Begin with Balance

This past academic year was characterized by sacrifice and compromise on one hand, and innovation, discovery, and inspiration on the other. We are eager to return to familiar places and rhythms, yet mindful of all we have learned this year, and continue to learn. The work of the last year endures. As we prepare for your arrival to campus, we are reflecting on both new beginnings and transformative returns, and how we can make the most of both, together. We need balance, between old and new, between quiet and community, between caution and daring.

In this spirit, we encourage all students arriving this fall to begin with balance. Balance comes in many forms as well:  

  • Jesuit education has always sought balance and connection between your intellectual pursuits and your spiritual and personal growth. 
  • The urgencies of our world and community require balancing your individual priorities as you learn and develop with the needs of society and the call to Care for our Common Home. 
  • And even at the most basic level, but no less important, students need balanced schedules, balanced across disciplines and subjects, and balanced between work and rest. 

The student who thrives at Georgetown embraces depth, time, and reflection. Making room for these requires practice. The first-year experience can (and should) be noisy, crowded, exciting, characterized by options and openings, loaded with possibilities, challenges, and discoveries. Those academic and intellectual parts of your first year will need time to breathe. 

As such, we are encouraging first-year students to consider different ways of Beginning with Balance: balance your mindset and your schedule, matching the intensity of the intellectual work with some freedom and flexibility  over the semester’s duration. If you’ve looked ahead you will rightly note that a typical schedule comprises five 3-credit courses. But no one’s first college semester is “typical.” It is easy to miss opportunities to try different combinations of courses and credits that might  enable this balance for you, allowing for greater depth and engagement throughout, without compromising progress toward your degree. 

We want to highlight two signature ways to begin with balance this fall, creating valuable space in your first semester for reflection and a change of pace, while also confronting this historic moment as a new community of learners and persons for others: 

  • Our “Just Communities” Curriculum: a set of new 1-credit offerings, designed to enrich your first-year experience and to help you engage ways to reflect on your own personal development, acquire empowering skills, and address some of the most pressing issues of our moment.
  • Our Intensive August Session: a set of courses launching August 16, designed to launch your core experience early and shape a more flexible fall term.