GW2024 - Horribly disappointed

Several months ago, I committed to GW after a pretty long application process. Not my first choice by any means, I picked the school as someone dead set on living in DC and getting involved with the political realm.

So yes while closed, I have moved to the Foggy Bottom area on my own anyway to try to get that “living on your own” experience. Allegedly many other students are doing the same and I expected to find some social experience.

Unfortunately I’ve founded myself pretty disappointed. The university has became an embarassment with scandals all over the news. The online support from the university and our classes have been rough. It really seems like they did little to prepare for online. I have also found the urban campus to not be as suitable as I expected and that I am missing a lot of that “traditional experience” people fall in love with (big open greens, quite areas, safety, etc).

What would people recommend to do at this point in time (with COVID and all) to build up a decent transfer application? I’m very unsatisfied with the quality of the school, don’t think I really want to be funneled into a career path like Elliott is trying to do, and am almost certain Leblanc will keep us closed this Spring.

Didn’t that “long application process” include tours (or virtual tours) and info sessions? That should have made it obvious you were going to be in a city environment. Admittedly that can be overwhelming - as can dealing with the pandemic, but sufficient research would have told you what you were getting yourself into.

Transferring is certainly an option. If being in Washington, DC is still important to you, head over to American, Howard (a HBC), or Catholic University on a weekend to walk those campuses (they have more of a campus feel). I am guessing you already tried applying to Georgetown?

“Bloom where you are planted” certainly applies here, especially if you are stuck in a lease. Make the best of things. Focus on doing well in your classes as a strong transcript is necessary for a successful transfer. Very few colleges, even those doing “all they can”, are able to live up to every student’s expectations during the pandemic.

Well, that was your first mistake, esp during Covid! First thing is to see if you can improve your living situation. Are you in 1 bdr apt by yourself? Can you find a way to change your housing for the spring? Being in a pod is a much happier experience.“Living on your own” in a new town is over-rated even when the world isn’t virtual.

That part is bad, and especially tough b/c of the relentless coverage that will be going on for a while. But it will pass, and the core pluses of GWU haven’t changed.

I get that- but more (I’ll bet most) schools are having a rough go of it than not- right up to the top of the food chain.

This is where GWU really is genuinely strong: work the internship angle. GWU punches way above its weight here (it’s better than Gtown, at this), but you have to advocate for yourself. Any sort of political or politics adjacent field emphasizes internships. They are out there- most of them virtual right now, but being local is still and advantage for many of them. Put your back into talking to everybody there (including profs), figuring out which sites are useful for your areas of interest. You should aim to have a good internship starting in January. ( Also make sure that you take responsibility for keeping your grades high- even if you think it’s unfair that you have to do so much of it yourself!).

If you had to ‘settle’ for GW b/c the admissions powers that be were not kind to you in April, and you still hope to trade ‘up’, you will have to show that you can deliver at the college level (most likely by applying for a transfer as a Junior, as you will only have 1 semester of college to augment your HS record). So, determine that you will show what you can do.

@Groundwork2022 Yes I know. I was very convinced during the application process that I liked the city (easy access to things, that urban dynamic, constant activity, etc) but have found from living here that it’s too much for me. I enjoy it in the small doses I usually have, but being a resident is different. You live and learn I suppose. I completely agree with you on those things. I don’t think the other DC schools are what I want either though. I toured them & they are still partially urban and less traditional in what they offer.

@collegemom3717 I am in no way trying to pull an “upgrade”. Right now I think I’d genuinely be comfortable with a large state school or anything in a more stereotypical college environment. I am working in the internship thing, but I really have not found this “strength” of GWU to be as true as people claim. I’ve used many platforms to seek connections and applied to lots of internships with no luck. My guess is the reality at the end of the day is they are going to insiders (people who’s daddy can make a call) or students with far higher qualifications (already graduated, etc.)

You’re a talented person. Someone there will benefit from your help. If you haven’t, check out student volunteer opportunities. Developing Soft skills, connecting with others over community service, can give you some purpose and satisfaction.

You may want to try and transfer to University of Maryland College Park. It is in the DC area and only a subway ride away. It has more of the traditional college feel.

One possibility is that less hiring is going on for internships at the moment. The DC think tank that S was interning at (virtually) over the summer extended his internship until the end of the year because some fellows didn’t want to go to the trouble of finding and training new interns while the work remained virtual. And there have been budget cuts due to lower donations which potentially impacts staffing levels.

I would never refute the objective fact that you’re just not happy right now and I’m sorry you’re so disappointed, but I think you have to really internalize the time that you’ve entered GW. For the internship thing, MANY places are not hiring right now and that’s why you’re probably not hearing back from a ton of places, especially since you’re a new freshman and places are being more selective. I’m a senior with a good amount of experience and solid grades and only heard back from a single internship this past summer, which I took, mainly because so many places cancelled their programs or hired way fewer students, or found that a remote internship wasn’t feasible for them. It’s incredibly frustrating but not GW’s fault, and in a normal semester I have no problem utilizing the school’s resources to find a ton of opportunities.

Elliott doesn’t put you on any specific career path, so I think that’s just a misconception. Sure there are career paths that are very common in Elliott but students are doing all types of things - IA is a massive field and there are a billion things you can do with it, and to me GW has given me the tools to go get anything I want, I just have to fight for it.

On being in the city, if you move somewhere new and know no one, obviously you’re not going to have a good experience. Normally the campus is bustling, you’d be joining orgs and making new friends and having a pretty vibrant life. That simply isn’t happening right now and it does really stink.

On the scandals, there’s nothing I can say - it sucks. Our PR recently has been only negative. But most of the faculty I have are wonderful, attentive, and well-connected.

Again, I’m so sorry for your negative experience and it sounds like you should in fact transfer, but most of your gripes with the school seem to be because of the times or because your only experience here has forcibly been online. Most of GW’s strengths are dampened by the virtual semester, but they are real strengths that I hope you’ll be able to experience soon. I wish you the best of luck!