George Washington University Student Association President Nick Gumas sat down with George Washington Today to share his top five tips for a successful academic year.
1. Best study spot? Coffee shop?
The best coffee shop is Bourbon Coffee, located on L Street between 21st and 22nd streets. My favorite study spot is on the steps of the American Red Cross on 17th Street, right next to the Corcoran.
2. Best way to stay on top of schoolwork?
Have a good organizational infrastructure on which to rely. For example, my entire life revolves around iCal and MailBox, an email organization app. It isn’t enough just to have them though; you have to use them consistently!
3. Best way to keep in touch with family?
I actually call my mom quite frequently, but our conversations are usually short check-ins rather than longer conversations. It’s always good to have a familiar voice to talk to who is removed from the university.
4. Best way to get involved on campus?
Go to a student organization that works on issues about which you are passionate and ask how you can help. Or, you can also apply for positions that are open, like I did. During my freshman year, I ran for a spot on the Residence Hall Association’s Thurston Hall Council and applied to be the freshman chair of Allied in Pride, an LGBT student advocacy organization. I also applied to be a freshman senator in the SA. I didn’t get it, which— considering my current position—is kind of funny.
My advice? Don’t get discouraged if you try and fail—just keep trying!
5. Most important thing to remember when kicking off a new semester?
Is “keep calm and carry on” too cliché?
I would encourage students to try to keep everything in perspective. Set some long-term goals for yourself—academically, socially, professionally—and work toward them. It’s the best way to stay focused and keep your attention on the things that really matter.