by Alice Byrd
1) Orientation Week
It will be the most uncomfortable week of your life, if you’re an introvert like me. However, it is also the most exciting week of your life! Three staples of GWU Orientation Week are Bulldog Madness, the Think Fast Game Show, and Lip Sync. These events are designed to get you out of your comfort zone – and believe me, it works! The fun frenzy that is Bulldog Madness, the team competition in Think Fast, or lip-synching a pop mashup in front of the entire school with your new best friends makes college seem WAY less scary than it is. I can proudly say that my group’s performance of “White and Nerdy” won us third place my freshman year.
2) University 111
When you get on campus, you are put into a group of freshman for a “college 101” class called University 111. These people will become your best friends – I speak from experience! Your University 111 Professor is your guiding light through what can be, at times, a difficult first semester. My professor invited our entire class over to his house for dinner one evening and it was absolutely delicious. A major advantage of going to a small school like GWU is that the classes are small and the professors care about you.
3) Homecoming, Winter Formal, Spring Formal, etc. (Em, Am, & I at winter formal)
Your first college dance(s) are the most fun you will ever have in semi-formal attire. I don’t know about you, but I always thought high school dances were lame. The food sucked, nobody danced, and I always got stood up by my date. At GWU, it is a totally different story. The food is always delicious, everyone dances till dawn, and my friends have never stood me up. Dances like homecoming, winter and spring formal are the best stress relievers after weeks of classes!
4) Getting Involved in Clubs (HSA shirt pic)
GWU has all kinds of awesome clubs and organizations to join. A defining part of my Freshman experience was my involvement with the Honors Association on campus, and I don’t know what I would have done without it. We went on countless trips – whether they were to a restaurant for TSD’s (Try Something Different!), up to the mountains for Big Sweep, or to St. Augustine on Spring Retreat, I always knew it would be a great time. During Orientation Week, the school puts on a “Connect Fair,” where churches, organizations, and clubs on campus and in the community set up booths. Not only do you get lots of free things, but you also get the opportunity to get involved with people and places you might not have otherwise.
5) Living in The Dorms (Snoopy Door)
Bear with me here. Dorm life often gets a reputation for being crowded, dirty, and loud, but that is so not the case at GWU. I have lived in two different buildings in my three semesters here and loved them both. All the dorms on campus have their own unique charm – so you have plenty of options to find your home! Between door decorating contests, hall programs, and living with your best friends – dorm life is essential to the Freshman experience. It is my firm belief that the best friendships are made over cookies in the communal kitchen at 2 a.m.
Alice Byrd: Sophomore. Communications Major. Asheville, NC. Proud Student Recruitment Ambassador!