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The GW Hatchet


The GW Hatchet

Serving the GW Community since 1904

The GW Hatchet

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Lauren French: Remember, the good does outweigh the bad

It is easy to hate GW.

The University can be bureaucratic at its best and uncaring at its worst. Students can be cruelly apathetic and superficial. Professors can be unmotivated to teach and unwilling to listen.

At times, the administration’s priorities and students’ wishes are so innately contradictory it is comical – Gelman Library renovations, pre-September anyone?

I’ve never attended another college, so I don’t know if these are GW-specific problems or just problems with higher education in general. It’s probably a little bit of both.

At this point, I’m sure University President Steven Knapp is preparing an e-mail to me. This type of message – often filled with a well-argued reason as to why the opinions page is, in his opinion, wrong again – fills my inbox whenever a staff editorial irks our president.

But don’t worry President Knapp, you don’t need to hit send – this?time — because the truth is, I really love GW. And that’s the message I want the Class of 2015 to take in.

The George Washington University has flaws. But what doesn’t? For every professor who doesn’t care, there are professors like Myron Belkind, who cares so much it’s inspiring. For every administrator who lies, there are administrators like Dan Small, the director of financial aid, who goes out of his way to be helpful and transparent.

You might find over the next eight semesters that it takes more work to love GW than it does to just complain about it. That is probably true, but I promise you this: If you put in the effort to love this school, the relationship can be one of the best you’ll ever have.

That work likely won’t start for a few months. CI is like the first weeks of a relationship; you’re giddy and charged. You can’t wait to explore and you only wonder for a second whether GW always has perfectly matching, fight song-singing students marching around campus.

The rest of the semester will be harder.

After you stop drinking every night for the first few weeks, you’ll realize you miss your hometown, your home friends and, in my case, my home beach. The newness of the relationship will be gone. Once you’re in the daily grind of complaining about the heat, class registration or whatever campus-wide ire is trendy this fall, you may lose sight of how great GW really is.


If you shut yourself out that early, you’ll probably still enjoy college. It’s not hard to have fun in D.C., but you’ll miss out on a lifelong relationship that can change you for the better.

You may witness a few appalling experiences during your four years, but accept it and move on, because that is what you do in a relationship. You accept your partner’s faults because despite all the bad, there is a lot of good too. And at GW, the good far outweighs the bad.

-The writer, a senior majoring in journalism, is The Hatchet’s editor in chief.

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