Should I Go To George Washington University?

The tutors behind Varsity Tutors are not just here to teach—they’re sharing their college experiences as well. Alyson is a Miami tutor and 2012 graduate of George Washington University. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in psychology and tutors several subjects, including psychology tutoring, reading tutoring, and science tutoring. Check out what Alyson had to say about her time at George Washington University:

Describe the campus setting and transportation options.

Alyson: George Washington University is a great school for a balance between college and city life. The campus is located right in the heart of Washington, D.C., just blocks from the White House, Georgetown, and endless points of entertainment. Because of its proximity to such high profile locations, it is extremely safe. During the presidential inauguration, there was a Secret Service member standing at every corner (and being late to class because the presidential motorcade drove by is a valid excuse).

The campus has its own metro stop, and Washington, D.C. public transportation can’t be beat. If the metro or bus won’t get you there, there’s a $5.00 taxi waiting to be hailed. I lived there for four years, and never once needed a car.

How available are the professors, academic advisers, and teaching assistants at George Washington University?

Alyson: I never had a problem meeting with my professors, TAs, or academic advisers. They were always available during office hours, and if that didn’t work, then I could simply email them and find another time.

How would you describe the dorm life—rooms, dining options, location, socialization opportunities with other students?

Alyson: The dorms at George Washington University are amazing. I lived in them all four years and loved it. George Washington University doesn’t have a meal plan, so most of the dorms have kitchens and are pretty spacious. The freshman dorm Thurston Hall also has a cleaning service that will come and clean your room twice a week. Not bad!

Which majors/programs are best represented and supported?

Alyson: I would say that the best supported schools at George Washington University are the Elliott School of International Affairs, the School of Business, and the School of Media and Public Affairs. The liberal arts school is great as well, but since the majority of the student body goes that route, it means the advisers are not as helpful. Personally, I majored in psychology and never had a problem with support, though I would have liked better advisers, as it wasn’t until my senior year that I realized I could have taken on another major or an extra semester abroad.  

How easy or difficult was it for you to meet people and make friends as a freshman? Does Greek life play a significant role in the campus social life?

Alyson: Making friends is easy if you get involved. George Washington University has chances year-round for students to join clubs, internships, and volunteer opportunities. I was personally involved in Greek life, and it’s a great way to make friends and have experiences you wouldn’t otherwise have, but I wouldn’t say it’s necessary to a good social life at George Washington University. The George Washington University crowd is definitely work hard, play hard, but if that’s your thing, nowhere else can beat it.

How helpful is the Career Center and other student support services at George Washington University?

Alyson: The career center is great for helping students find work-study placements. They will also help you with free resume editing and interview prep.

How are the various study areas such as libraries, the student union, and dorm lounges?

Alyson: These areas are all great places to study. They only really get crowded around midterm and finals season, but George Washington University has an online booking system that allows you to reserve study rooms for however long you need during those weeks, so you always know you have a place to go.

Describe the surrounding town at George Washington University.

Alyson: There are few places in the world that beat going to school in Washington, D.C. You can feel the energy of the city all around you. Not only is everyone smart and informed, but it’s also incredibly tourist friendly, which means there is always something to do. Concerts, nightlife, restaurants, farmer’s markets, you name it. And when you need a break from the city, just hop on the metro, and venture into Virginia or Maryland to get your fix of the country.  

How big or small is the student body? Were you generally pleased or displeased with the typical class sizes?

Alyson: For me, George Washington University was the perfect size. It is a medium sized school, so the student body is small enough that you recognize most faces, but large enough that you are able to meet someone new all the time. And if you need to make it smaller, joining a club or getting involved on campus is a great way to find your “core” group. Students at George Washington University tend to be very social.

Describe one memorable experience with a professor and/or class. Perhaps one you loved the most or one you regret the most.

Alyson: One of the best classes I took was my Israeli Media class. The class was entirely in Hebrew, but we were able to have conversations and debates about politics in the Middle East, and to view Israeli media through many different lenses. It was a small class of maybe 10 people at best, so we really got to know each other and to dive deep into our opinions and feelings on the conflict in Israel.

Check out Alyson’s tutoring profile.

The views expressed in this article do not necessarily represent the views of Varsity Tutors.