University of Virginia-Main Campus Top Questions

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


First, students and parents should realize who ultimately has the power in the college application process. A lot of people think it's the colleges, because after all they are the ones who read applications and send out the acceptance letters, but really it's the other way around. Students should be trying to pick a school that best fits their needs, and parents should have a vested interest in this decision too; after all, they're the ones who will most likely be writing the tuition checks. Second, students should make the most of the fresh start college provides. Chances are your peers won't know much about who you were in high school, so take advantage of the opportunity to try new things and explore. Take a class in a subject you would've never imagined learning about, join a new club, or maybe make friends from a group you would've never known about in high school. You've worked hard for four years to get to college; now's the time to reap the benefits!


Choose a college that interests you with a variety of academics, sports, extracurricular activities, clubs, etc. Choose a school in a setting that you prefer. Choose a school that you will be proud of attending. School pride is very important!


College isn?t about grades. It?s not about what you got on your Bio final, or how many hours you took each semester. It?s not about how organized you were, or how long you spent in the library. Sure, it?s important to do well and prepare yourself for later in life, but success isn?t determined solely by your GPA. Going to college is about more than just a piece of paper you can hang on the wall. Meet people, join a club or fraternity. Speak out for what you believe in, take an active role in existing organizations, or fill the holes and make your own. Go to football games, tailgate, show your spirit. Make a positive name for yourself. Go to the library and work hard, then go home and play hard. Have a snowball fight at one in the morning. Road trip to basketball games or conventions. Be safe, but make memories. So when you?re looking for the right college, look past the academics. You can study hard and receive a good education from almost any school. But you can?t have the college experience just anywhere.


College is more than just picking a place to get the degree you want. While it is very important that you go somewhere that is supportive of your career goals, it is equally important that you enjoy where that place is. It won?t matter how successful you are academically if you get stuck at a school where you are miserable. Just make sure you visit all your choices and do all your research before making a final decision. Finally, and most importantly, no matter what outside influences say (whether friends, family, teachers, ect.) make a choice that YOU want to make.


Work hard, get involved and enjoy yourself. During your first year, don't be afraid to drop out of various things you've tried--infact, thoughout your college career, it's never too late to try something new, get involved in something else. Take more classes than you're required to for your major--expand your boundaries intellectually. You're at college to learn, after all. When the studying is done, enjoy yourself--not just partying. Go to the schools museums, check out a friend's art exhibit, go for a hike a few miles down the interstate. There is a lot to see and experience, but don't get stressed about trying to do it all! Four years goes really fast...


the on e that u fit in the most and feel most comfortable with the environment around


Enjoy every moment of it.


I would advise them to look beyond their own state for a stellar education. Virginia has tremendous schools and there is no doubt that UVA is among the best of them if not the best of them. However, there is a very strong culture here and if you do not wish to buy into it then you might be somewhat dissatisfied. That being said, the social life is pretty vibrant and I have had a decent time with the friends I have made here. Honestly, I feel blessed to know them. Your college friends will be among the closest in life. Also, you do not have to drink tons of alcohol if you do not want to although it is undoubtedly available whenever you want it. Visit as many places as you can and think very carefully about where you choose. Choosing a college sets you on a path that will influence the rest of your life without a doubt.


The most advantageous college experience is an atmosphere that allows for the most growth of the individual. Sometimes in order to grow we must face people, ideas, and situations that are unfamiliar and/or uncomfortable. When looking at school it's most important to take into account what type of environment is going to provide the means of the most growth and sucess of the individual student. This means being honest about one wants from the school they'd like to attend. If academics are a primary concern then be realistic about where the student can get in. If social life if more important, than recognize which school will provide this. Honestly, when choosing a school one should look at a variety of factors in determining which school is best suited. A school is the sum of its parts, just like us as individuals. Choosing a well rounded school will help to create a well rounded individual which in turn makes one more flexible within their environment. A college experience is what you make it ;so choose a school with the most resources to mold your own educational experience.


Exploring different campuses and comparing different college environments is necessary to see what is a good fit for you. There are so many factors which comprise having a good college experience and schools should not just be purely judged based on how they rank academically in journals and on web sites. When visiting different places, there is nothing more valueable than asking a random student how they feel about the college because they can present much insight on the intricacies of the school and how college life there really is. When examining different colleges, think of who you are as an individual, what your likes and dislikes are, and what type of friends you had in high school. Your friends can reflect different aspects of your own personality which you may be unaware of so when visiting different college campuses, try to think whether or not you could imagine yourself enjoying that campus. Also, be prepared to examine the college classroom settings more closely to see whether or not the professors actually enjoy teaching.


Make sure you are getting the best college for the money. Many colleges are good, but check the employment statistics especially for the field you want to go into. Make sure that the financial aid process is easy and efficient. The worse thing happens when the school promises you money and does not deliver or if the financial aid process is complicated.


Visit the college beforehand and talk to some of the students that go to that college besides the tour-guide (they are biased). I also reccommend to attend a class of your choice that, that school offers and see if you enjoy it!


First, determine what you want from your college experience. Talk with your parents and determine what qualities you desire in a college, such as the size, public/private, extraciricular activities, class size, cost, average SAT/ACT score, location, etc. Conduct research to determine schools that have qualities that are desired. Narrow the search down to 5-10 schools, keeping in mind that some should be safety schools, target schools, and reach schools. Make sure these schools include programs that you or your child wants to study. Deeply research these schools and try to talk to students and alumni of these schools. Visit each of these schools and take notes. Apply to schools that seem to fit and you will be happy and succeed there. After recieving acceptances, try to visit these schools again during their "accepted students" days to get a better feel for the school. After making your decision, be excited! You will meet many new and different types of people who have had varying life experiences and you can learn from each of them. A good balance is necessary. Become involved in activities that interest you, but never forget about academics, it IS the reason you're there!


Some people do better in bigger environments, and some do better in smaller ones. It's important to think about how much you like being able to walk around and recognize people and feel like you are known. The best part of my college experience has been the feeling that I really belong at UVa, and that there is a place for me. I like being surrounded by people who are extremely motivated, although at times it is stressfull. The best thing I did was to take a year off before I started school, because I grew up a lot in that year, and then I was really ready and excited to go to college and start learning. I was a little burnt out after high school, and the year off helped me put everything in perspective, and realize what I wanted to get out of college, which also helped me choose the right one for me.


go somewhere that fits you. visit the school first, and if you can spend an entire weekend/day there and visit some of the classes. see if the school has any majors you would be interested in.


so much of college is learning how to live on your own. it is a good idea to look beyond the actual academic aspects of the school and understand what one will spend their time doing besides homework and what the area has to offer in regards to that.


Don't just look at academics or athletics, go to the school and see the environment; check out if you know you will fit in or be able to live in that sort of environment to help you mature your personality.


Harvard is great. So is Stanford. However, college is about finding one's own place that can help you to grow as a strong individual. This place does not necessarily have to be one of Ivy League schools because it is more important that a student feels 'right' to be at the particular school, than to blindly aim for schools with fancy Latin titles on their gates. The truth is, as long as the student finds his or her right place to mature academically, while enjoying college experience, it does not really matter if that school is rates as top 10 schools on Princeton Review. If you want to challenge yourself academically and feel that these prestigious schools are right for you, then by all means, go ahead! But my point is that you should thorougly research different colleges to find the college that is best fit for you. I know that this is an exciting yet scary time of your life because this is the first major decision you have made in your life. But dont worry, you will make the right decision in the end as we all did. Good Luck and enjoy your college!


Choose a school that has the programs you want and at the same time is challenging.


Don't stress. Stressing about things clouds your judgment. For parents encourage your kids to look at many schools but not in an intimidating way. Students don't stress about the schools you get into, because more than likely the school end up choosing will be the best school for you. Once at school, get involved in as much as you seem necessary and make social connections. Stressing about classes and girls and that stuff just makes the experience more difficult. Try to live in the moment and take a serious but still collected approach. Don't have regrets make the most of what you have at your fingertips.


Dear Student, Please remember that the college process is about YOU. Not your parents, not your teachers or classmates or siblings or future children. No matter what anyone else says, going to college is about what you feel comfortable with. Simply follow these easy steps to a succesful hunt for higher education: Step 1. Take everyone else's expectations, and throw them out the window. Step 2. Repeat. Wherever you go, whatever you do, college is NOT the definitive factor of your future life. You are the most important person in this decision, so don't let the pressures of others' expectations get in your way. Happy hunting. Sincerely, A College Student


Lets kids visit on their own and stay with a friend because they have to get a taste of the social scene, fraternity parties etc. Just tell them to be careful at parties because many schools have a huge ammount of date rate/acquaintance rape. Tell them not to drink more than one or two drinks if they're girls, and not to be afraid to seem weird by running away or making a fuss, and not to be afraid to hurt a guy who is coming on to them. Tell them not to turn down opportunities, but be smart at all times and trust the voice in their head. Take classes that interest them, not just what they think they should take. Go somewhere where they feel at home on campus. People don't realize that the education students recieve comes mostly from what they do out of class with their friends, with volunteering, culturally, and by being on their own. Academics is not as important as becoming a discerning human being. Wherever they go they will be happy, for the most part.


Make sure you do your research on the school you wish to attend. Ask the financial aid office all the questions that you feel need to be answered in order to ensure that you can enjoy your university experience without having to deal with the economic struggles that might face you if you do not prepare yourself during the summer. On that note, make sure that you use the summer before you go to college wisely. Prepare your personal life by ensuring yourself that you do not have any distractions back home that might cause you trouble when the going gets tough in your first semester. Apart from that, I wish you all the best of luck! WA-HOO-WA!!!


To parents... I would let your children choose the school they want keeping their best interest in mind. If the school doesn't work out for them, then they can always transfer. Also, don't let the cost of a school restrict your options; there are plenty of scholarships and financiad aid opportunities! To students... Don't pick a school based on where your best friends are going. You will have the opportunity to make many new friends in college and will find that they are just as great if not better than your high school friends. It's hard separating from your friends at the beginning, but you will still be friends with them and can make many more! Pick a school based on what you are looking for in a college not based on its "reputation" or where people from your hometown typically go. Make sure the school suits your criteria for a social life because that is very important. HAVE FUN!


It is important to look at all aspects of a university before attending. Just because a school is reputable, does not necessarily means it is the right one for you. The top schools in the nation are at the top because they are academically rigorous and expect the best from the students they admit. If you are smart, but are not driven to excel in a competitive environment, then you might find youself better suited for a smaller school with more resources to help students succeed. The larger the university, the more thinly-spread the resources, meaning that students must make the initiative to ensure their own success. Nobody will hold their hand and make sure they graduate on time or get good grades. The responsibility to succeed lies within themselves at these large, top-tier schools, so make sure you can handle the atmosphere before committing.


The easy part is narrowing down your choices based on academic interests, location, and financial concerns. But truly finding the right college is all about the feeling. Visit the school. Walk around campus in between classes. Do you feel comfortable around the campus among the crowd of students? Visit the library in the evening. Do you identify with the study habits of the students there? If you can, spend a weekend at the school and participate in the social life. Obviously you will feel somewhat foreign to any school you are visiting. But when you find the right place, you should feel some longing to return to the school you visited. It can range from a mild curiosity to a strong desire but something inside you will draw you back to the school where you really want to be. Finally, resist outside pressures from parents and other relatives on your college decision. You only get one college experience and it should be entirely your own. When you arrive at school, enlist as much advice from older students as you possibly can. They are the ones with good recommendations and unfortunate regrets but either way, you can learn from their wisdom.


I was always adamant that when I went to college, it would be far away from my home state. To my surprise, after being forced to visit my own state university, I felt immediately at home there. I wound up choosing that very same school, and my time at college so far could not have been happier. I learned from my own experience that the right college is not necessarily going to be the one you always envisioned, but when you do find the college that is perfect for you, that arduous application process will all make sense. The best way for you to choose the college that will make you happy is to trust your instinct. If a college feels right, you will be happy there. For parents, the best thing to do is be there for advice, but do not make the decision for your student. College is where you will spend the next four years of your life, so it should feel like a place of your own. Above all ,it should be a place you can envision as home.


When you pick your college, consider how competitive it is going to be and determine if you're ready to deal with that competition. To make the most of your college experience, find the balance between academics and social. Find the friends that bring out the best in you; they encourage you when it comes to school and tell you when it's time to take a break from it all.


Be discerning!


I feel that the problem I had in my first year of college as well as in my senior year in high school is I went to college and took classes that appealed to everyone, but myself. College is a chance for you to explore areas that interest you. So when picking out your classes you should find classes in topics you find interesting not simply just to fill requirements. Finding the right college all relies on the individual. A big college campus is not for everyone and it is easy for individuals to get lost in the shuffle. It is important to feel out what kind of environment you feel most comfortable learning in, because inevitably you're in college to get an education not strictly to party. Most importantly, while in college students should get involved in clubs that they are interested in. Not only do they prove outstanding for resumes, but students many times meet longtime friends through these various organizations.


I would tell parents to let their kids decide which college is best for them. One of the best things my parents ever did for me was be extremely hands off in my college decision. Of course they drove me to campus visits and toured schools with me, and of course I talked to them about what colleges I was considering, but their voices and opinions never overpowered mine. I appreciated this immensely. Because they weren't constantly hovering over my shoulder and steering my decisions, I think colleges got a great idea of who I am in my applications. Speaking of applications, the best advice I can give to a student looking at colleges is to work hard on the applications! Yes, GPA and extra-curriculars matter, but this application packet is what the admissions office can actually SEE. They can hold it in their hands and read about who you are, so it's important to make your essays special. You can never start writing and revising too early, and be sure to be innovative, humorous, and thought provoking. The paragraph you are currently reading, for instance, would be far too generic for a college essay. Good luck!


Take time to search, go visit, and talk to students who are like you. Don't just talk to tour guide (who are biased), but talk to real students. Sit in on a class if you can. Know what you are getting into before you go.


Finding the right place for you can be difficult. I feel like the best way to know is just a feeling you get when you are on campus for the first time visiting. If you are getting excited about school and thinking of all the different activities you can see yourself doing at that place, then you've found the right college for you. School must make you excited to be there and anxious to move into dorms and meet people.


Consider what is most important to YOU, and then pray that God will show you where you belong. Sometimes the best place for you to attend is not what you would expect.


To find the right college, you need to look at the entire picture. The quality of the professors, diversity of classes & majors, size of the classes, and how well you like the campus are areas where everyone focuses, and rightly so. They are important, but don't forget so many other things that will be important as you go through your college years. Size of the athletic program, the careers office, internship opportunities, how scheduling works, study abroad opportunities, job placement after you graduate, proximity of on- and off-grounds housing, prevalence of fraternities/sororities, school spirit, there are hundreds of things that could be vital or meaningless to different individuals. Visit the campus, stop students walking to class and ask "what do you love about your school? what could they be doing better?". To make the most of your college experience, just get out there and do things. Volunteer, play sports, join clubs, there are thousands of things to do, and you will probably enjoy all of them to some degree. The people that seem to have the most fun are the people that involved in so many things that sleep is a luxury.


Find a place you enjoy for all aspects of the school. Academics should be the main priority, yet social life, athletics, and other variables should play a large role in where you go, for they will all impact your life there at one point or another.


Take your time visitng each campus, and don't be afraid to ask questions. Parents - let your son or daughter plan an overnight trip to one of his or her top schools to see what it is really like, because a one-hour tour is hardly enough to make a decision. Talk to current students who go to that particular college or university and see what they really think. If you have any idea what you would like to major in, do some research and figure out which schools you were accepted to have the best program for what you want to do. Other important things to consider: The cost of off-campus housing, the amount and extent of extra-cirricular activities, volunteer opportunities, if your school has a ROTC program or not, the financial aid and scholarship options your school offers, study abroad programs, and what kinds of undergraduate research opportunities are offered. Lastly, I would highly recommend sitting in on a big lecture class in a subject you are interested in to get a feel for what academics at that school are really like.


In order to find the most fitting college, a student and his family must visit the university and surrounding city for a weekend to soak in each unique atmosphere before making their decision. It would also help to have a mild idea of their carreer orientation in order to see what areas each university excels in before making the tough choice. In order to make the most of their college experience, i would recommend experimenting with various clubs and organizations available on campus as well as social opportunities such as greek event. Doing so will also enable the student to broaden his social affiliations and participate in a diverse community which is key for a university to prosper.


To make the most out of your college experience, don't listen to advices that encourages you to "explore" yourself during college. If you can, you should definitely get that done before college so you could make every semester count. In UVA, for example, students are extremely competitive and one slip could mean a big detriment to your college career and worse off even your future job. Keep in mind that once you have a solid and organized goal in your mind, it will be much easier to pursue a successful college career. In the end, college is not as rosy as what people makes it sound. You will have lots of fun, but what comes down in the end is really only your grades.


Keep your options open. College really changes you and you might end up choosing a field that you never expected you would be interested in. Don't stress too much about grades, but do your best in everything. Explore, and take advantage of opportunities offered because they might not come again.


Apply to affordable schools as well as dream schools. Also, don't skip out on the FAFSA from, regardless of your income


To find the right college, you need to look at the quality of professors. The professors will make or break you so try to find out if they research along with there teaching. Also, look at the statistics for the school. Find the school that is best for your major, no matter what the cost because professional jobs look for where you attended. To make the most of the college experience, you need to put yourself out there. You never know who you are going to meet and where, so join as many clubs as you can and step out of your shell. If you see someone sitting alone at lunch, sit with them. Make friends with your roommates and invite them to dinner or coffee to study. Make sure you get involved with research with a professor. They have the knowledge and they can accelerate any dreams you may have by giving you the "know-how." Also, attend different events. There are plenty of sporting events, or community service events that are a lot of fun and it gives you the opportunity to meet new people and get a feel for the university.


The most important part of selecting the right school is to closely review the academic program. Do not worry, you do not have to know exactly what you want to do in life. Some students know exactly what they want to do, many will change their minds. I would suggest to choose a college that has a broad spectrum of fields that may interest you. Also think of your personal learning style. Many colleges, although large, offer smaller class sizes depending on major and level of course work. Colleges that will help find internships are a must for future work opportunities. Real hands on work experience is essential. The social atmosphere is another important aspect of choosing the right college. Visiting the college is a must. I would suggest doing so in a personal setting. The university guided tours will teach some history and main things about the college, but actually living it is very different. Look into programs that offer prospective students to stay with current students. Do not forget to keep your options open. Apply to several schools if possible. Lastly, do not be deterred by a school with a reputation for rigorous coursework.


When you go to different campuses, look at the activity and how the students interact. For example, if everyone seems up beat and running around and active, and that's what you're looking for, it's a good sign. The other students are what make or break your college experience! Once you've started college, ask around to other students and look online for different clubs and activities that interest you. The most rewarding parts of college are when you are trying new things with groups of people who have similar interests, or when you find people who can teach you new things in a field you are already familar with. In this way you will have a fulfilling college experience, will meet many people, and will walk away a more well rounded person. Never stop asking questions, and force yourself to step outside of your comfort zone every once in a while. You'll be surprised the kinds of people you can meet and things you can accomplish!


I would tell parents and students to apply for as many scholarships as possible if not get recruited to play a sport in college. Also, know what you want to major in and ask for/look at the type of classes you would have to take for that degree. Also, don't sign up for so many classes just so that you finish in four years, sign up for the amount of classes that you can handle to make "A's." It's that important for life after college. It's also important to find the right resources for support in academics and social life. Definitely, go visit the college before you apply for it and check out what the campus and the people on it are really like.


The most important aspect of looking for the right college is looking for a college that you could call home. In truth, that college will be the student's home for the next four or more years. So the applicant must ask himself or herself these questions: am I looking to have a large or small family to grow with? Do I want to be close to my professors or be lost in the crowd? Am I looking for a peaceful home or one filled with excitement, partying, and a whirlwind social life? While the academic standards and financial limitations should be considered, it is most important for a student to find a college that fits his or her personality, for one may come out of Harvard with a degree in law but may also have been miserable and look back at college as a burden in life. College should be a fun and comfortable transition for a young adult into the real world. Therefore, a student should choose a college that he or she believes will be the most engaging and enjoyable home he or she will have the pleasure of living in.


I dont want to fill this out.


My advice to students about finding the right college is to go the open house for the college. You have to make sure you research the college of your choice to see if they give you enought financial aid,the cost of housing, what social events they have for students, and their extra cirricular activities.. Also the most important thing to research is if the college has the major that you are interested in and where is the department ,that you are interested in, ranked among other schools. You should find out what programs they have for students who are struggling academically. You should make a friend with someone who already attends the college of your choice so you can ask them questions about the college. You just have to make sure that you do your homework about the college you want to attend so that you can go into a great learning enviroment and be as comfortable as possible.


Be SURE to visit the school and shadow students first. Keep in mind that students knowingly describing their experiences to prospective students tend to idealize it, so make sure you get a sense of how the school really is.


Make a list of goals that you want to accomplish by the end of the college (they don't have to be career specific or major specific). Something like I want to have the most options of majors so I can try something new or I love sociology and want to learn more about it. They should be somewhat vague and open-ended. Then make a list of things that have led you to success thus far. Examples of this include I work best when I have someone to bounce idease off of, or I work best working in groups. Make sure that your college will accomodate both of these lists as fully as possible. I wish I had done this.