The following is North alumnus Jude Conrad’s response to our questions about his college decision process, the student life and culture at The George Washington University, and more.
Conrad graduated from North in 2018. He is a part of GW’s class of 2022.
During my junior year, I went on WashSem and I fell in love with D.C. I knew I wanted to go to some kind of city school when I started the application process, but my top city was Washington D.C.
I was accepted to The George Washington University; however, I was unsure about committing due to financial problems. I almost committed to Rutgers, but that changed when I received my financial package from GW. Their financial aid allowed me to attend college in my dream city. Their financial aid made it so that it would cost the same amount as going to Rutgers.
I am super glad I chose GW, I love the city-campus environment and the unique experiences GW provides. Even though GW is in the heart of the nation’s capital, our main campus is all grouped within a couple of blocks, providing a campus vibe to it.
Photo Credit: usnews.com
Freshman year took a little adjusting to because the amount of new independence is overwhelming, but as I joined student organizations on campus, I eventually found my community in GW.
I do sometimes get homesick because WW-P and GW have such different environments. What I miss the most from WW-P is the people. In high school, you know everyone that you run into in the halls; you can recognize them and say hi in between classes. In college, you don’t really see the same people over and over again because of the sheer size of the campus, student body, and diversity of schedules. Seeing the same people in the halls made it easier to hang out with each other, as you can just talk in the halls, whereas in college, you’d have to reach out to most friends to make plans. Oh, I also miss driving a lot.
My favorite things about GW are the unique experiences and culture you encounter while on campus. GW is one of the most politically active universities in the nation and that really reflects in everyday life—in that there is always something going on around campus, whether that be a conservative, pro-life organization running a protest on campus, or student activists rallying to express support to divest GW from fossil fuel companies.
Photo Credit: undergraduate.admissions.gwu.edu
But this atmosphere is also the hardest part of attending GW. Sometimes you just want to relax on campus and not think about whatever is going on in the world, but there are always activists, organizations, and students discussing and debating about the most current world events.
The culture at GW is inspiring! GW students all have their eyes set on something for their future, whether that be becoming a top U.S. Senator, or running a successful tech start-up. It is similar to WW-P’s culture in that everyone has big goals set for themselves. However, GW’s culture is much better in that you get to decide how you want to achieve your goals. D.C. is the best city in the nation for internships and gaining professional experience; students have the opportunity to intern for Amazon, Deloitte, or even for their congressman or Senator on the Hill.
Students at GW also focus on mental health and take it seriously, encouraging each other to take study breaks or help vent out stress.