By: Jeffrey Adelson
Photos by: Serena Pu
We continue our series of interviews with transfer students this week with another student who transferred from a very different environment to Georgetown.
Shivum Bharill is a junior in the College studying Political Economy who transferred from the University of Michigan, though he is originally from Pittsburgh, PA. Shivum stated that he didn’t enjoy his first year at Michigan and felt very lost in the huge student population, there being as many students in his year at Michigan as the entire undergraduate population at Georgetown. In his sophomore year, Shivum put himself forward more and joined a dance team, which helped him begin to enjoy the University of Michigan much more. He enjoyed the great diversity at Michigan afforded by the massive student body, but this was also the number one problem he had with Michigan, as he felt there was not a cohesive enough community for him. While there was a great diversity among the students at Michigan, Shivum described the typical style, at least for men, as Timberland boots, letter jackets, and the like, an athletic and more casual look than he has found at Georgetown.
Seeking a better academic environment, Shivum came to Georgetown to study political science more intensively than he would have been able to at Michigan and to find a more tightly knit student culture. He has since joined Rangila, GU Jawani, and Hilltop Consultants and he mentioned that he has been able to see the people he knows at Georgetown frequently, something that wasn’t possible on Michigan’s larger campus. Shivum enjoys that Georgetown students always put their best foot forward and seem more willing to experiment than the students were at Michigan. He describes a typical Georgetown student as preppy, but he also sees many people who take the template of khakis, button-down shirts, and Sperry’s and play with it and personalize it. He also notes that Georgetown’s smaller student body gives it a more unified culture, which creates a pressure on campus to conform to a certain ideal type. Shivum described this as something inherent to a uniform student culture, rather than something specific to Georgetown.
In his own style, Shivum likes to take the Georgetown template and experiment with it and add his own touches – opting for more alternative looks when he can. He describes two moments as defining his personal style so far: the first; coming to college after going to a high school with a strict dress code and realizing the possibilities of self-expression through fashion, and second; buying a pair of Dr. Martens boots that opened an edgier style up to him. He says that the more fashionable Georgetown student body has inspired him and given him more ideas on how to vary and refine his own style.