University of Virginia-Main Campus Top Questions

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


My high school senior self thought that college was going to be a new beginning. I had child-like fantasies about how I would wear preppy clothes, walk through the historic "grounds," take notes from lectures given by brilliant professors, and read every page assigned to me, while making new friends, going to parties, joining new clubs--the "full college experience". If I were to talk to myself as a high school senior, I would tell myself not to have expectations about what college is "supposed" to be like. The truth is that college is like a birthday. You're another year older, but nothing feels different or magical about it. It's just another step in life. You learn and grow and have new experiences, but you are the same person you were in high school. Having too many expectations sets you up to be disappointed, so you should just enjoy each moment as it occurs. Take lots of opportunities, but don't stretch yourself too far because it's what you are "supposed" to do. Don't beat yourself up because college wasn't what it was "supposed" to be. You are where you are supposed to be.


Israel, when you apply for college, consider your own wants and desires. Do not do what Dad or Mom wants, do what you want. If that means you do not go to UVa, so be it. Follow your heart. When you get to school, ask questions.You will never obtain information unless you ask. People cannot read your mind. Learn to express what you feel eloquently. Words are a powerful thing, learn to use them. Learn to discipline yourself early! Stick to your plan, you will love yourself later. It will prevent many mistakes and prevent many pointless late nights. Lastly, you are not weak if you ever need to go to a counselor or get consultation for any sort of problem you have. Catch problems early on to prevent them from escalating. Continue to enjoy life like you always do. Your love for life will get you through the worst situations.


I would tell myself not to worry. After high school I did not know what I wanted to do with my life. So, instead of going away to a four-year school, I went to a community college. This is where I found my love for all things marketing. I realized that through marketing I would be able express myself academically but also creatively. Through my hard work and dedication, I ended up at one of the best schools in the nation, and I could not be happier with my decision to attend community college. However, it was not always easy. There were days where I could not figure out what to do at all. I thought I wanted to be a nurse, or a teacher, or a psychiatrist. It was a hard place to be; constantly worried and stressed out over not going anywhere in life because I did not know what I loved. Through the hard times, though, all I needed to do was look inside me to see what I really enjoyed, and I am happier than ever. I would tell my high school self not to worry. I end up exactly where I should be.


I would definitely advise high school seniors to look ahead to the programs they may be interested in and take the AP courses that could get them out of some unnecessarily difficult college courses. For example, I did not take AP Stat in high school, and college the course was not really well taught and was a hassle. I wish I took the course back in high school. I would advise high school seniors to get involved in a lot of extra curricular activities because that is a great way to meet people and make friends. The adjustment to a new environment can be really difficult, especially if it is far from home or without familiar faces. Getting out there and meeting people is so important. I also want to advise high school seniors to not limit themselves to the schools they apply to, you never know what could change financially or within yourself from what you wanted at the beginning of senior year to what you want in May. The most important thing to remember is that you will be okay no matter where you end up if you work hard, are positive, and kind to those around you.


Flexibility. Embracing flexibility is key in college. You never know how your schedule will turn out or what kinds of friends you'll meet. With your meal plan, you won't know what you'll eat for dinner most nights because even the dining halls can be unpredictable. Now, I know that being flexible is difficult for you because of your anxiety issues, but it is crucial that you practice it now because it will help you, not only in college, but in life. Life is a roller coaster of experiences, some more unexpected than others. You can either utilize them to learn more about yourself and the world around you, or you can allow them to break you and make you resent the world that continues spinning around you. If I were you (which I am), I would go with the first option. Even though grasping the concept of that option is not the only thing that'll help you succeed in college, or in life for that matter, you'll grow as a well-rounded individual if you: 1) take on life's challenges with a flexible, realistic, and postiive mentality, and 2) learn from them. Trust me.


Mariah: college is a time in your life where you are afforded rare opportunities unlike any other. When you first learn of the wide variety of unique and amazing groups you can join, events you can attend, and projects you can take part in, you'll ambitiously aim to pursue an absurd number of them. But as the semester proceeds, because you are bombarded with ads for all these activities seemingly everywhere you go every single day in the form of flyers, handouts, fairs, announcements, emails, free tee shirts, word of mouth, flash mobs, and more, they very quickly seem common place. As you become comfortable with your schedule, your friends, and what you already know to be your main interests, you always assume that these activities and opportunities will be waiting for you to join 'next semester', completely forgetting these opportunities are rare outside of the college experience, especially with such freedom to truly dive into and absorb yourself in them, and with such extraordinary resources available! So seriously! ALL those clubs, concerts, events, fundraisers, lectures, organizations, sports etc. you see/hear about that 'might be fun' or 'interesting'? TRY THEM NOW! There's no chance like college!


Everyone is telling you to take your time- to take some classes in community college and then you can decide on a more specific educational path. They are wrong. When it comes to figuring out your future, you're almost always behind where you should be. Do your research, reach out to people, and most importantly, push yourself to learn as much as possible about what interests you. While planning is a very important thing to begin, you must also work on learning about yourself. The older you get, the harder it will become to remember how you were before starting college. You'll forget what it felt like to hear the final bell of the school day, rush out of the building, and come home to a nice bedroom and a stock of delicious food. The passion that once burned so fiercely for medical school may begin to shrink and flicker. Remember these feelings. Remember how it felt to be fresh out of high school and ready to begin your life. Learn to appreciate the old and the new, and it will make the journey of life that much sweeter.


Come with an open mind! You don't have to have a plan. Take easy classes and have fun. It's your first year. It is the easiest this place will get.


I would tell myself to learn as many foreign languages as possible. Although it may be impossible to become conversationally fluent in a language during my senior year, I realized during my first year at University of Virginia that it is beneficial to have a basic grasp of another language. Although my school is a state university, University of Virginia is known for its diverse population; its reputation is well-received overseas in Europe and Asia, especially in China. As a result, there are many international students and foreign exchange students at University of Virginia. I want to befriend them because I want to learn different cultures and languages; however, I do not speak their native languages and they tend to speak English in fragmented sentences that are hard to comprehend. As a result, I was not able to get close to many of these students. Therefore, not only would learning other languages would educate me and benefit me academically, but I would also be able to socially interact with more people and help develop a social life in college.


Everything will work out fine. You have to put in effort, both in high school and college, but no matter where you go, the resources can be found. Whether it be professors with innumerable connections to help you network, the perfect courses to inspire your creativity and spur you into a new path, facilities and technology to enable your passions, or just friends to push you along the way and show you what you can achieve; it's all there. Be passionate about something, but don't worry if it changes over time; college is for growing. It'd be great to leave school with a guaranteed job, but if you learn things (both technical knowledge and practical skills) and have a record of what you've accomplished, you'll be able to succeed. Networking. The biggest thing you can do, and one of the easiest. Just make positive impressions and you'll continue to impress and meet new people. You never know if that guy you met once for an interview will recommend you somewhere - you might not be perfect for his job, but he can put you in contact with the right people. Good luck!


Do you remember when Ms. Milne made you read A Thousand Splendid Suns earlier this year? I know you’re probably too busy to recall vague details about some silly little book, but hear me out. There’s a line you really should remember, and not just because it’ll be on the final: “You see, some things I can teach you. Some you learn from books. But there are things that, well, you have to see and feel.” Got it? Good. Now read it again, and never forget it. You know, I could easily tell you the secret to making friends in a school of more than 20,000 students or how to stop missing your family, but what good would that do? I know you’re not the adventurous type, but you can’t just sit around waiting for someone to tell you what to do next to make it through life’s problems. So take a deep breath, go into the dark, and find your own way. Sure, you’ll stumble now and then. Wait, who am I kidding? You’ll stumble a hundred times a day, maybe more, but you’ll survive and you’ll learn.


One of the biggest things I would tell myself would definitely be to not worry as much. Up until the point of applying for colleges and through completing my senior year of high school I had worked and studied to the best of my abilities. There was nothing else I could do at that point and I should have been more content with the effort I had put in. After completing my first year of college I know now that all the worries I had were kind of silly. Of course I was going to make friends, and of course I was going to meet people who already have their lives planned out. Even if I didn't make friends and if I wasn't able to decide on a major, why would it matter to me as a high school senior who wasn't even in college yet? Throughout my first year in college I really concentrated on staying in the present. Of course I still have concerns, but now I can look back and evaluate that my high school worries, while valid, were not as threatening as I had previously thought.


I would suggest: spending more time in crowds and becoming more comfortable with being independent. Applying to more scholarships. Doing more in high school to get my research career going. Reaching out to professors in different fields to get a better understanding of what their field consists of. Spending more time researching and mapping out the Grounds. Making friends before the first day of class. Taking harder high school courses.


Don't stress too much about college. You'll figure it out after a week or two. Homesickness does go away, and you will make new friends. It feels like a huge step, and it is, but you'll get used to it. Relax, meet new people, and learn.


Live. It doesn't matter that you got straight A's, perfect attendance, and a perfect SAT score if you didn't grow as a person. College is about experiencing things, and transitioning to life as a contributing member of society. You don’t get that by keeping your nose in a book, you get that by meeting people, and doing things. Be in the moment, and do what you love, because that’s how you grow into the person you want to be.


My biggest piece of advice for myself would be don't stress going into college with the perfect major for yourself already discovered. I was dead set on majoring in Environmental Thought & Practice upon entering UVA and was resistant to anyone changing my mind. I attempted to sign up for classes soley based on my major requirements, thinking that I would get ahead. I, however, quickly discovered that environmental science was not for me, and instead made the great change to business, or commerce as we call it at UVA. I wish I had allowed myself to explore different options as a first year, instead of diving straight into a major. Another piece of advice that I would give myself would be that time management and personal responsibility are key for success in college. I was used to having teachers or parents as a fall back in case I made a mistake, but in college I'm completely on my own. I would tell myself to start learning how to take care of yourself and be responsible for all aspects of your life. I would also make sure that I would have learned how to do laundry much sooner.


There is truth in brevity.


College is a dream. You have expectations, desires, and hopes rather than certainties. Many of these expectations, desires, and hopes will not come to fruition. Instead, you will experience hardship as well as some expectations mixed with surprises. Do not listen to those that say that your first year will be the best year of your life because now, you have the expectation that the following years of your life will be miserable. Rather, open your eyes for not only the certainty of difficulties but the possibilities of joy beyond what you could imagine. Take the difficulties as places to grow and treasure the surprises-the developing friendships, midnight study parties, conversations with professors, etc. Lastly, allow yourself to fall in love with your environment. If you expect to be disappointed, you will be disappointed, but if you allow yourself to acknowledge the disappointments then revel in heart of your university, you will fall in love. No how matter cliché it is, I truly believe that where you end up is where you are supposed to be, meaning that you have the opportunity to have a wonderful four years wherever you go.


Dear Heather, I know you're stressing out about college, about leaving Hong Kong, about choosing your major. Trust me: I've been there! Don't box yourself in: don't categorize yourself by your race or your interests. Take a step of faith and try new things. Audit an African drumming class; join the Classics Club and read Ancient poetry; go on a Sunrise hike. Be brave. If you have a question, ask. If you want to know professors better, go to office hours. They don't bite! Chances are that they want to know you just as much as you want to know them. If you miss your parents, tell them. Don't let pride get in the way of life! Most importantly, don’t compromise your beliefs for anything, not even for your grades. Be kind and think of others' needs. Generosity isn't a sacrifice; it's a kind of power. Lastly, hold onto the fact that your family loves you very much. No matter what they say or do, don't forget this. College is four years that will change the way you live so make the most of it! Love,Future Heather


As a freshman, I realized that the decisions I would make throughout college would shape the rest of my life. This realization overwhelmed me because every decision felt like the most important decision of my life. After all, choosing to study Political Science meant I wouldn’t be a doctor, but studying pre-med meant I wouldn’t be a diplomat. Every decision seemed to close a door that I might want to go through someday. I graduated from college six years ago, and in that time I have learned that there is a path for everyone who studies what they love. Despite a lifelong interest in medicine, I decided to attend the Naval Academy and study International Relations because I wanted to serve my country after 9/11. I traveled the world in the Navy for five years, but this fall I will once again follow my childhood dream of attending medical school. This is certainly not a traditional path, but I have loved every detour along the way. Because of these experiences, I would tell myself to relax. Every decision might be important, but the journey can be much more exciting when we make a few unexpected turns.


Stop stressing it. I can remember going through high school, always looking at the future, worrying about what effect each decision and action I made would have. If my grades would be good enough, if I was in enough extracurriculars, what my references would be. Even after my college acceptance I worried about every little thing such as orientation and what other students would be bringing on move-in day. Looking back now I understand that all those things were necessary and part of the process, but I would've liked to have had the assurance that it would all work out. I know we tell ourselves that it will, but we never really know until we actually make the decision and have to accept the consequences. Another thing I would've liked to known back then was that high school does not define you. Once we set a precedent about our personality, such as with me and being "shy", people tend to treat us in a certain way. It feels impossible to break the stereotypes others form about us, and yet it is possible. In college you can redefine yourself and show others the person you want to be.


Take psychology classes and figure out your major faster. Do more research oriented extracurriculars and join a hotline/ counseling program. Take time out and see the sights during the first and second years because the pace picks up during the third and fourth.


Not to use the word freshman. That screams novice. We say first years. Thomas Jefferson believed you never stop learning, so I even know some fifth years! Also, we say grounds instead of campus. Those two terms are vital.


Do not just speak up but speak out. Act on initiatives where the outcome is yet unknown and make it your own. Be electrifying. In your fourth year of college, your mentor, Dean Muth, advised you on your Student United: Bring Back the Spanish Minor campaign and put you in touch with a fearless Dean Laurie Casteen in the office of the dean of students. Dean Muth taught you how to fight for your initiative and also fought with you as we weighed concerns about finances and considered alternative options before exhuming the Spanish minor lying in moratorium. With his support, you investigated and spear-headed the cause, assembled with students to hear their stories, convened with both the director of the Spanish program as well as Student Council to develop and draft a proposal for alternative solutions, and published your views and findings in the campus-newspaper, The Cavalier Daily. You trembled with fixed determination to impact student affairs on your campus. Here’s your chance to get involved from day one. There is promise behind your words to cast startling, provocative impressions. Take the risk and dare to stand your ground.


Try harder! World of Warcraft is fun, but college is going to be some of the most important years of your life and you need to prepare yourself. Focus on your classes, study up on scholarships and admissions requirements, and above all else get yourself that Bright Futures Scholarship! It would have helped us out a lot. And when you finally do get into college, focus and make it your priority! If you graduate in the minimum two years, you'll be that much closer to your dream career and you won't have wasted any time. That's key! Enjoy your youth, but make sure that having fun doesn't become your only priority. Always keep your head pointed forward and make a bee-line for your future! And don't slack off once you graduate, either! Always be working forward!


If I could go back in time, I would tell myself to explore my options and seriously think about my interests and goals. College should not be something you feel like you have to do, but something you want to do to learn, explore, and to help prepare yourself for the future. I was convinced I had to go, and had to go to the best name school I could get in to for my family and my own pride. I was lucky enough to find a place at UVA, and am much more appreciative of this now, but I wish I had done the research beforehand to prepare myself better for what I wanted to do with my college career. I found myself unsatisfied partway through my undergraduate degree, and it was primarily my own lack of understanding of my college and myself. I would also tell myself to speak up, to get involved in things that might make me feel uncomfortable, and to be open to discussions as much as possible. Attending college should be a very active, engaging experience. The more it is, the more you get out of it.


To High School Julie: Getting the best grades and making sure you're trying your hardest is always going to be important no matter what but don't forget about your dreams. There are going to be a lot of obstacles and setbacks that you're going to face once you start college. Think of being a small fish in a big pond. Don't worry! You're going to find great friends who are going to help you through the tough times that you encounter. You're family will be there for you whenever you need it. Remember to keep doing what you love and you will see that hard work pays off. There will be tears, anger, and long nights at the library but just know that life isn't supposed to be easy. It's hard going to a college where you're competing with the best of the best and it will seem like you're best isn't good enough. That's not true! This transition will only make you stronger and you will be able to get through it. College Julie


Hi! My life at the University is the most important thing right now. It's all about my future and so I wake up every morning for him. Study and take advantage of every opportunity given to me to study what I want. Although I'm going to honest sometimes not so easy to follow and study some classes because they are so strong. Thinking that I'll stay without neurons, bald and lifeless. But I always think I have to see the fruits that grow first, and so was able to overcome all that stress I have. So although I do not give because everything in this life is a process and with it we learn the things we need to move forward in our goal. Finally I want to be like Don Quixote continued his love Dulcinea, but in this case I follow my heart leads me to my dream.Sorry to take you on a literary journey just wanted you know that will not stop if I have to believe and fight for what I also do it although it is not strong or fast as wonderwoman. I am the Heronia of my story are my studies.


As many students from my high school attended the same college as me, I ended up choosing a roommate who I had been friends with all through high school. While other people's predictions of us hating each other haven't come true, I wish I had opted for a random roommate. While it might make me more nervous and shy for a short time, it would force me to immediately start hanging out with a different group of friends.


I would remind myself to get decent grades, and no matter what GO TO COLLEGE and finish!! Find a school where you could do Physical Therapy, and get help with the Anatomy class. Not to blow off classes, when you are going to college! Having fun is good, but when you can't find a job in 25 years, the degree will help you.


If I could see my high school self, I would convince myself to go to college right away and take a range of classes to find out what would interest me, instead of waiting. I planned to take one year off to figure out what I wanted to do, and ended up spending 14 years out of school. While I am excited to be back in class, it would have been much easier for me to complete a degree before I had a family. I would also have told myself about all of the ways that college can be paid for; when I was 19 I decided not to attend school because I didn't know that student loans were an option, and my parents didn't have money saved for me. I would also have told myself about the importance of having a degree, and how important going to college is.


College life is not all fun and partying. In some ways, it does feel like you're finally "on your own", but not in the ways you hope it will. When you want someone to handle all the red tape involved in registration and moving and bills, you'll wish you could have your parents handle it, as they always have. It's not always easy to make new friends. You have to remember, that as you look into a crowd and see people chatting with ease, laughing and having a good time, that the majority of them are probably just as nervous and uncomfortable as you are, and they're just hoping to make new friends too. You cannot rely on friends from home who may attend the same school, to be your only support system. If you lean on old friends too much, you'll never be forced to go out and make new ones. You may often feel like you want to blow off studying, so that you don't miss a great party, but don't. Five years from now, you won't remember the party anyways, but no one can take your degree away.


For the first 3 years of college, I was basically just staying afloat in terms of grades. If I could go back in time, I would tell myself that college is about exploration and not about knowing all the answers all the time. I would say that these are the moments that shape you as a person and if you allow other people's advice and criticisms to mold who you are, you're going to have a lot of work to do later on to build up your self-confidence again. I'd also say that it's important to have fun and socialize when you're in a new environment but remember that your main purpose is to build the best possible future for yourself and your family. The best friendships you'll make are the ones that are effortless and natural. I would tell myself that it's OK to be confused. Yes, even if you're more than half-way through college and second-guessing your major and career path. There's no successful person on the planet that didn't have a few hiccups along the way. Believe you can achieve, and you will.


If I could turn back time and talk to myself as a college senior, I would tell myself three things. First, I would say the path ahead is a short term loss for a long term gain. After years of experience, I believe that applying yourself wholeheartedly will ultimately make the path to success shorter. While it may be a sacrfice to chose studying over parties, or scholarship applications over dates, your choices are an investment. Second, I would tell myself to talk to people who can offer guidance. You cannot make all of the mistakes yourself, nor can you know all the answers yourself. If one assigned counselor does not meet your needs, they might know another professor who will spark an interest or introduce you to someone influential. Choose to talk to people. Third, I would tell myself to figure out what you like. It sounds cliche' because it is true and if you do chose not to find out what you like, you will be forced to do something just to make money. I would say everything is your choice now. Later, you will have less control if you do not make the right choices now.


DO NOT PANIC. The words of Douglas Adams have never failed me, but I wish somebody had told me them before going off to college. Going to college seems scary, nerve-wracking, and anxiety ridden. But it doesn't have to be. Go in there with a positive attitude and you can't fail; you won't fail. You got to where you are for a reason, so as long as you try your best you will succeed. Do not worry about wether people will like your or if you will get along with your roomate. Things will always work out in the end and someody will always have your back to make sure your hanging in there. Just don't sweat it. Have fun and enjoy yourself while still staying committed to your education. DO NOT PANIC.


I would tell myself that even though I did a lot of research, you have no idea what college is going to be like until you experience it. When you come across problems (which you will) take a deep breath and look at them objectively. Don't be afraid to ask your parents for advice. Remember all of the other first-year students are in the same boat as you. People will be nicer than you think they will be. Be sure to talk to any and every advisor you can. High school did not exactly prepare you for studying for college, you have a steep learning curve and you will have to spend much more time studying than you are used to doing. Although you are scared of over-loading yourself, you are more capapble than you give yourself credit. Also: go ahead and take French your first year, so that you have more room for other classes later on.


Find Yourself! Often times people will say that college is a time to get ahead in the world and to continue your education. While all of this is true, college has so many other purposes. I wish someone had told me that college is about more than grades and good schools. I wish I had taken classes not to fulfill requirements but to find what I was interested and good at. College is the first experience you have on your own. If you spend time doing what everyone else is telling you to then you will never find who you really are. I wish someone had told me to explore my first year, explore not only the new setting but myself. Dig deep, what do you really enjoy? Howard Thurman once said, “Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.” College can be the best time of your life if you're attending for the right reasons. So go out and find yourself!


So you're a high school senior getting ready to go to college. Get excited, and don't be scared! College is a whole new experience, so don't walk into it expecting it to be the same as high school. Yes, college classes are more challenging than high school classes, and yes, it is going to be awkward when you get to campus and don't know many people, but that's part of the fun, and it's what everyone else is going through, too. Expect the unexpected, try new things, and be positive. If someone in your dorm invites you to go get ice cream, do it! You may meet people who become your best friends. If your sociology professor recommends a book, check it out, and you may find yourself thinking in a whole new way. You are almost on your way to college. Enjoy the journey!


I'm not sure.


Don't get in a relationship your first year of college, study abroad, always measure out your drinks, socialize with people who don't look like you.


When in your Junior and Senior years of High School, admission to the college of your dreams may seem like your life's only goal. It is certainly important to try your best at school, study hard for the SAT, put thought into application essays, and care about where you go. What is more important, however, is that you realize that college is what you make of it. Maybe you will get into your first choice and be ecstatic, but maybe you won't. Regardless of where you go, you will have the opportunity to make that school the college of your dreams. What sets truly successful people apart from the rest is not how many times they haven't failed but rather, how many times they did "fail" and, nevertheless, got back up and tried again. College is a wonderful experience, and it is important to consider the type of school which would be best for you. But, the name on the acceptance letter cannot determine what your college experience will be like. You know who can? Only you.


This year I will graduate from Seattle Central Community College and move on to obtain my Bachlor’s Degree in Fashion Design, but I will receive more than an Associate Degree this summer. Often I sometimes felt frustrated because the classes I needed to get my AA weren’t related to my future career. But I persevered and tried to learn something in every class. Not working on design classes and instead pushing myself to do my best has made me stronger. Today I am a more patient and mature person, who appreciates an opportunity to learn. Also, I have earned the respect of my family. I could have quit when I first lost my student loans. Instead I choose to adjust my plan. I moved in with family , enrolled at Seattle Central, researched different colleges to transfer to and built a portfolio. My family is proud of me and respect my determination. To have the respect of the most important people in my life gives me motivation. In the beginning I had no idea that life had so much in store for me, but I am proud of how I stepped up to the challenge.


So far, in my college experience, I have learned that I can acheive much more than I imagined I could. Going to a lecture or college class for the first time can be very overwhelming. I was apprehensive and questioning my own abilities and whether I should be at such a high higher educational instition. However, once you've settled into your niche, you realize that your professors and peers are human as well and that all of us have the ideas and capacity to do exceedingly well and to change today's society.


The University of Virginia (UVA) taught me the importance of diversity and how it contributes to a stronger society. Attending a private high school with little diversity didn’t really prepare me for what I would experience during my four years at UVA. Most of my high school classmates came from a similar background and had similar values. As I met those at UVA from different backgrounds and cultures and became aware of their values and goals, I realized the importance of these differences and learned to respect and honor them. During a time of tragedy at UVA, when fellow student Yeardley Love was murdered, I learned that the greatest strength of diversity is having a common bond. During this time, the common bond of the UVA community was respect for life. Students and faculty came together to grieve, despite race, gender, socioeconomic status, political beliefs, or sexual orientation. We supported each other, wept together, prayed together, and moved on together past the devastation. I will carry these lessons I learned about diversity during my years at UVA as I pursue the career of a physician assistant. Diversity makes a strong society, but a common bond makes it stronger.


I've learned many things in college, for example, the importance of getting involved, college is where you find your best friends for life, and how to be an independent person. However, my most valuable lesson is something that we've all heard for years, yet we still fall victim to it: procrastination is deficient, or as Victor Kiam once said, "Procrastination is opportunity's assassin." I would never be able to count the number of times I've procrastinated. I successfully graduated from high school by utilizing it, and got into one of the best universities in the world (in my biased opinion). Once getting to college, I realized that procrastination is a false friend. I quickly became a believer in planning out a study schedule. I soon realized that, working and preparing on something for a long period of time is what life's about: we spend around 17 years in schooling in order to get a job that we love, or work at searching for our "special someone" for years before marrying, because we want to get it right the first time. Everything takes time-just like it takes time to realize the value of this lesson.


College has broadened by eyes to the diversity of our world, as well as the fact the one should be open to other people's decisions in life even though you may not agree with them. Being surrounded by vast amounts of people of all different ethnicities, shapes, backgrounds, personalities, and so on has allowed me to change my one sided mind frame. For this reason college is extremely valuable to attend. This way when you are faced with problems in which you may not feel comfortable dealing with your newly acquired open-mind frame, thanks to college, can allow you to get past any insecurities you may have. One other valuable aspect of college is obviously the knowledge you acquire. Learning actually is far more enjoyable in college due to the freedom you are given and diverse teaching styles each professor follows. All in all college alows for diversity on many different levels...broadening every students ways and thinking patterns


I've gained a broader perspective overall of the world around me. Because of the liberal arts foundation of UVa academics, I've had the opportunity to take religious studies, anthropology, and history classes that focus on non-western cultures. I find this to be the most rewarding thing about college-- exposure to the international perspectives that I just didn't get in my small town high school. I've met people that I respect and discovered interests that I never would have considered before. Most of all, I have the freedom to explore and decide what things in life I want to strive for. I hope to study abroad and keep my curiousity for the world around me alive as I venture farther from my comfort zone than I ever have before. While I haven't loved UVa every moment, it's helped me grow into a more wise and adventurous adult with a future full of possibilities.


Going to the University has allowed me to experience life in a more real world setting than when I was in high school. It is up to me to stay safe and decide with whom I want to associate, when I return home, what I eat, etc... Also, because the population of the place I attend school at is much larger than high school, college has been a challege for me to break out of my comfort zone and try to trust new people and make new friends. Finally, one of the most important reality checks I have learned through starting college is the struggle to have enough money to pay for my future.


After attending over a year of college, I have started to learn more and more about myself. Going into college, I had doubts about what I wanted to do in the future. I had several possibilities and potential careers I wanted to pursue but not one main goal. The social encounters, the academic classes, and the idea of just "growing up" has helped me discovery myself. Despite going to a college with a large student body, I have been able to cultivate my own self identity, and it has helped me become more comfortable and confident with myself. College helped to bring out my self expression and my individuality to new heights. I have abandoned the awkward stages of middle and high school and have matured into an ambitious individual who is ready to work himself to death in order to make his dreams a reality.


UVa has the distinct ability to provide a safe space for almost any personality type, while at the same time forcing you, albeit uncomfortably at times, to be frighteningly independent. While on the cusp of adulthood, one is thrust into this schoolwide first-year camraderie and complete independence simultaneously, forcing one to discern that proper personal balance. Although this may seem to be standard for any new freshman entering into a college lifestyle, it is quite different at the University of Virginia. Here, due to the rigorous academic background of each and every student prior to entry, teenagers transform swiftly into mature decision-making and fully-competent adults in a matter of days, sliding into rhythm with the upperclassmen and blending so well, it is almost unsettling to those who find themselves somewhat behind the curve. The result, a decision to be made: Move forward or be left behind; a decision, to which some choose the latter option, transfering in defeat after an initial difficult semester, but for most, the call is answered in triumph. Out emerges a successful, self-sufficient, and extremely confident individual, hopefully like myself, fully equipped for the competive dynamics that exist the work force today.