The Georgetown Eras


February 11, 2024

I recently had to write a speech reflecting on my time at Georgetown and I decided to do it in a sort of fun way (or at least, I think it’s fun). I thought it would be a nice idea to share a snippet of that speech on this blog, as it’s very similar to the type of writing that I do here. This snippet was a fun way to reflect on my time at Georgetown and what this school has given me, so I hope you enjoy!

As I share my Georgetown experience, instead of just listing experiences and forcing you to listen to me, I thought I would do it in a fun way. As a huge Taylor Swift fan, I’ve decided to take a leaf out of her book and give a name to each “era” of my time at Georgetown. So here you go, this is the Georgetown Eras Tour – or Eras Speech, Yasmin’s Version.

To start us off, I have to call my first era at Georgetown the “stuck at home” era. Because of Covid, I actually started off my Georgetown experience, not here on the hilltop, but back home in Dubai in my bedroom. My first class of college was not in some impressive Georgetown building, but at my desk in the middle of the night. 

My go to outfit for class was a pair of pajama shorts on the bottom and something a little more formal on the top. Contrary to what you may think, despite being 9 hours ahead of everyone else and seven thousand miles away from campus, I made some great friends and lasting memories that year. There was something very special about that year, as each connection I made felt all the more special because of the work that went into maintaining those relationships from so far away, and I think that’s very unique to the type of people you’ll find at Georgetown. From that year I still remember the weekly hangouts with friends on Zoom, waking up at 4am to go to Econ recitation and looking at my notes the next morning and having no idea what they said, and making my first every midterm season extra painful by getting three of my wisdom teeth removed at one time – would not recommend! It was not the most conventional freshmen year, but it holds a special place in my heart.

The next era of my Georgetown experience is the “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger” era. While that might not sound like a particularly positive name, it was the most impactful era I’ve had here at Georgetown. This era started out with me coming to campus for the first time for my Sophomore year. I remember move-in-day because it’s where I actually met Jack the Bulldog for the first time (which is a sign of good luck). For me, that era was the most impactful because I had just moved to a completely different continent with a new way of life, I was taking more challenging classes, and I had just moved to this campus where there were so many new faces and not that many familiar ones. 

People often gloss over how tricky that first transition to college life can be, but I’m a big advocate for celebrating the struggles that lead us to where we are now. I went through a lot of growth in that era, learning how to take care of myself, prioritize my own needs, pick myself up when I was down, and pursue what I was passionate about. And through each step of that growth, Georgetown was there for me, whether that be through the professors and mentors who helped me believe that I deserved to be here or the resources on campus like the free yoga classes I would go to every week. Georgetown guided me and supported me through that transition period.

That era coincides with the “taking it all in” era. Throughout Sophomore year I took this approach with my Georgetown education of just basically trying to learn a lot and take it all in. For all my classes, I would go to office hours and get to know all my professors. I would do the homework not to just complete it but I would also spend extra time to understand what really was going on and why it’s important. I really made the most of my Georgetown education, realizing how lucky I am to be in this place with these professors and resources.

The next era was a fun one, it was my “finding my home” era. After my Sophomore year I spent the summer before my Junior year living on campus and working an internship. Despite moving in the day before my internship started, having my flight be delayed and missing my move-in time, and having my bags not making it onto the flight – so, basically starting out that summer sleeping on my friend’s floor with absolutely no belongings for a couple of days, that was a summer of some of my favorite Georgetown memories. I lived just outside the front gates and worked an amazing internship which perfectly blended my interests of Business and Social impact, at a company founded by a Georgetown alum! I would spend the evenings sitting out on Healy Lawn reading a book and the weekends exploring all the secret spots on Georgetown’s campus with friends. By the time that summer ended, Georgetown felt more like home than Dubai or London was.

My Junior Year era was my “enjoying the payoff” era. I had spent all that time in Sophomore year learning and putting in the work and it paid of for me and I went into Junior year having my future secured, knowing where I was going to intern the following summer and work after graduation. I really took that year to fulfill all my academic curiosities. I went to a bunch of different speaker events that I knew I’d only be able to go to during my time at Georgetown, on topics from the renewable energy transition to being a “conditional citizen” in America. I took advantage of the mentors I was given here, got coffee and got to know my professors on a personal level, and seized every opportunity I was given. 

Junior year was also my “paying it forward” era. I felt as though Georgetown had given me so much and I was now in a position to give some back. I taught and mentored a new cohort of underclassmen each semester in a pre-professional club I’m a part of, brought in speakers from my internship experience and moderated a panel to share their experiences with the rest of our community, and tried in every way possible to pay it forward. That’s when I knew that Georgetown was a special place to me because I wasn’t unique in that desire; there are so many Hoyas who just love Georgetown so much that they’re willing to mentor and give back to our community here.

And here I am in my final era, I like to call this one the “enjoying the now” era. I’m now a senior and I’ve learned a lot, given back to the community, discovered my passions, been through some trials, and come out on the other side. I’m using this era to do all the things that I know that I won’t be able to do after college when I go out into the real adult world. Those are things like running my first ever marathon with my best friends, where I actually ran right down M Street right here in Georgetown which was a surreal experience. Dancing in Rangila, our South Asian dance showcase which raised $70,000 for charity. And taking up a job at our on-campus daycare for the children of faculty members at Georgetown where I’ve rediscovered the joys of playing hide and seek. 

All of this to say that I’ve taken the classes, passed the exams, been through the tough moments, enjoyed the high moments, cried to friends, screamed with joy to friends about good news, found my passions, felt like I was making a difference in the world, paid it forward, hit some big milestones, and am standing sharing those because of my time at Georgetown.

Writing this speech made me feel oddly emotional; it’s kind of strange going through each year of college systematically and picking out a few things to talk about when there were so many little memories that made up each year. Going back and giving each year an “era” also made me realize just how much has happened in the past four years – I don’t think I’ve given myself enough credit for how much has changed during that period. It was kind of fun to think of the “eras” of the last few years. Perhaps I’ll lean into this idea more and do a future post about the eras of senior year with some fun photos – let me know if you’d be interested.

See you next week,

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