University of Richmond Top Questions

What should every freshman at your school know before they start?

Emily

People told me that college would be hard. However, there was one thing that no one warned me about: orientation. Orientation at my school consisted of five straight eighteen-hour days. At the time, I felt like crying. I am not a person who does well on a lack of sleep, and my less-than-functioning brain made it incredibly difficult to make friends. Now, as a resident assistant in a first-year women’s dorm, I totally get it. Keeping freshmen busy during orientation means that they will have less time to miss their families, and more opportunities to make friends. If I could talk to myself a senior in high school, I would tell that girl not to worry. Your true best friends won’t be made until the second semester anyway, and that’s okay. You don’t have to be best friends with your freshman year roommate, or the hallmates you lived with that year either. Just be the best version of you, and the friends will come naturally.

Brianna

When I was in high school, I was behind on my language credits. Most colleges want their prospective students to have taken two to four years of a language. By the time I finished high school, I only had two years of Spanish under my belt. Because of this, my university, University of Richmond, wanted to make sure that I was proficent in a language so I had to take another year of Spanish. The courses were great, but very intensive and time-consuming. I am glad that I took the courses but I would have liked to have possibly taken another language because the more languages you know the better for networking and any career. Also, I would have told myself to push myself even harder to get better grades and especially join clubs. Joining clubs like leadership or the school newspaper would have further prepared me for the future since college and life is not only about making sure you get an A on a test.

Mary Catherine

If I could go back in time and talk to the high school version of me, I would have told myself to try and be more prepared for the difficulty of college. For me, the jump between scholastics in high school and college was large and I did not realize how unprepared I was. My grades suffered freshman year of college because I wasn't putting in as much effort as I needed to and I learned how hard it is to pull up your GPA after a bad year. As a high school senior, I was mentally prepared for college with the exception of this. I would be sure to stress to myself how important hard work and effort is right from the get go in college.

Dana

Aside from simply slapping myself across the face, I would offer several pearls of wisdom to my blissfully ignorant high school self. Rather than attempting to treat the college application process as if you're seeking "the one" true love of your life, you should barrage the inboxes of every university even remotely intriguing. Don't overlook the private universities with price tags resembling half the value of your parents' house; often they can provide unbelievable financial aid packages. Come to terms now with the fact that some friends will leave your life but new ones will soon enter, and accept that you will change drastically from freshman to senior year. Welcome to quasi-adulthood! Finally, heed the advice of newspapers and magazines everywhere and choose a major with promising employment prospects. You don't need to sacrifice your passions and interests in order to accomplish this task, but you do need to search your soul in order to select the best path. Don't shy away from the science labs or fear calculus and statistics! Ultimately, college is an incredibly defining experience and one you will never forget, so enjoy the memories and jump in head first.

Lisa

Dear High School Me, Expect the unexpected; you're used to rolling with the punches and it's more or less the same as high school. The more is that you're going to have more work than before, but you're also going to have more time (if you use it right). The less of college is that it is is less dramatic, though you managed to avoid that mostly in high school as well. You've done a decent job managing your time in college (no all-nighters yet woohoo!), but be ready to work hard nonetheless. Soccer practice is physically demanding, classes and papers mentally break you down, and working to pay for it is going to drive you crazy. At the end of the day though, you sleep in satisfaction with where you ended up, so do not worry about it too much. Be ready for hard work, but an amazing time. See you soon, Lisa

holly

Holly, you are a senior and you have a lot going for you, your problem is you don't realize it. Now is the time to apply yourself and go strong at everything you do. Stop slacking, or in four years you will be watching all your friends graduate college and your biggest regret is not being on stage with them. You are eighteen, don't let boys, parties, your image, or the procrastinator inside of you stand in the way of your dreams. Every one talks about "the real world", and it is so very different than high school. The real world is not going to care what you do. If you don't succeed, it's only going to effect you. So now is the time to buckle down, and be prepared for this "real world" you are about to enter.

Dana

Despite the large numbers of people advising me to pursue my passions in college, I would not allow my preconceived interests to inhibit further personal growth. Although my intense love of reading and writing directed me to my English major, I wish I could remove the blinders I possessed as a high school senior. I now am fascinated by such diverse subjects as economics and biology, primarily as they relate to environmental issues. Although I highly value my background in English literature and critical writing, I should have allowed myself to explore the physicial and social sciences to greater detail. I will pursue a Master of Public Policy degree in Fall 2011 at The College of William & Mary, and I look forward to the varied curriculum of political science, economics, marine science, and law courses. These classes will better prepare me for a public policy career focusing on land use management issues and renewable energy policies. Ultimately though, I would not change my academic path throughout college, as I believe these experiences are necessary for personal development. So my former high school senior self should continue along the predicted trail and enjoy all of life's unexpected turns.

Natalie

The past two years have been the most marvelous time of my life. The fascinating things I’ve learned in the classroom have opened up my mind to a new world of thinking. However, what I have gained outside the classroom has made me a more rounded, intrigued young woman. I was an officer in my school’s Snowriders Club, played on the women’s tennis team, and got hands on experience in our athletic training room. These experiences taught me more than I could’ve imagined. In the Snowriders club I publicized and coordinated events, learned difficulty of working with school regulations, and got everyone stoked for ski trips. Having to step out of my comfort zone to get these tasks done caused me to not only mature, but to learn how to handle new responsibilities. Playing on the tennis team taught me to have a hard work ethic, respect others, and stay healthy. Also, working with student athletes in a professional setting gave me a sense of power and curiosity that has fueled my ambition to become a physical therapist. These experiences have been invaluable to my education, and I know this is only the beginning!

Mary

The University of Richmond has offered so much to me over the last 3 short years I've spent here. Though I am constantly working hard as a division one swimming althete and may miss certain oppurtunities otherwise, this school taught me how to work hard- both efficiently, and effectively. The competitive students here are always making me strive to challenge myself and think outside the box. My demanding coaches teach me how to deal with pressure and stress everyday. My career development center makes it easy and possible to reach out to any career or internship I want, as long as I am willing to obtain it! Thought the social life may be lacking in some views, this is the ideal school for students who wish to work hard and gain results. The Robins school of business has a 98% job placement score at graduation. The "green bike program", LEED certified buildings, and other environmentally friendly aspects of school shows our go green movement. It may seem like a fairytale, but the University of Richmond is truly a fountain of wealth in so many ways.

Ayanna

The first semester of college was tough for me. The adjustment from high school to college was way more difficult than I expected, but I thank God that I was able to make it through. My college experience thus far has been challenging, but at the same time worth while. The professors at the University of Richmond are amazing. I feel that the student-teacher relationships in college truly make or break your performance in the classroom. My professors helped me so much and made my first semester awesome experience. I have learned to push myself in a way that I never thought I would be able to. The workload is a lot, but it teaches you to balance your time. I am thankful that I am able to attend such a wonderful institution, and I will continue to be the best I can be and eventually achieve my degree in accounting.

Christian

In my year and a half of college, I have created some relationships that I am confident will be with me for a while after graduation. The most important lesson to me in college is how to survive and do things on your own, and not depend on others to do important things for you. At this point in life that college students are at, everyone has to put their own self interest before anyone elses, and if you depend on others you will get burned because not everyone will look out for you like they say they will. It's imperative tot ake things into your own hands, and be a catalyst for your own success. College at the University of Richmond has been valuable to attend because even though it is so expensive and I will be in debt after graduation, I'm recieving a top notch education, and building connections that I can use for the rest of my life as I climb the professional ladder. My time has been well worth while, and I hope to continue success and learn as much as possible at this institution.

Joseph

I will send my trancription of clark college, Vancouver, WA. 98663 and recommendation letters. Please support me the shcolarship to pay tuition and books for 2011-2012 accademic year. Thank you

Jennifer

I am currently in my second year of college and I have learned what it means to be independent and have responsibility. Parents are usually there to constantly tell their children what to do and how to do it,. Once students goes off to college, there is no parental figure to guide them through their life. They must figure things out on their own and learn from their own mistakes. I believe that college is an important asset to the development of one's life. It helps an individual discover what he or she wishes to accomplish and be, build character, and apply the knowledge received in developing future careers. In other words, to become a successful adult.

Brian

From my college experience I have discerned who I am and who I do not want to be. Some of my peers, having been born with many luxuries I could only dream of affording, often display a narrow-minded, priveledged, and selfish outlook on life. The "Richmond bubble" (UR students) studiously ignores the simultaneously impoverished, yet vibrant city of Richmond complaining there is nothing to do. Richmond has a world of plight that could be solved if students cared to get involved. I found a passion for social justice through my volunteer efforts. With so many non-profit organizations in the area, it is impossible NOT to find something to do, that would allow individuals to engage the community and really make a difference. My eyes have been opened more widely to see poverty because of blatant displays of gaudiness and wealth-braggarts. Not everyone can afford to jump flight to Europe for a week much less afford periodic weekend flights cross-country for family visits. I want to be the person who spends money sponsoring scholarships, not on buying needless and useless luxuries.

Amani

At the University of Richmond, I have had the best preparation for and support through life's rollercoaster, both ups and downs. The academics are rigorous and the professors expect my best, but it has all developed me into a more informed, analytical, perceptive, and responsible student, woman, and citizen. I have discovered what true friendship is through a few students here, and I have witnessed others do the same. I have created invaluable relationships with professors, faculty, staff, and alumni as a result of their desire and willingness to be available for and provide assistance to students. I have the opportunity to do everything I want here, from studying abroad to dancing for three years with an African dance company, from networking with professionals (and securing internships) to joining a public service sorority. The university goes through lengths to make sure we as students have the best possible college experience and that all of our time and effort spent is worthwhile. Here, I feel like I am not just a number, but I am a face, a personality, a voice, a force, and the entire campus community is driven to ensure and support that reality.

Christina

As a young child, college was a gigantic far away place without parents and full of teenagers who had reached the so-called "13th grade." It was place of intellect and learning that was part of the real world so out of reach for a child. As one grows this idea of college changes to one of a forbidden land with no dreaded rules and represents epitome of freedom. Going to college, I really had no idea what to expect. I didn't know whether it would be academically difficult, socially straining, or remarkably heavenly. But after finishing freshman year I have realized what college is about; there is a definite difference between the idle high school senior and the college student. College has taught me to form my own opinions and to form them wisely with backup reasons and logical reasoning. College has taught me to think of the world or what it need from me and what I need to expect from myself. I can learn whatever I want as an undergraduate and I can go wherever I please for here. It has taught me the simple lesson that dreams can come true.

Alexandrea

When advising my high school self, I would be sure to encourage myself to be outgoing when I first got to school. All the other freshmen are in the same situation and everybody is anxious and nervous. By meeting as many people as possible in the first few months, it is easier to find where you fit into school and gives you a feel for all the is out there. It also a lot easier to adjust to a new school when people at the university know you and smile at you around campus.

Nikia

The advice I would give to myself is to be 100% completely responsible for all actions I assume and receive. I would focus on my studies and not accumulate non-educational debt such as credit card bills and personal loans. IIwould work a part time job between 10 to 15 hours a week on campus, and save the money that I earned for emergency purposes and to buy necessities such as personal hygiene products and school supplies. I would be involved in study groups to improve my grades, which can help me achieve better grades. Throughout this process, I would continue to obtain my four year degree within the appropriate time span for a person to graduate.

LaShonda

I was so excited about college, a new world that I was about to embark upon. I expected college to be one perfect combination of fun and hard work, where I would easily meet people and form new relationships that would take me further in life. How wrong was I about college? Well, let me tell you, it is not a perfect combination of fun and hard work. I never expected so much reading, and so many late weeknights writing papers on things I knew I didn't understand. Then the weekend would come and party invites would pour in, however, you have 3 papers and 4 reading dues between Monday and Wednesday. Moreoever, many people are not coming to meet you, you have to put yourself out there, exposing yourself to both acceptance and rejection. If I could have known my former self, I would have told LaShonda to ensure that her time management skills are sharpened, to not fear asking for help and that if anything is most important in college, it is sleeping, eating and handing in high quality work on time.

Hannah

I believe the phrase "CALM DOWN!" would definitely need to be said for the chaos that was senior year. I didn?t know how lucky I would be in my transition to college. Though I was tense to the point of stress-balls and fingernail chewing, I somehow managed to make the best out of my opportunities. I actually have the ?I loved my school the moment I stepped on campus? relationship with Richmond. I applied early decision I not only got in, I got an enormous sum of financial aid! Everything somehow worked out for the best. I?d like to have been advised to completely throw myself into everything possible in college ? however weird it may seem at first. Originally I tried things that I never would have considered in high school, for I had the opportunity, free time and motivation. I enjoyed concerts, the international club, badminton, student government, the outdoors club... ?why not? became my daily mantra! And I loved every second of it. Also, I would have told myself to ditch the boyfriend, quite honestly. I?d like to advise every high-school senior out there that long distance relationships do NOT work.

Kate

If I was able to go back and have a chat with myself during my senior year, I would try to make myself understand the type of stress and workload I was signing up for. My past self would have to make the decision of whether to choose the school with ridiculously high academic standards with the knowledge of how hard it really will be. Knowing I could get a much easier education in state with a full-ride scholaship instead of paying much more for a shockingly increased workload as compared to high school would make the choice of coming to Richmond much more difficult. I would tell myself to be even more outgoing in my courses with mixed class levels so I could make a broader base of friends. I know that I would need to reinforce the fact that I shouldn't ever lose sight of who I know I am in the face of difficult social situations that are a staple of college life.

Stewart

Make sure to look at all of the information available. Pick a place that not only looks good on paper, but that a place that you could see yourself spending 4 years. Visit the campus and possibly spend a night with one of the current students to get a better idea of the campus life.

Keaton

I would advise parents and students to visit different schools and keep and open mind set. Don't just apply to schools that you hear about from others or that your friends are applying to. There are so many good colleges out there that have so much to offer you, its just a matter of what you want to get out of your college experience. I learned to love the University of Richmond after being depressed for the majority of my freshman year. I wanted to transfer... but I couldn't pin down why. My sophmore year, I started getting involved in more activities and started taking classes that I was truly interested in and started reaching out to people I never would have talked to. My experience and vision of the University of Richmond changed instantly. My grades began to go up, I partied less but had more friends, and I began to develop strong relationships with my professors. I started having fun not because of the partying, but because I felt that I was starting to be successful, doing things that I really wanted to do. I joined the Varsity Soccer team as a walk on shortly after!

Kathleen

Look at class size, whether or not classes are often taught by TAs rather than professors, how much on-campus housing there is and how easy it is to get it, how active the social life is on campus on the weekends, the safety of the surrounding area, and if the campus is involved with activities you enjoy (such as sports, helping the community, greek life, etc.).

Timeka

I would tell students to take their time to research and visit as many schools as possible when going through the process. I made the mistake of not visiting many schools and therefore not knowing what they had to offer. Take into account important factors such as class size, school location, financial aid, and student involvement on campus. Do not let the cost of a particular school hinder your decision to apply. There are a variety of sources that will help to pay for college education. Making the most of your college experience is also very important. This is your chance to make lifetime friends and perhaps see the world. Take advantage of study abroad programs and summer internships. Make sure you find the balance between academics and a social life. You don't want college to be over and wish you would have done that one spring break and you also don't want to party so much that your grades suffer so much that it is more difficult for you to succeed at the next level in life. Good luck!

William

Find a place that suits your needs, both academically and socially. Know that both of these are very important in the things that you are going to take from your time at a university. Take advantage of whatever opportunities that come your way, but don't be willing to sacrifice your morals and personal ideals in order to impress those around you. College is a time to allow you to become sure of the person you are, to allow you to gain confidence in your own skin, and to show you that there are many other ways of looking at the world around you than you may have realized living at home with your parents.

Alisa

When choosing the right college, make sure to not only focus on the academics area but also check out the type of students that attend the college to see if it is a good fit for your social life because that will be a major part of your college experience as well.

Tigran

Visit the schools that your children are interested in; let them spend a night at the college in question that is; uncensored because in this way they will experience a regular day at the school and thus be able to make decisions. A day in class, and a day in the social life: those are the two factors that helps bring a decision to light

Matthew

Come to Richmond!

Chelsea

Senior year of high school is obviously a stressful time, but make the most of it! As my parents and I looked at schools and talked about what I really wanted out of the college experience, it was an opportunity for us to grow closer as a family. Choosing a school is a lot like decorating a room: you have to have an inspiration piece. Choose a geographical region, a specific degree, or an overall campus "feel" that you know would suit you well, and then go from there. It's a good idea to choose a "safety" school, along with several you feel fairly confident you could get into and at least one that is something of a "reach" for you. With this strategy, you won't have to stress quite as much about where you'll get in...and as my Dad told me, you should go to the very best school you can get into! Lastly, don't be afraid to try again. Three of my friends transfered after our freshman year, and I made three NEW transfer friends the next year! All six of those girls were exponentially happier with their second college experience.

Jennifer

In order to find the right college, visit as many colleges as you can and gather as much information as you can. After that, close your eyes, and go with what your gut tells you. Don't think about what anyone else tells you or wants you to do. It's not them who will be living and existing there for four years, it's you - so do what makes you happy! While you're in college, make the most of every opportunity and experience - college may be the last chance you have to take that class on Roman architecture (even if you're a English major) or to drive to the beach with friends and watch the sun rise. You want to be able to look back at college and say you lived it to its fullest potential.

Fran

It is important to look at what kind of learning environment is best for the you. I learned more at this small school with small class sizes and lots of individual attention. I got to know my professors, and was not just a social security number like I would have been if I had gone to a big state school. Also when looking at schools, I feel it is important to look at the type of people that attend that school. This can say a lot about what it will be like socially.

Rebecca

I would recommend spending a long weekend there, sans parents. It is the best way to determine if it is a place where you will be happy. If you're not happy, then no matter the academic qualifications of the school you will not be at your optimum potential. While you're there attend a class in the field(s) you want to study, does it feel right? Are you challenged? Are you comfortable? If so, then this university may just be the place for you!

Eric

DO not let yourself get behind academically your first year. You do not want to spend the rest of your college experience playing catch up!

Jonathan

The best way to explore different college possibilities and to make the most of your college experience is to visit the campuses of the universities that interest you. Watching students interact on campus can indicated to what degree you will feel comfortable at each respective university. Eat at the dining hall, sit in on a class, and arrange an overnight stay with a student to explore campus life. Talk with students and admissions representatives to discover extracurricular opportunities. When making a final decision on which school to attend, do not choose based on academic reputation or the perpetual success of the vasity athletes; choose the school that feels the most natural and comfortable.

Jill

You won't know what the right place is until you get there. Don't let yourself freak out over not getting into a particular school. You'll end up somewhere, and either it will be right or it won't. If it turns out to not be the right place for you, look around to other options. Examine what you do and don't like about your situation, and use that to find something that's a better fit. Don't ever let yourself think that there is just one place that could be the right fit for you.

Nicole

Parents and students should definitely explore many colleges adn visit when possible. As relatives and friends what universities they attended, look in the US World and News Report- branch out! There are so many great schools beyond the border of your home state! As for making the most of the college experience- it is a personal responsibility- don't expect your school to have your life and activities planned out for you. If you don't find an activity or group you'd like to join- start one. Explore the city your school is in- visit parks, go to cultural events. Take advantage of any and all opportunities and branch out and meet diverse people. ALWAYS meet at least once with each of your professors. Avoid procrastination. Remember that college is 3 things: study, sleep, play and you can only do two at a time. Get work done early so you don't have to put your social life aside and be a hermit. Have fun!

Zachary

Size of school is VERY important. I thought that the size and social life did not matter, but in fact it does. To share a little background, my high school had about 2,000 students. University of Richmond has a little more then 3,000 undergraduates. People told me that it would seem like high school but I ignored, and it turns out they were right. I wish I had gone to a larger school, although for me, academic reputation took priority over size, hence my choice at the time. School is not only about learning in the classroom though, learning through socialization is also a big part, and when you go to a school about the same as your high school you get bored with it. Boredom can carry back over into the classroom and can even influence your attitude toward others. My advice, prioritize what you want out of college, not just college education, but college as an entirety.

Rosalyn

Try to talk to students outside of the admissions people. Once in college, don't be afraid to join things.

Michael

If you are given the opportunity to visit a college before attending then definitely take that opportunity. I would have never been able to make the college decision had I never visited my top two college choises. Apply to a few normal schools and a few outrageous schools - you never know which will suit you best until you legitimately consider each option.

Diana

In your freshman year of college, it may seem that you have a ton of time until graduation. However, those years will turn into a few days quicker than you think . You'll realize how fast time passed and you'll start to reflect on what you've done, who you've become, where you're headed and everything in between. To find the right college ans make the BEST of your time there, you have to keep/make long-term goals (for post-college) and use them as a guideline for how you act. Keep in mind the goals and aspirations you have for the rest of your life and realize they might change, but after college you still have a lot of living to do: Set that foundation strong. Hone in on skills you'd like to improve. Try clubs and sports you find interesting. Talk to people you ordinarily wouldn't. College is the perfect opportunity to simultaneously do a multitude of diverse activities, learn a lot about yourself and others, get a good education and set the foundation for life without the responsibilities of everyday "real world" living. Find the school that allows you that opportunity,

Catherine

Visit UR first and then try and compare all of the other schools you visit to the same standard that UR has established; I doubt you'll be able to find another school that not only meets all of your desires concerning beauty and academics, but also of a great campus community and intermurral sports leagues anywhere else. I know I didn't!

Brennan

Everyone is going to tell you that you have plenty of time to figure out what you want to do, that there is no need to rush and that you will have time to find a field or a college that is the best for you. What people don't tell you is that if you have an idea of what you want and pursue it, then everything will be easier. Even if you are unsure of what school you want, or what career you want to pursue, you should narrow down your interests as soon as possible. Having many options is great, but keeping all of these options alive is not an easy task. Rather than spreading your focus over many subjects it proves much more fruitfull to tackle a fewer number of interests with the same fervor.

Joseph

A student planning to attend college should ponder two questions: how will the school/programs help me reach my ultimate goal, AND open the most doors possible. Nearly every college student changes their major at least once and an undergraduate major does not dictate the rest of one's life as the average American changes careers several times over the course of their working life. It's foolish to go to school as a freshman and have a very clear cut game plan because college is a time of exploration and education. One should also consider what they enjoy studying as there is no sense being an accounting major if you hate numbers, and then analyze school rankings by major. Look at the top schools in your field, determine what is realistic within your GPA/SAT means, and then use other criteria such as size and location to make a decision. One final piece of advice NEVER allow finances to decide where to apply to. Receiving financial aid is much like buying a used car. Aid money is ENTIRELY negotiable, and personally I go to the second most expensive school in the country, and it's cheaper than state school.

Kathryn

The decision is one that is at the same time momentous and trivial. It is momentous because often it is the first time that a young adult gets the chance to stretch his or her legs in the adult world; it is trivial because it is never the end of the world if the student doesn't end up at his or her first choice school. The important part is to allow the student to make a well informed decision.

Ryan

As long as you find a place that you are comfortable, one can do well at a school.

David

make sure about size you want, visit the campus, get involved and dont be shy or afraid to ask questions

Jordan

Choosing the right college is a wholly personal experience. Individual, mysterious, and complex. You can never know from a single visit or an application packet what the years to follow will entail. The best thing to do is let your intention guide you. Be aware of your goals, your dreams, your strengths and weaknesses, and your drive. All of these are necessary components to college life--both academically and socially. You are dedicating yourself and your life to one institution for two or four years; it is better to know now where or how you intend it to lead you. Do some serious soul searching and then pick your way through the mindfield that is growing up. Choosing a university will only be the first step on the journey to the next phase of your life. If you enter into that phase with an open mind, open heart, and with a little insight into yourself, you will not be lead astray.

Thomas

It's never too early to begin looking for the right school. Go to as many info sessions and college tours that you can afford to go too. You'll get that feeling when you step on the right campus that this is the school for you, and I can tell you that once you arrive as a student that it will all work out for the best. Too often prospective students misjudge that gut feeling or regret decisions they make in the application process. Finding the right college is more of a natural feeling and process rather than a quanitatively based decison. So yes, do your research on the right schools for you, but then get on that campus and enjoy the process instead of stressing over it.

Scott

Visit the colleges you are interested in when they are in session. Plan an overnight visit so you can get a feel for the real life there, not what the student tour guide tells you.

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