don’t be afraid to reach out!
This is an especially difficult time for every new Hoya: everyone is hoping to make a friend, so sending that text or direct message is well worth it. One of the greatest aspects of Georgetown is the life-long friendships that you’ll foster, so use technology to your advantage to make a Zoom icecream social or game night.
Hoya Tip 5: Take a deep breath. You got this.
Don’t sweat the small stuff— everything will work out. Remember: we are all in this together.
At times, Georgetown will feel so overwhelming that you want to give up, don’t. Classes will get hard, and university life— even virtually— will become difficult at times. Take a deep breath, clear your mind, and put things in perspective. Everything is going to be okay in the end.
Undoubtedly the first year at Georgetown is the most daunting, but I believe it is perhaps the most special year. Although you are entering this special community at an unusual time, there are fantastic professors and fellow students who are eager to build life-long relationships with you. Before you know it, your time here will be over, and you’ll find yourself on new adventures. Georgetown is an incredible place to spend the next few years of your life— and you will get to take advantage of its many perks soon. Make the most out of the uncertain, and remember— Hoya Saxa!