New Student Guide 2022

Advice from The Hoya’s Board of Editors

The Hoya’s Board of Editors is made up of second-, third- and fourth-year students excited to pass along their wisdom and advice to all you incoming first-year students. From advice on navigating your courses to our favorite things to do in Washington, D.C., we hope these nuggets of wisdom help you along during your first year on the Hilltop!

Good luck,

Board of Editors (Fall 2022)

Managing College Academics

“Go to office hours (and not just the week before finals)! It pays off to create a relationship with your professors and TAs at the start of the semester.”

Laetitia Haddad (SFS ’24) 

“For me, switching up study spots is one of the best ways to ensure I stay focused and sane. Try out different spots (even if that just means a new floor on Lau or a new table in Leavey!).”

Naomi Greenberg (COL ’24) 

“Make sure you keep up with your readings in class! Allowing yourself to fall behind too much in your textbook is a surefire way to ensure you won’t catch up in time for exams. I always feel like I am able to better understand a professor’s lecture if I already have some background from reading, and it allows me to think I know more than my classmates (even when I actually don’t!)”

Eli Kales (COL ’24) 

Our Favorite Professors

“Try to take a class with Professor Elizabeth Grimm! She’s an incredible lecturer, the readings she assigns are always interesting, and she really cares about her students.” 

Adora Zheng (SFS ’25)

“I absolutely loved Professor Min-Ah Cho’s Problem of God class! The sweetest person to talk to and very interesting discussion topics. Also, her cat is adorable.”

Erica Kim (SFS ’24)

“I highly recommend any class taught by Professor Joseph Hartman! He explains complex topics in an extremely understandable way and is always open to offering academic and professional advice in office hours!”

Rushil Vashee (SFS ’25)

“I cannot recommend Professor Alice Sandosharaj enough. Her writing classes are incredibly informative and she cares for her students so much. Definitely take one of her classes!”

John O’Connor (COL ‘23)

“I can’t speak highly enough of any class with Professor Libbie Rifkin! Her thought-provoking discussions, extremely interesting readings and commitment to accessibility make her classes an enriching experience for anyone who takes them.” 

Jared Carmeli (COL ’24)

Navigating Work-life Balance

“Definitely make sure you’re using some sort of planner. Between your classes and clubs and other events, you’ll constantly be bombarded with things to do, and keeping them all in your head eventually becomes impossible. You’ve got a few different options to use, whether a physical planning book, Google Calendar, or even the Reminders app on your phone — whatever works for you.”

Ishaan Rai (SFS ’23)

“Make time for hobbies and other activities that you enjoy doing! Particularly as school inevitably gets stressful with exams, papers, etc., it’s important to build time into your schedule devoted to things that will help you destress.”

Jared Carmeli (COL ’24)

“Look at the bigger picture. The experiences you accumulate help tell the story of who you are, so take some time to reflect every few months about where you want to go and how you can achieve that. This applies to every aspect of your college life, from classes, clubs, and internships to hobbies and friendships.”

Noa Bronicki (COL ’23)

Exploring Washington, D.C. 

“Make the most of The Kennedy Center, a premier venue for the performing arts located only 1.5 miles from campus. Sign up for MyTix and tickets at a student discount to see a variety of shows and performances!”

Laetitia Haddad (SFS ’24) 

“The waterfront is a runner’s best friend! A 30-minute jog by the Potomac lets you see Georgetown, the Kennedy Center, and the heart of D.C. It is especially beautiful during the cherry blossom season.”

Tim Goh (SFS ’25)  

“My favorite spot in D.C. is the National Cathedral — it’s just far enough from campus to feel like you’re escaping the Georgetown bubble while also being within walking distance (although be sure to wear your tennis shoes since you’re walking uphill). Planning a picnic outside the Cathedral is perfect for when the weather’s still nice out and you want to enjoy the sunset with friends.”

Eli Kales (COL ’24) 

“Spend a day at Old Town Alexandria! Super suburban, small-town feel with cute cafes/brunch spots. You can even take the water taxi or city cruise to the Wharf, National Harbor, Georgetown, or Nationals Stadium!”

Erica Kim (SFS ’24)

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