Last Thursday, Georgetown alumni who graduated this year were invited to come for an event called Welcome to the Neighborhood. The event took place at Mission restaurant in Dupont Circle.
This was my first time at an alumni event. Ever. What I thought was that the event was pretty crowded, so I didn’t stay long, but I got to see what kind of people showed up.
I spoke with two young women – one of them is working as a nurse at Georgetown University Hospital while the other person is working at a nonprofit organization. What broke the ice is that the nurse looked like someone I knew from when I did improv at Georgetown University – the organization is called GUerilla Improv. It turned out that this alumna had gotten the comment that she looks like Lexie Hoeglmeier, that young woman I am referring to, who, coincidentally enough, also graduated this year.
As I was leaving, I noticed a few things. One thing is how kind Georgetown University alumni can be, which reminded me of the first Georgetown lecture I attended soon after I submitted my application for graduate school in Journalism because I noticed a lot of warmth in the university and the surrounding area as I walked home from the event. As stressful as graduate school can be, coming out on the other side reminded me that this kindness is a lasting trademark of the university and nearby communities.
The other thing I noticed was how professional and on point people representing Georgetown University are. As I left the restaurant, the people who checked me in made a point to say goodbye to me in some form. This attention to detail reminded me of the level of detail the Program Director had on me, which came from paying attention to me, both in my application and in person, all of which came out after I found out I was accepted into the program, but before I made my decision on which graduate program to choose to enroll in.
In a sense, the alumni event served as a reminder of the neighborhood that I can call a home. Before attending Georgetown University, I rarely went to the neighborhood, so being a student offered an educational opportunity to learn about the different things going on there. As a lover of cafés, Saxbys, the Midnight Mug and Uncommon Grounds are favorite places of mine. I also like going to Bridge Street Books and The Lantern. Going to St. John’s Episcopal Church is also a regular habit for me – sometimes, I will use the opportunity to look at Crumbs & Whiskers through a window. I also have fallen in love with Wingo’s food and enjoy eating at Undraa’s Café.
As the memories form a collection in my mind, I want to express my gratitude for the neighborhood playing a role in my formation and growth, but I know it has much to teach me still.