The idea of going to school in the nation's capital is very appealing. GW provides great access to all that DC has to offer - it is, after all, only a few blocks from the White House.
My question, though, is does having that city access sever all bonds with fellow classmates? I'm aware that GW is an urban campus, and I don't know what to think about that. I mean, is it just a bunch of random buildings in the same part of town that say "GWU" on them; or are there campus areas where school spirit is celebrated, students come together, etc...
Everyone has always told me that college is the place where you make the friendships that will last a lifetime. Is that, however, increasingly difficult in a setting such as GW.
Please don't see this post as a bash - because it is not. It may sound a bit harsh, but GW is a school that I'm considering, and I'm just trying to be informed. Thanks in advance.
I do not see how a city campus can sever all bonds with anyone.. If anything the campus may help you see who your classmates truly are. I prefer a city campus because its much more enjoyable, at least to me, coming from NY!.. I can't see myself spending time with others and enjoying it unless its in a place where theres some activity.
As for school spirit, I'm pretty sure we can always find a random street corner to yell.. "GO COLONIALS!"
I go to GW, and I have many conflicting viewpoints on how to answer your question.
Ok, GWU is located in the best city(IMO) in the United States. There is no other city like it, or even comparable to it. There's so much to do in downtown DC, but this is literally the center of the United States, with all the embassies, the supreme court, the capitol, the many museums and art, the white house, and a plethora of journalism opportunities(especially political communications). The downside to these opportunities GW offers is that many students spend time utilizing the city and its offerings, leaving the GW campus.
However, the campus is still spirited, and the Smith Center is often packed for B-ball games(they are SO much fun and I am not even into that stuff). There's monuments throughout campus(the hippo, clock-tower, and small park areas). You can always find students at the gym, the library, at The Inaugural Ball(can't wait!!!!), greek events, community service events, and club meetings. The habitat for Humanity organization at GW is really popular, and I really enjoy it.
For the most part, GW students are proud to be here, and comprise a great campus community. GW is extremely unique, and don't expect a traditional college experience. GW school spirit is big, and GW students are passionate about improving the city and the school itself through community service. The Mt. Vernon Campus is home to the nice(college brochure-looking) pictures of student's playing soccer and sitting in park benches. Foggy Bottom is different, but I like that aspect.
The Hippodrome(hence hippodrome123's name) is a place where lots of students go and hang/have fun. I go there all the time to go bowling=).There's a food court called J street with really yummy food. Lisner Auditorium is home to the Dimock Gallery of Art.
i go to GW, and i'll try to respond to your concerns as thoroughly as i can.
"The idea of going to school in the nation's capital is very appealing. GW provides great access to all that DC has to offer - it is, after all, only a few blocks from the White House."
This was the primary attraction for me to choose GW, which I chose over a prestigious liberal arts school. In my opinion, GW has a great advantage over all the other DC schools such as American and Georgetown in location. The embassies, Capitol Hill, and all sorts of internship opportunities are most readily available around the GW campus.
However, contrary to your concern, this does not at all (in my experience) affect the so-called college experience. I had 2 jobs over fall semester, yet I made friends with a close circle (something very important to have at a larger city school) who I hang, eat, and go out with. These people I've met in my dorm rather than through classes, although a lot of people also meet friends through classes and clubs as well.
Yes, GW is an urban campus, but MUCH less so than a school like NYU. NYU is sprawled out over the city, but GW is located strictly in Foggy Bottom, a residential area in DC. The campus is very insulated and bordered by major streets which signify the borders of the campus. Thus, you KNOW whether you're on GW territory or not, it is very clear just by looking around, as GW students are always out and about within campus and GW signs are plastered over every building and street corner.
The key is to make friends in the beginning- you've got to be really friendly the moment you move in. From there on, there shouldn't be any trouble in making friends- everyone loves meeting new people. Feel free to ask if you have more GW specific questions.