Freshman Focus Q&A: Jeffrey Caves enjoys being three blocks from White House

Jeffrey Caves (right) meets other GW freshmen during CI—colonial inauguration—which is equivalent to student orientation. (Photo courtesy of Caves)

Jeffrey Caves, ’13, is attending George Washington University in Washington, D.C.

Q: What’s it like going to school in D.C.?

A: It’s really amazing—the city is absolutely spectacular. We’re three blocks away from the White House, which is obviously what every GW person says, but it is true and it’s pretty awesome. The fact that the campus is integrated with the city really doesn’t bother me at all. For about a six-square-block area, it’s just GW and GW’s buildings. It’s kind of like our own (Country Day) campus. And we have a satellite campus at Mount Vernon, which is like 15 minutes from the city. We take classes there, and that’s like the real campus. There’s a shuttle that takes us there.

Q: What classes are you taking?

A:  Intro to Comparative Politics, Microeconomics, Intro to Portuguese and University Writing, which is a basic required English class. I like Comparative Politics the best. It’s such a really fascinating subject, something I’ve always been interested in.

Q: How’s your dorm? The weather? The food?

A: My dorm is great. I live in Thurston Hall, which is the largest dorm on campus. It houses around 1100 students. It’s a massive freshman dorm—it’s nine stories. The weather so far has been good. It’s humid here, though. It’s also more cloudy here than Sacramento, obviously, but that doesn’t bother me at all. The food isn’t bad. We don’t eat at the cafeteria very much. They just give you a card with your dining money on it, and you can spend it at a number of places. You can spend it at Whole Foods, and there are all kinds of different restaurants. For example, there’s a Chipotle and a deli.

Q: What did you do for orientation?

A: For orientation we had what’s called “welcome week,” in which you move into your dorms. There were lots of meetings with various groups, and that’s when you have an organization fair where you decide what you want to be a member of. It’s just very relaxed—we get used to the campus and they show us around. At George Washington there’s something called CI—”colonial inauguration”— and you go to that in June. That’s like your first orientation and a more traditional one than welcome week: that’s when you go over the university policy, when they give you a tour and when they show you what your college is like. It was very helpful and I had a great time—it was a pretty smooth transition to college.

Q: Are you participating in any extracurricular activities?

A: Yes, I joined the GW Hatchet, which is the college newspaper; the GW College Democrats; and the GW Trails, which is an outdoor activity group where you go camping and water rafting and stuff.

Q: How are you adjusting to the campus?

A: The campus is pretty simple actually because D.C. is a city that’s on a grid pattern. You can look up a class and it’ll be at like 19 and L. So, yeah, it’s pretty easy to find.

Q: What has surprised you about GW?

A: It’s kind of surprising that not having a campus hasn’t bothered me yet—I mean I was worried about it. But that hasn’t been a problem at all.

Q: Do you have any advice for the class of ’14?

A: I applied early decision to GW, so I will say if you find a college that you really like, then you should go early decision because it helped me a lot. Not all colleges do this, but at GW I got priority housing, priority registration and other perks like that. I ended up in the dorm I wanted and on the floor I wanted because I applied early decision.

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