January 16, 2024
Welcome back from what I hope was a restful and well-read break.
This is going to be a nutty spring both on- and off-campus. We have our typical (and growing) line-up of only at GW events. Many of you are thinking about graduation and what comes next, and of course the rest of the world continues to do what the rest of the world is doing. It’s a lot.
Here are few tips to make the spring a bit more manageable:
Read your syllabi closely. Talk to your professors early about potential conflicts or challenges. Ask clarifying questions. Put important deadlines in your calendar. Then try to pace your work so you’re not trying to do everything at once at the end.
Keep track of SMPA events. Put them all in your calendar, and come to the ones you find most interesting. We have already lined up three panels with Campaigns & Elections and a conversation about increasing public trust in health with the commissioner of the US Food and Drug Administration (my old boss). We are working on a job fair, brown-bags, and more. Our speakers come to SMPA because they want to talk to you, and they want to hear from you. These are opportunities your friends at schools not named GW often don’t get. Take advantage of them.
Go to office hours and get to know your professors. We’re here because of and for you. We want to help you succeed in class and in your careers, and we also tend to like you. Drop by and chat.
Take a breath. SMPA can be a lot, and a lot of what’s going on off campus can feel overwhelming. One way to keep from drowning in the everythingness of it all is to go for a walk, study at the Vern for a change, write a paper in the atrium of the National Portrait Gallery and the Museum of American Art (and check out the art while you’re there), go to a Washington Spirit or DC United game. One way to stay sane and succeed at GW is to get out of Foggy Bottom once in a while.
Finally, know that SMPA is here for you. Your classmates, professors, advisors, and our team have your back. Ask for help if you need it, offer help if you see someone who could use it.
Onward in the spring.