Second Part of Catherine’s GWU Story

Part 1 is here

Transcription

Kamila
Hey college kids. Welcome back to my podcast. Who cares about college? This is part two of my interview with Katherine. If you have not checked out part one, please go do that. Other than that, subscribe and enjoy

now let’s move on to college life, which is, which seems much more exciting to me than high school life. So, how did you feel when you first arrived on your like, first day to GW? You know, obviously, you’re probably in your dorm already. How did you make friends? Did you? Are you still friends with the people in your dorm and stuff? So how did that all go on your first day?

Katherine
Yeah, I mean, I went into that school only knowing one other person from my high school who I’m not that close with. So I haven’t even seen him really my whole time being at GW. So I kind of went into it blind. I had known one girl that I made friends with, at orientation. And so her and I would hang out, I would hang out some with my roommate. But other than that, you know, it was kind of up to me to make all new friends. And I made some friends with some people on my floor. But I yeah, I didn’t make too many new friends. My freshman year, my sophomore year, I really made a lot more friends. But that first day, I remember sitting in my room with my roommate, and us just talking and being like, Should we meet new people? Can we go out to talk to people who live next to us? Yeah, it was just very much like, just trying your best to socialize and make friends. And, you know, I think this is advice that everyone has to say is don’t expect your best friends or whoever you make on that first month to really last because everything will shift. Of course, there could be a friendship that last but you know, everyone’s getting settled. Everyone’s trying to figure out their place. And nothing will really be that permanent until the end of the year when everything really dies down and you have learned who you’re friends with.

Kamila
Okay, so how did you do the like, dorm situation? So you said you had a dorm mate? Did you choose her? Or were you guys randomly put together by like a GW system?

Katherine
We chose each other. There’s a facebook group page for GW my information and some pictures of myself. And then she reached out to me and she’s like, would you want to run? And then we roomed? Yeah,

Kamila
I see. And are you still friends with her? Do you like see her occasionally? No. Because you are a junior?

Katherine
Yeah, we lived in the same building last year. And so I would like occasionally see her, but honestly, I haven’t seen her as much as I would like.

Kamila
Okay, so I don’t know about you know, any party life at GW. But did you like, you know, try to go out to any social events to meet new people? Or were there like, days and events that GW set up for the students themselves to make friends. So how did you end up making at least a few friends your freshman year?

Katherine
It’s so funny, I made my friends. There’s this day called freshman day of service where all the freshmen are assigned a area and then you just do community service, I went to a Buddhist monk, or like a Buddhist temple to work with Buddhist monks in Maryland. And whatever do I do there? Yeah, you would, you know, make some tapestries and some people clean the yard. It was honestly interesting.

Kamila
But interesting. Yeah. Yeah, it

Katherine
was really interesting. But on my freshman day of service, I met some people there who ended up being some of my closest friends freshman year, but you definitely me. I don’t know. For me at least I met my closest friends by just being people who live on my floor. Like this year. This past year. My sophomore year I made really I became really good friends with my neighbors.

Kamila
Oh, are you living in like an apartment now? Are you not in a dorm anymore?

Katherine
I am in a dorm. Yeah, I was in a dorm freshman sophomore, and I will be next year because GW offers housing all four years. You don’t have to take it after your sophomore year, but you are required to live in a dorm your freshman and sophomore year. So this past year, I lived in a dorm. And I became really good friends with all my neighbors. They were all GW students. And they were most of them were my age. Yeah,

Kamila
I know, GW is not, I guess it’s not as well known as Harvard and stuff. Because you know, Harvard is like, yeah, everyone knows Harvard. But did you find that maybe there’s like an elitist type of feel. Igw Were there ever like a group of rich kids that you may have like kind of felt left out? With because they were, they were I don’t know, they were really rich, they came from parents who are rich. So did you ever feel this difference in financial situation at GW,

Katherine
it’s definitely prominent their cost to attend the universities, very expensive. So you’re gonna have those students who are obviously paying full tuition. And then you’re gonna have the students who are not paying full tuition. And you can tell who is a little bit more on the wealthy side. There’s like a joke that, like Canada Goose jackets telling. But yeah, you can just you can kind of tell, but for me, personally, I didn’t feel any of that kind of pressure. All my friends are on financial aid, or on some sort of scholarship. So,

Kamila
okay, so you didn’t find any, like difficulty in making friends in terms of like, financial situation? Right. Okay. And when I was doing my GW tour, this was like, back in February or March, I think on like, literally the coldest day of the year. But I was doing my GW tour with one of April’s friends, actually, and she was talking about the dining system at GW and I had not heard of this before. I mean, I have not done many college tours. But I had not heard of this before, where GW, instead of giving you like meal swipes, they give you a certain set of money that you can use around the GW campus area with like different restaurants. So did you find that to be a benefit that you could like, make more friends and go out and have fun with them?

Katherine
I honestly really like that system. I prefer it. I don’t understand how other traditional dining halls work swipe systems confused me so much, maybe because I haven’t been exposed to it. But I really like that system. Because, you know, it’s just kind of like having a debit card. Of course, you should manage the money. I know people who have run out of money, that’s not good. You should do your best to manage money. But with the options that are on GE world, you can go to so many different vendors. So they’re ranges from sit down restaurants, if you wanted to go out to a sit down restaurant, to just like Panera, Chipotle fast food restaurants. And with those options, it makes it really nice and easy to just be like, Hey, do you want to go grab something? And you don’t have to worry about whether or not that person can afford it.

Kamila
They already have money. Exactly. That I think that’s a really good system. I heard it and I was like, This is fabulous. Why don’t other people do this, especially if you live in a big city. There’s so many restaurants you want to try out. And so many cuisines. So I think that’s really good. And you had a dining hall right?

Katherine
Um, there’s a dining hall on our second campus, the Mount Vernon campus, I did not live on that campus. So I did not have I did not go to that dining hall. I have not even been to that dining hall. So I know people who have gone they really like it. But I think it’s like 11 or $12 off of ug world to go cuz it’s like all you can eat or something. Yeah, but I think I don’t know if this is true. I heard that they were planning on making the dining hall on the Foggy Bottom campus. I don’t know if that’s going to happen. Because sometimes kids would be like, you know, sometimes I just want dining hall like a dining hall instead of having to choose some sort of vendor. But yeah,

Kamila
when I was at GW, and like, after I finished my tour, we went to this sort of, I have no idea. It was kind of like a cafeteria, our tour guide took us there. And it was kind of so the first floor that we went to it was all food and it wasn’t just you know, dining hall food. I think there was like, also like a Chick fil A on there as well. So is that part of the Foggy Bottom campus? Yeah, I

Katherine
think you’re talking about a district house. It’s a housing unit. And it also has like, it’s like a mall food court kind of setup. Yeah, that’s what it reminded, yeah. That is on campus, most of the buildings that you’ll see, actually, I think all the buildings within a certain parameter are all going to be GW buildings, and they’re all labeled. So and then once you get to more of like the outskirts, you kind of run into other buildings that aren’t GW, but there is a definite area where it’s just GW buildings and like it just is a campus kind of feel.

Kamila
I see. Okay, so how often did you go with your friends to you know, like eat outside the campus and of course you lived in DC so how often did you guys go out to DC and explore?

Katherine
Exploring, I would try to do every weekend. You know, it, whether it would be like going out to a concert with my friends or just walking around Georgetown waterfront, there’s kind of a lot to do. Some people choose to go clubbing or all that I just that’s personally not what I like to do. So I just never did that. I would spend most of my time just trying to explore the city. There’s so much to offer like a hustle much to offer in so many places, I still have yet to go to all of the city. So, yeah, it’s been a long time exploring, I would just because of my financial means I would try not to eat off of G world too often, but for special occasions like birthdays, or if it was some kind of fast food place where the food wasn’t that expensive, then I would, you know, go out with some friends. But yeah.

Kamila
Okay, so How involved was how did you involve DC in your academic experience? Because the two double majors you have art history and creative writing. They’re not like what you would expect DC to be? So did you intern at DC? Or was there like sometimes, you know, the Smithsonian’s are in DC. So did you ever have to go there for class? So how much of DC was part of your academic life?

Katherine
For at least my art history major? Oh, my goodness, DC is amazing. There are so many museums, even outside of the realm of Smithsonian that are so helpful. There’s Dumbarton Oaks, there’s the Phillips Collection. There’s so many. And so my freshman year, I took a class where we went to the National Gallery of Art every week, and we would go and we would look at Dutch art. And we would pick a painting and we write about it. And it was so nice to have that experience. And I’ve gone to the gallery National Gallery several other times for some other classes. I haven’t interned or anything yet, I planned on doing it actually this summer. So that didn’t work out. Yeah. And I’ve, I’ve made my schedule in a way where hopefully, I will be able to do it next year. But we I don’t know if anything’s gonna be open. So I honestly don’t know if I’m

Kamila
able to get an internship. Oh, that sucks.

Katherine
But it’ll, everything will work out. But yeah, and then this past year, I took a class where we were supposed to go to a few, like public parks, and those were closed because of COVID as well. So it’s a really, honestly, DC such a really nice resource for museums. It’s just really unfortunate the situation that has happened because I wasn’t able to do anything.

Kamila
That’s terrible. Oh, my God. Yeah. To hit right, when you were going to do an internship,

Katherine
right? Yeah, right, when I was gonna do that, and then COVID also prevented a lot of my classes from being able to go in person and see museums, it prevented a lot of a lot of times we’ll have guest speakers come to the art history department. Do you have those had to get canceled? A lot of author authors for my creative writing major, a lot of authors will come to campus to do like a book talk, a lot of those had to get cancelled. So I just crossing my fingers that I could at least get a an online internship. I don’t really know internships are going to be difficult.

Kamila
I guess. You do any study abroad?

Katherine
Nope. I study abroad is usually something that most of my friends are planning on doing junior year. So I don’t know if that’ll happen either.

Kamila
Yeah. Okay. Well, let’s go on to a more light topic here. So, you, we talked about your high school rigor and how you balance things. So how did your schedule work out at GW? Did you schedule all your craft classes in the morning? Afternoon? How many classes did you have on average?

Katherine
Yeah, so I take five, I try to take five classes per semester, I think that ends up being about 15 or 16 credits, you have to take at least 12 credits to be a full time student to be considered a full time student. So I take 15 to 16. Just to you know, graduate on time, I’d take 16 credits if it was a science with a lab because those are four credits for some reason by the other classes, three, three credits. And what was your other question? I’m sorry.

Kamila
Oh, yeah. So like basically how did you balance it were all your classes in the morning, the afternoon and stuff like that?

Katherine
Right. Um, my freshman year I tried to do nine o’clock classes. I don’t realize that really is not for me. I’m just because I would just I had a schedule where it was a 9am class and I wasn’t done until three and then I just realized I don’t have time I didn’t make time for to eat. I didn’t make time do this or that. And some people work really well doing that. But just personally it didn’t work out. So how I like to schedule my classes is to have a class short break where I can eat or just you know, recharge and then another class and I tried to start at about 10 Nine it’s not that nine was too early. It was just that I I don’t really eat a lot in the morning just because I’m not hungry. And so I wanted to make sure I would, I would have time to eat before I started my day.

Kamila
Oh wow. Have, you and I are very different. I wake up starving for some reason, and I eat so much already.

Katherine
I don’t know why I just I, I don’t know why I don’t wake up. And I’m not hungry. And then I don’t use anything. And so it was just better for me to get to a point where I could eat and then go to classes.

Kamila
So you said you like kind of spaced your classes out? How do you spend the time between classes? Because I’m sure it’s not like a huge, huge gap, maybe like a couple hours. So how do you like to spend that time,

Katherine
depending on the amount of time between classes ranging from like, 30 minutes to like an hour, two hours, it was like 30 minutes, I would just like, eat. If it was longer, I would do homework for that class. If I had homework, usually I do all my homework the night before. So that wasn’t an issue. But it would just be if I had way too much to do. And then I had to do that. Otherwise, I would either like meet a friend for lunch, if I had enough time, I would just sit in my dorm and take that time to relax for myself. Because you know, your friends are in class, you don’t feel any obligation to see anyone if you don’t have to, because everyone’s trying to be a student first. So if you have that time, I would take it to relax, I would just like watch something on Netflix fairly quickly. And then go to class again, just because it was like a short, nice break.

Kamila
I see. So on average, you seem to have like a pretty nice burnout day where you can relax and also do your academics. So on average, how much homework Do you think you did each day.

Katherine
So a lot of my homework is reading based, which so if it was if it was a novel that I was reading for an English class, I would usually read that when I woke up in the mornings for like an hour before class. Or I would read it right before I go to bed and make sure I had that read lots of times for my writing classes, I would have to do either like an essay or like a story, or read another person story, those don’t take that long takes like an hour to read somebody else’s and edit it. And so I would just do those right after class or right before class. And then for the ones where it was like reading an essay writing an essay, anything like that, I would just do my best to manage my time because sometimes they could be upwards to like reading a 20 page essay. And you have to do it. But you don’t have to do it all in one sitting. So I would do it either like in that break of an hour that I would have, where I would just read like a few pages come back to it. Read a few more at that night. Come back to her eat a few more the next morning. Yeah, it says reading. I don’t feel too pressured to, like have a set. I’m going to do homework from this to this. I really just read whenever I can read.

Kamila
So so when you like kind of feel like you realize that you have time between classes, you’re like, Oh, I might as well get this out of the way. Yeah, I see. Okay. So this is kind of another question related to balancing your college life. Did you get enough sleep for your kids,

Katherine
I make sure I get sleep. I will be in bed between like 10 and 12. And then I will go to bed wake up between like eight and nine.

Kamila
Okay, so you have pretty good amount of yeah, yes, I’m the kind

Katherine
of person I don’t drink or consume any caffeine. So I do like to sleep and make sure I get enough sleep. Or else I generally I just cannot function for the next day. So that’s something that I know I have to do for myself and I do my best to take care of myself in that way.

Kamila
So do you know any like people, whether they’re your friends or not that don’t get enough sleep? Because they have like a lot of work? Or do you think they don’t get enough sleep just because they don’t manage their time correctly.

Katherine
I know honestly, both I know people who are definitely drink final season, studying all the time, all the time just trying to get ready for the next exam. Because sometimes you can have an exam every single day, you can have multiple exams a day, you know, so constant, I know people who are constantly studying and sometimes don’t get enough sleep. I know people who I know this one girl who I don’t think she even sleeps, she’ll sleep from like 1am to five and like that’ll be it. And yeah, that’s just crazy. I know people who just genuinely don’t manage their time well and stay up until, you know, way early in the morning playing video games. And then they’ll see through their classes. So it really is where you have to take initiative to be organized and make sure you’re doing your part in being like being there to be in your classes. Making sure you’re getting enough sleep. It’s just all taking care of yourself.

Kamila
Yeah, so basically you have the ability, like you’re showing us that you have the ability to sleep, have a social life, do well in academics, and just you know, do other stuff that you’re interested in and relax but you just have to manage your time. correctly,

Katherine
you really have to figure out how to manage your time. And I was really fortunate I didn’t work my freshman or sophomore year, I know a lot of people will work. I know a lot of people who are poly sai majors or international fair majors, they will have an internship because they drill them to have an internship or some sort of job, like by the end of your freshman year. So I was just fortunate enough to where I didn’t have to, I saved a lot of money from working in high school, to where I was able to not work. So I’m sure my schedule will change when I get a job which I plan on getting a job. If everything works out. Yeah, I

Kamila
hope everything works out for you.

Katherine
I plan on getting some sort of job or internship. But yeah, that’ll definitely change how I manage my time, but I still think it’s doable to do it all.

Kamila
Couple of things before we end here in high school, do you think that any singular course like not the rigor of the course, but the concepts of the course really helped you in college, because I was interviewing a guy earlier, he goes to Dartmouth. And he was saying one of his classes, I believe it was AP micro economics really helped him just in life in general, like the concepts he learned there, he still applies to classes he has in college today. So were there any special classes that you felt like, oh, this was actually a great use of my time, I’m actually using it. Outside of the classroom in high school,

Katherine
it’s actually kind of crazy. I took IB bio, which is a two year course. And I learned a lot like a lot of about the human body. I also took an anatomy class in high school, which wasn’t it wasn’t like AP or IB or anything, but those two classes combined taught me so much about the human body, and also how to take care of yourself or like any, you know, tell Telling Signs for if there’s an issue, also just how you should eat manage your metabolism. Like just I don’t know, so many really just little things, like tips on exercising tips on this, and that which you wouldn’t necessarily expect from like a bio class, because, you know, cells, but a whole unit where we learned about human physiology, and learning about that human physiology helped me learn how to do things better. And also, I can help tell my friends these things because they didn’t learn that and I in AP Bio, or anything or their regular bio classes? I don’t know. It was weird. Information.

Kamila
Yeah. I mean, it is a two year course. So like you would expect to learn at least something really useful. Yeah. Got two years? Well, yeah. So let’s wrap up here. What do you what advice do you want to give to current high school students, maybe middle school students, if they’re listening? What advice would you give them now? And what advice would you have given to yourself, if you were in high school,

Katherine
the only advice that I would have to say is Don’t stress yourself out too much about it. And don’t put too much pressure on yourself to be like that perfect kid in high school, because you know, that one bad grade isn’t going to hinder you from getting into good college, you have all the potential and all the power to do anything and everything and just don’t feel bad about that one bad grade or not having enough extracurriculars. Don’t compare yourself to other people, because you’re just as valid and just as able to get into any colleges, anybody else

Kamila
would you say just kind of like, calm down, and then find a college that fits you best. So like, not look at what other people are doing. If they’re applying to Harvard, that doesn’t mean you have to apply to Harvard.

Katherine
Definitely. And don’t call it shame yourself. Just because like say you’re going to a state school or something. That’s amazing. And that’s a great step that you’re taking. Just because it’s not Harvard doesn’t mean it’s not a bad choice. Don’t call it shame yourself. Don’t call it shame other people, you know, you’re taking that next step and going to higher education. Like that’s amazing.

Kamila
Okay. Well, that’s very good advice. And I hope a lot of people listen to it, because I don’t think many people understand that they just need to, like chill out a bit, especially in my high school. It’s very competitive, and you’re kind of expected to apply to an IV or something. So,

Katherine
yeah, um, one thing that I have learned about the people that I go to school with is I did a lot more in high school than a lot of my peers did. And it’s just because every everywhere is different, obviously. But there’s so much pressure and all that, but you can get into these schools with having no extracurriculars you can get into the schools, we’re having like bees. I mean, I’m speaking for like GW and like, you know, state schools and stuff, but like you can do it. And don’t feel pressured to be absolutely perfect because nobody is, yeah, don’t set unrealistic pressures or expectations onto yourself. Because, you know, that’ll only stress you out and everything will be fine in the end.

Kamila
Well, thank you very much, Catherine, for coming on to my podcast.

Katherine
Yeah. Thank you for having me.

Kamila
Thank you. I hope a lot of people listen to your last bit of advice, because that’s really valuable. So thank you very much.

Katherine
Yeah, no problem. Okay. Bye. Bye.

Kamila
Thank you so much for listening to part two of my interview with Katherine. I hope you enjoyed it. And make sure to subscribe because next I’ll be releasing an episode with a recent high school graduate. She’ll be attending. Well, hopefully attending Washington University this fall. See you guys then