A beginner’s guide to GC


Abigayle Allen, Opinion Editor

Welcome to GC! Whether you are a freshman, upperclassman or transfer – you might have found that your college experience is shaping out differently than you previously expected. You may not have pictured climbing hills or circling parking lots looking for a spot to park, just to show up sweating on your first day of class anyways. 

Regardless, GC proves to be (in my humble opinion) one of the best schools Georgia has to offer, but with that, comes unexpected obstacles. These are the things I have learned during my time spent at GC. 

Do not drive to class.

As I am sure you noticed upon move in day, GC has a major parking crisis. You are lucky to find a spot in your residential areas, much less on campus itself. GC offers the  of smaller class sizes that many students find helpful when completing their studies. Unfortunately, with a smaller university, comes less parking. Of course, there are commuter students with lots designated for these students specifically. There are also students that live off campus, with the luxury (if you’d like to call it that) of buses that take you to and from campus. I found myself circling campus looking for a spot, only to be late to class anyways. Set your alarm, walk to class and ensure there are spots left for students that do not have the option of walking or provided transportation.

Let’s talk about the hills.

With it being the midpoint of the semester, I am sure you’ve noticed the hills that surround this campus. While GC is not very large in size, running up and down these hills to get to class or the other amenities on campus can leave students out of breath and drenched in sweat upon arrival. Luckily, you won’t need a gym membership to get a good workout in. With that being said, showing up to class covered in sweat, smelling like BO or out of breath can prove utterly embarrassing. While this was a shock to me freshman year, I learned to wear breathable clothes, pack a stick of deodorant and make sure to have my water bottle on hand to stay hydrated. However, you can take comfort in the fact that all students walking to class are in the same boat when it comes to sweating and breathlessness from marching up our mountainous hills. 

You do not have to follow the rulebook when it comes to working hard vs. playing hard.

When going through orientation when committing to GC, you learn all about the downtown scene and the safety procedures following it. If you were anything like me as a freshman, you tuned out the rules and heard only that you were allowed into bars at the age of 18. While this was exciting to me, I found out really quickly that while the downtown scene was popular among students, professors took classes and grading really seriously and the reputation of going out proved daunting. Do not let this reputation scare you. You are allowed to set limits for yourself – this school can be whatever you want it to be! While the pressures of having a social life seem all the rage as a freshman, that does not mean you have to participate in going downtown. The pressures of class can be completely draining, and it is important to find a good routine and a balance between social interactions and succeeding in your courses. Trust your gut and do what feels best for you!

Make a medicine cabinet.

Regardless of what vaccinations you receive or probiotics you take – you will get sick, especially while living in the dorms. There are many rumors that this sickness has to do with the shared air vents running through your dorm rooms. While I am unsure of the facts behind this statement, it was proven true for myself and my friend’s freshman year of college. Whether this is from forming a new routine, exhausting yourself with activities or just being exposed to a plethora of different people with different germs, this is sadly just a part of college. Before the temperatures begin dropping, now is a great time to begin stockpiling cold medicine to combat the sickness before it hits you. Begin filling your cabinet with your typical sinus medications, Advil, or whatever your go-to medications may be. This will save you the trip when the inevitable sickness comes out to play. 

As you have come to find out, GC has many challenges that may come as a shock to you. However, learning to adapt to change is one of the best parts about college. Soon, everything will begin to feel normal to you. As a fourth-year student, these are the challenges I found most prevalent, and these are the tips I wish students would tell me before beginning my college journey. With change comes obstacles and it is with adapting to change that can make your GC experience so great!