Thursday, July 5, 2012

A Day in Georgetown

This morning, we visited Georgetown University. Like Duke, the campus was beautiful. However, as you can see from the picture below, I thought Georgetown was going to be very similar to Duke, because of this building's old-fashioned, gothic look. It looks like the castle, Hogwarts, almost straight out of Harry Potter, am I right? But it wasn't. Most of the buildings were modern brick buildings (still nice though). The entire time during the college's presentation and tour, I couldn't help but compare everything to Duke.

I learned quite a bit about Georgetown this morning. There are similarities in comparison to Duke. Georgetown has a medium enrollment of students (a little over 6,000 undergraduates). I think that's a great size, because you get to experience very small classes or a little bigger ones. The average class size here is 26 students--smaller than my high school classes! This university as well has students from all 50 states and at least ONE HUNDRED countries. This tells me Georgetown is very diverse, something that I, of course, really want in a college. Many students also study abroad.

I also learned this morning, however, that there are also many differences at Georgetown compared to Duke. It seems that although Georgetown is a liberal arts school, it has many limitations and requirements, although one could probably feel very free in such a lively urban environment. But in terms of the academics, there are quite a few required courses: 2 English, 2 Theology, and 2 Philosophy. This is not to mention that you must fulfill your applied school's required courses and one's general education. Don't get me wrong, I would be more than happy to take these liberal courses (I'm taking Lived Religion at Vandy). But I feel if this were a liberal arts school, they wouldn't have to give me so many limitations. They also require that you have an interview with an alum in your area. Duke gives you a choice if you want to be interviewed or not. I'm not saying it isn't liberal and that there aren't a lot of choices; it just isn't as liberal as Duke. Georgetown also is in an urban environment, yet it is still somehow secluded from the city. It's hard to explain, but let's just say it's as if walls surround you and protect you from the "danger" of Georgetown, even though the tour guide said it's a very safe town. It's actually very nice, and I'm sorry if it seems as if I'm degrading Georgetown in this post, when it really is an amazing school.

The presentation, although informative, seemed rather dull and rehearsed. The admissions officer didn't really seem to connect with me. Don't get me wrong, he was eloquent but a little too monotone. I guess he did the presentation a little too much this summer. I really didn't need to know facts that I could easily find on Wikipedia.
The tour guide really didn't connect with me either. He spoke very, very fast, and just stated all the facts--even some that we learned from the presentation--which made what some of what he said a little tedious. It was strange, because he had a very powerful voice, but I still couldn't hear him at times. Perhaps I missed some vital tour information; I guess I'll never know. He was personal, but not personal the way I thought it would be. He just pretty much talked about himself, but not really in depth. He said he likes to go backpacking, but how is the backpacking, and where is it at? He also showed us the science department, but he said he didn't really care for it, because he's a psychology major. I think the main problem of the tour was just, again, how fast he spoke and how little time he gave us to ask him a question when he asked, "Any questions?" and two seconds later says, "Okay, let's move on."

Again, I'm sorry if I seem like I really disliked visiting Georgetown, because I really loved it still! Who wouldn't want to have an easy chance to obtain good internships, discussion classes that are personal, a lovely town and a huge city, and a passionate and diverse student community? You see, an east coast school really has to convince me to come, because if I don't think there is something that makes it stand out greatly apart from any other school, then I'd probably rather stay in California. The opportunity for great internships seems like what sets this school apart from the others, but that's honestly not good enough for me. Duke has convinced me to apply there, however. But don't worry, I still might apply to Georgetown. Although perhaps applying here for a graduate degree might be a better choice for me.

Today was extremely hot and humid. Our dinners for the past four days have been pretty late, so when we were scheduled for a 6:30 PM dinner and I come with a dress shirt, slacks, and a tie, I couldn't help but sweat bullets. It's crazy how you start to sweat right when you walk outside over here. With that said, I hoped and hoped that I wasn't sweating too much by the time I met our alumnus and current students of Georgetown. Gladly, I wasn't.

The Peacock Cafe surprised me greatly. I wasn't sure what to expect, because usually when I hear cafe, I think of a more casual restaurant. But this was a fancy one. It wasn't super, five-star fancy, but it was definitely our fanciest dinner so far. I was just a little nervous before the alumnus and students of Georgetown arrived. I just didn't want to cause any awkward silence. But our dinner wasn't even close to awkward, and we shared many laughs across the whole long and rectangular table. I honestly didn't learn a lot more about Georgetown, except for how fun the basketball games are and how strong the sense of community at this school is. I did, however, have many engaging conversations about the Ivy League Connection, our district, and the importance of an education further than a bachelor's degree (because nowadays that's just too common to get a job). It was a good night well spent, and the students and alumnus were very nice, sociable, and intelligent people. I can tell they have and/or will go far in life.

Tomorrow we're taking the train to UPenn, and I'm super excited to see what's in store for this Ivy League School. Goodnight!

1 comment:

  1. This is the third of four blogs on your trip to Georgetown and I’m becoming more depressed by the minute. Just as I sent a congratulatory email to your hosts at Duke, I feel the need to email the admissions people at Georgetown so they can address what you’re all telling us.

    If one of you has a bad impression about a school then there’s something to look into. But if ALL of you are saying the same thing then there’s a real problem.