If you’re an incoming freshman, you’ve probably already maxed out your credit card at Bed, Bath and Beyond to buy a new bedspread, alarm clock, trendy-looking lamp - and anything else you could have sworn you needed to go away to college. Your grandmother probably bought you a “how-to-navigate-D.C.” travel book, equipped with Metro maps and tips on where the popular tourist spots are. But leave the fanny pack at home, dear newcomer - you’re not a tourist here. D.C. is your new home for the next four years, but don’t let that intimidate you. The Eagle’s annual guide issue makes a great cheat sheet; we’re here to prove that there is life outside of the National Mall.
Once you’re settled in your dorm room, grab some of your new friends and do some exploring. Your options are certainly not limited to campus events (though those can be pretty cool). The Eagle has mapped some of the coolest spots in D.C. - for everyone from political activists to arts enthusiasts and all those in between. We’ve got places for you to study, museums to visit, restaurants and sports events, on campus and across D.C.
So please, explore neighborhoods outside of Tenleytown. Places like Columbia Heights, Petworth, Bethesda and Cleveland Park have some cool things to do. Find a coffee shop to call your own, hang out at a park - and let The Eagle tell you how.
Of course, by the end of this semester, you’ll be an old pro at navigating the Metro. Come parents’ weekend, you’ll be able to give mom and dad the most ultimate tour of the monuments. But everyone has to start somewhere. D.C. may seem like a big, confusing place at first. A few things to remember though, stand to the right and walk on the left of the Metro escalator, there is no J Street and take note of which airport your flight leaves from (yes, that actually happens). And buses aren’t scary.
Oh, and make sure you go to your classes amidst all the excitement that the city provides. Those can be interesting, too. I swear.
Welcome to AU and good luck!