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The GW Hatchet

AN INDEPENDENT STUDENT NEWSPAPER SERVING THE GW COMMUNITY SINCE 1904

The GW Hatchet

Serving the GW Community since 1904

The GW Hatchet

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FRESHFARM workers ratify union agreement
By Max Porter, Contributing News Editor • February 15, 2024

Staff Editorial: To the Class of 2027: Words of welcome and advice.

To the Class of 2027: Welcome to GW.

You’re poised to be the first “post-pandemic” class to enter GW, and, if all goes well, graduate from it in four years. The year 2027 may seem far away, but the clock starts ticking with the first day of the first semester of your first year — classes begin Thursday, in case you haven’t marked it down already.

The incoming classes of the past three years started their college careers with remote learning and face masks, vaccinations and self-isolation. If that was your experience in high school, your first year is shaping up to be the closest thing to normal — variants notwithstanding — since fall 2019. So, now what?

You can take classes with professors at the top of their fields. You can explore a city full of iconic institutions, from grand monuments to hole-in-the-wall establishments. And you can experience what it’s like to live on your own, with all the freedom and responsibility that comes with burgeoning adulthood.

Exciting opportunities await you both on campus and around the District. In this post-pandemic era, you face the challenge of making the most of them.

As incoming first-years new to both college life and D.C., we’re sure you’ve received plenty of advice, like never schedule an 8 a.m. Monday class, “Stand to the right and walk on the left” and so on. We’d like to impart some wisdom of our own.

You’ll hear your fair share of #OnlyAtGW moments — an orientation leader interned for a famous member of Congress or a friend caught a politician in the wild. You might even score a front-row seat to history in the making, from press conferences to presidential inaugurations.

First, don’t feel the need to compare the experiences you’re having to those of your peers, especially when it comes to University-sponsored hashtags. If you’re enjoying what you’re doing, whether you’re shopping for groceries or hanging out with newfound friends, that’s all that matters. You don’t have to do everything on your college bucket list at once, so pace yourself.

Second, did you spot the theme of the aforementioned experiences? GW is in the heart of the nation’s capital, with the White House only a few blocks away from its Foggy Bottom Campus. Our proximity to politics and power may be why you came here, but there’s so much more the District has to offer. By all means, go for that Hillternship. Just remember to explore the D.C. you don’t see on TV.

It can be all too easy to make the Foggy Bottom Campus or the Mount Vernon Campus your home base, shuttling back and forth between class and your residence hall. But you’ll be rewarded if you break out of the Foggy Bottom bubble. Whatever you’re passionate about, from bakeries and bookstores to modern art and musicals, you can find somewhere in D.C. that piques your interest.

Some of the city’s staple attractions, like the Smithsonian museums, are even free, a sure bet to take your parents to during GW Alumni & Families Weekend. And don’t forget to use your U-Pass, which allows you to access the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority’s network of buses and trains.

Speaking of costs, the bounty of activities D.C. offers comes with a price tag. Running out of GWorld before the end of the semester is an all-too-familiar problem. So, be proactive — don’t wait for your dining dollars to dwindle before you make a budget. Make a plan to balance both your finances and your time now.

Finally, know your worth. From time to time, friends will disappoint you and professors will flunk you. When they do — especially when you feel you’re in the right — stand up for yourself. Being able to articulate your needs is a skill worth honing, and it’ll serve you well after you graduate college.

We hope our advice will help you navigate a University that’s undergoing a revolution — we’re not talking about our new moniker, though. The University is changing because of you.

GW is the people who make it: staff, faculty, administrators and, of course, students. From this year on, your voices will join a chorus, ringing out and raising high to cheer at the Smith Center and to protest at Kogan Plaza. What change will you make? What will your legacy be?

On Thursday, start leaving your mark on GW. Make it through your first days, enjoy the weekend and get ready for all the next four years have in store. Graduation is just around the corner.

The editorial board consists of Hatchet staff members and operates separately from the newsroom. This week’s staff editorial was written by Opinions Editor Ethan Benn based on discussions with Contributing Culture Editor Jenna Baer, Editorials Assistant Paige Baratta, Contributing Social Media Director Anaya Bhatt, Contributing Opinions Editor Riley Goodfellow and Social Media Director Ethan Valliath.

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