Thursday, August 1, 2013

You were a GW student in the 1980s/1990s if you...

Buzzfeed recently ran a post entitled 28 Signs You Went to George Washington University. Some of them were eerily familiar, but many of the items on the list were less applicable to those of us who graduated (ahem) 20 or so years ago.

After hearing comments from some friends (and fellow GW alums), I thought I'd assemble my own list of experiences which made being a GW Colonial unique:

Signs you were a George Washington University student in the 1980s/1990s:
  1. At least part of your decision to go to GW was influenced by the fact that there was a Tower Records on campus.

  2. You ended the night's festivities—no matter what time it was—with a visit to Manoush's hot dog cart.

  3. You remember when Frat Row was a collection of old dilapidated houses in the middle of campus.

  4. Pre-registration for classes involved getting on line at the Smith Center the night before, staying up all night, and getting your name written into class lists. (None of this new-fangled registration by phone or computer!)

  5. You drank at Mr. Henry's because they didn't check IDs.

  6. At one time you had a fake Pennsylvania driver's license.

  7. You knew at least one girl who went to Cone E. Island because they would mix up Slim-Fast with frozen yogurt.

  8. You remember when they changed the name of Calhoun Hall because John C. Calhoun was a slave Adams Hall, for John Quincy Adams (also a slave owner, but...).

  9. You trudged to the Watergate to spend tons of money on poor-quality stuff at the Soviet Safeway.

  10. You can barely remember if GW even had a basketball team when you were in college.

  11. You were greeted by the SAGA workers in the Thurston or Marvin Center dining halls with, "What'chu having?"

  12. You drank at G.G. Flipps/Odd's, The Exchange, The 21st Amendment, or The Hung Jury.

  13. Half-price burgers at Wollensky's

  14. You had to explain to at least one friend from home that you went to GW, not Georgetown.

  15. You're not the slightest bit bitter that you didn't graduate on the Ellipse or anywhere else on the National Mall, just with your college.

  16. Halloween in Georgetown was literally the area's Times Square at New Year's Eve.

  17. You owned at least one Champion sweatshirt, or at least had a roommate that had one.

  18. You could easily get defensive with friends from other schools about the awesomeness of the quad, especially in the spring or fall.

  19. You remember The Rat, the "Third World Cafe," Devon Bar & Grill, Munson Hall, Courtyard Cafe (in Mitchell Hall), Rumi Pizza, Cheese & Bottle, and/or the GW Market (next to the old AE Pi House).

  20. You knew where the quiet places were to study, and the social places to study.

  21. The housing lottery gave you anxiety.

  22. When people in Thurston Hall used to yell at those who got off the elevator below the 4th floor.

  23. When the only Metro-accessible shopping mall was White Flint.

  24. Finding out your exam scores or final grades by checking a list on the wall near your professor's office.

  25. You remember what GW was like before Friday's, Starbucks, and Whole Foods.

  26. You remember when they wanted to hold a U.S.-Soviet Summit on campus, but Lloyd Elliott thought it would be disruptive.

  27. Late-night fire drills drove you crazy.

  28. You wouldn't have traded your GW experience for a "campus school" any day!


  1. Awesome. You know the student president who wanted it changed to Adam's Hall was named Adam something, and since Lloyd Elliot was getting the School of International Affairs at the same time, that happened. I forget who wrote into the Hatchet that George Washington was also a slave owner so they needed to change the name to someone who'd never hurt anyone like, say, Mickey Mouse. But I remember The Hatchet did not run the letter.

    1. Adam Freedman! Yeah, I remember the argument about if you looked at everyone in history who owned slaves, a lot of schools would need to change their names...

  2. This list is 100x better than Buzzfeed's. Theirs was a lot of generic stuff:
    - "You own at least 3 pairs of leggings."
    - "You have a Macbook Pro."

    Oh,please -- that could be any college. Larry, your list is dead-on. What a great memory you have!

  3. Thanks, Rebecca! This was actually a lot of fun! Far more memories than I thought I remembered.

  4. Awesome...I graduated in '06 and could relate to this list more than the one that's currently on buzzfeed. Food trucks? Really? Any list w/out Manouch can't be taken seriously.

  5. ON POINT!

    Class of '92

  6. My time as GW was from 1984 through '86. Pizza at the Rat ... Milton Hall ... "The Current" ... the Inner Circle ... David Johansen fronting the Fleshtones at Spring Fling '85 ... R.E.M. at the Smith Center ... the annual adult film controversy ...Cone E. Island at 2000 Pennsylvania Avenue ... drinking age of 18 ...

  7. All of the above!! Additionally, I wanted to add that I saw Ramsey Clark& Mitch Snyder speak ; watched Marilyn Chambers XXX movies in Marvin Center- GREAT TIMES๐Ÿ‘

  8. Anyone remembers the name of the burger joint around the corner from Tower Records on Eye street. It was down the stairs and standing room only.

    1. Lindy’s? “the Bone”

    2. I remember it as the Red Lion (and later Lindy's Red Lion after they changed ownership)
      -class of '94