Tips From A Graduating Senior

By Hayley Haldeman

Hey there everyone! This post won’t be the most Elliott-related, but hopefully it will be just as helpful than some of the more germane entries. I’m graduating in a week, and, as I was walking around campus today running errands, I thought of a few of the practical tips about GW that I’ve picked up in the last few semesters. None of them are life changing, and they are all little things.  Some of you probably learned all of these at Colonial Inauguration; others may know of none of them.  So here goes . . .

1. Need a GW Phone Number?

Call 202-994-1000. It’s my favorite number in the world. It’s the operator at GW (I’m sure there’s some actual, official title), and they will connect you to whatever office you need. If you’re on your way to class and need to check up on details for your student org event, the lost and found, the hours of Student Health, etc… just call and get transferred. Especially for us non-BlackBerry folks, this is a lifesaver.

2. Gelman Library Printers

Probably the most intelligent I ever felt at GW was when I realized that the computer you print at on the first floor is NOT connected to the printer closest to it with the assigned number. Especially during finals, I’ve seen two or three people lined up at one printer waiting to print when other printers are open. Your document will show up in the queue at any computer, I promise.

3. GW A – Z

This is something I overlooked, and felt pretty silly when a friend pointed it out last year. Ever have trouble navigating gwu.edu and can’t find what you need? On the top right corner of the home page is a box titled GW A – Z. The list all the main departments and topics you would ever need at GW in alphabetical order. You’re probably smirking, but I can’t tell you how many times it has come in handy.

4. Elliott School Elevators

I figure I should throw in something about the Elliott School.  Okay, so I am in a longstanding debate over the Elliott School elevators — i.e. whether to take the two “student” elevators to floors 1-3, or the fancy deluxe set. Freshman year, it seems everyone is scared of the latter. Maybe it’s the whole encased by glass doors thing. . .  either way, by sophomore year, those same students clomp in and out, perhaps to feel that they’re empowered by their second year of university life.  I too fell prey to the trappings of superiority. Junior year I ran a highly unscientific study with my cell phone stopwatch to see which was actually faster in terms of wait and ride; “student” won 9/10. So, in summary, don’t be silly. Embrace your student status. Or take the stairs.

5. D.C. Street Addresses

Okay, so most people get this down by sophomore year, but until that time, it’s so confusing. Obviously, an address like 1957 E Street means that the building will be near the intersection of 19th Street and E Street.  However, what about an address like 350 24th Street? I would usually just pray any address I was going to would be on a lettered street, and avoid the double number confusion.

Here’s the actual trick: the first number (350, in this case) refers to the letter in the alphabet which has that number placement – i.e. 350 means the 3rd letter of the alphabet.  Keep in mind that there is no J Street (so I is the 9th letter and K is the 10th). Thus, 350 24th Street would be about halfway down the block from the intersection of C (3rd letter) and 24th Street. You can look like an idiot counting out numbers on your fingers, but it’s a lifesaver!

Hayley is a senior in the Elliott School, double concentrating in Europe and Conflict & Security and double minoring in History and Art History. She will be attending the University of Virginia Law School in Fall 2009 to study International Law.

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