Monday, February 20, 2017

UVA vs. Miami

            One of my favorite things about UVA is basketball season. I had never been much of a basketball fan in all honesty, but college has completely changed that because basketball season brings UVA together. At times UVA can feel really big; there are over 16,000 undergrad students all involved in very different activities and classes. Yet basketball somehow makes that gap feel smaller.
            You have to request for a ticket to the games which is then based on a lottery system. The more ‘sabre points’ you have, earned by going to more sporting events, the more likely you are to get a ticket to a basketball game. You are given a group which then indicates what time you are permitted to enter the game therefore determining where you can sit. The lower your group, the likelier your chance of getting a seat on the side lines. Regardless of where you sit though, you will be able to feel the energy of the wahoos on their home court. And in no time, you will learn all of the cheers and most importantly, the Good Ol’ Song.
            The Virginia vs. Miami game tonight was another hard one to watch. The hoos haven’t had their best season, but we will still hold our allegiance to them knowing that they will bounce back soon. No matter what, I will cheer for the hoos and always will. 
-       Katie


Friday, January 27, 2017

Finding the Right Fit

Choosing a school to attend is all about finding the right fit. That being said, congratulations to all of you accepted into UVA's class of 2021! You guys have worked hard and we hope you decide to attend next year! But you still have a big decision ahead: do you want UVA to be your home for the next four years? When I was deciding if I wanted to accept the offer or not, here are a few things that I found helpful to know.

1. The location of the University: Charlottesville is one of my favorite cities! It is home to about 50,000 people, surrounded by mountains, filled with amazing places to eat and countless things to do. As a student, you are able to get involved in the community through many community service opportunities so you really feel like you are contributing to the place you are living. The University is close to the Downtown Mall, an area with a lot of shops, great places to eat, and cool music venues.

2. The size of the University: There are about 16,000 undergraduates. For me, that meant that it was big enough to not know everyone, but small enough to still be able to find a group of people I fit in with. Walking around, there are always people that I don't know, but the university is still small enough to run into people you know everywhere!

3. Academics: UVA has a lot of great majors and programs that are helpful to look into. Along with that, some majors have different concentrations you can be in as well. For example, I am an economics major, and I considered concentrating in public policy. It was helpful for me to see all the options that I had at UVA, even the not so obvious ones!

This list is not exhausted at all, but were good things for me to think about when I was deciding if I wanted to attend UVA. Remember that finding a great school to attend is all about finding the right fit for you!

-Katie Goodwin

Friday, December 2, 2016

Hoo Stories!

Hey Everyone! We apologize for the absence of posts on the blog in the past year or so. After a transition of blog ownership, we are now ready to post consistently throughout the next year to give a great picture of student life around grounds. We want this blog to be most beneficial to you all, so today we want to introduce ourselves and then we want to welcome all comments and suggestions for future posts!

Hi! My name is Win Maddox and I am a second year pre-commerce student at UVa. I am from Virginia Beach Virginia and am hoping to delve deeper into the study of finance within the McIntire School of Commerce during my third year. Some of involvements around grounds include being heavily dedicated to UVa student outreach (interactions with alumni, parents, and especially prospective and newly accepted students), Green Dot power based violence bystander training, and student council involving academic affairs around grounds. My main goal is to provide a clear and informative view of what it is like to be a student around grounds, while adding in my own experiences to make it personal.

My name is Katie Goodwin and I am a third year at UVA from Leesburg, Virginia. I am majoring in economics in the College of Arts and Sciences and minoring in the Curry School of Education in global studies in education. Around grounds, I am involved in different areas of the admissions office through volunteering for Days on the Lawn and helping out with information sessions for prospective students. I also am involved in Intervarsity Christian Fellowship and Day in the Life, a tutoring program for schools in the Charlottesville area. You can always find me drinking coffee in any of the many coffee shops around Charlottesville, or hanging out with friends on the lawn, and I hope to share my many UVA experiences through the blog!

We want to make this blog as useful to prospective/accepted students as possible, and thus the purpose of this post is to not only introduce ourselves but also to gather ideas/suggestions of what you all would like to learn more about as a student at UVa. Please post your suggestions in the comments below, and we will write about the most suggested ideas throughout this upcoming semester!


Win & Katie

Photo from

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Summer Interns Take the Blog

The Admissions Summer Interns will be taking over the blog for the summer and we've expanded onto different social media platforms!

-If you're looking for inspiring stories about UVA students and what they're passionate about on grounds follow us on Instagram @hoos_stories
-If you'd like to ask us questions or get updates about blog posts you can follow us on Twitter @UVAHooStories 
Additionally we're going to introduce the Social Media Staff really quick i.e. in five words: 
Kendall: thoughtful, grounded, caring, motivated, protective
Saskia: enthusiastic, smiley, friendly, caring, talkative
Teresa: exuberant, passionate, protective, sincere, blabbermouthed (it's a word...)
We'll be posting every Tuesday and Thursday until the end of the summer. If you have any specific topics you would like us to cover please feel free to leave a comment on this post! 

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Fun Classes to Take at UVA

One of the great things about signing up for classes is being able to peruse the many interesting topics  each department has to offer. Especially during your first and second years at UVa, you have the time to broaden your horizons by studying some subjects you might not have thought possible. Although general requirements and major requirements can sometimes leave you feeling bogged down with regimented schedules, it's important to make sure you're taking at least one "fun" class from time to time. These can be off-the-wall, nothing-to-do-with-my-major classes or maybe even ones that can count towards your degree requirements! Either way, make sure that during your time at UVa you search for those hidden gems that allow you to learn and have some fun while doing it. To get you thinking, here's a list of classes that represent just a few of the quirky and interesting subjects you can study during your college years here:

1. Salem Witch Trials (RELC 3150)
This class is one of the most interesting and engaging classes I have taken at UVa. It covers the history of the trials during 1692, paying careful attention to the origin stories and primary individuals involved in the whole debacle. From there, you move forward into modern day to explore literary and documentary interpretations of the Salem Witch Trials. You also get a close look at some of the primary documents that have been preserved throughout the years, reading for yourself the transcriptions of the court proceedings.

2. How Theatre Works (DRAM 1010)
This class is so incredibly fun. You get to read scripts from classic plays, watch plays that the UVa Drama Department puts on twice each semester, and work with a group to develop your own skit that is performed at the end of the year for the entire class. Not only is it fun and lighthearted, but you also learn about public speaking and how to work as a group to devise your own masterpiece. This class can bring you out of that proverbial shell and help you become more at ease with speaking up, speaking out, and being excited while doing so.

3. Unsolved Mysteries of the Universe (ASTR 1270)
For those of you more intrigued by matters of science, this is a class that gets great reviews from students who have taken it. You get to learn about black holes, extraterrestrial life, dark energy, the nature of time, and so forth. Who doesn't want to dabble their toes in learning about things like this? Whether you're a science or non-science major, this class could offer you some great excitement during the weeks when your other classes are feeling a little heavy to bear.

4. Dracula (SLAV 2360)
Yes, you read that title correctly. There is a class offered at UVa that is focused on the literature and folklore surrounding the figure Dracula. This class is another one that gets great reviews from students, with its discussion of slavic literature and the western misconceptions of vampires. The course is self-described as being interdisciplinary, meaning that it discusses a number of topics while exploring the subject of Dracula: religion, folklore, film, history, literature, and even disease.

5. Mass Media and American Politics (PLAP/MDST 3140)
This class explores the ways in which media and politics intersect over a broad range of issues: war, elections, political campaigns, and more. The lessons you learn from this course are both fun and useful to aid you in navigating the media/political realm of American society. You get to explore the nature of political advertisements, media ownership, and the effects media has on its viewers. You certainly learn a lot, and the professor always makes the lectures entertaining and engaging.

Obviously this list is not exhaustive. There are plenty of classes left untold by this blog post, but hopefully this will get the gears in your brains turning and thinking about the types of classes you would be interested in taking throughout your years as a student at the University. Whatever you decide to take, though, remember to have fun while you're learning something new. College is a chance to explore your interests, pursue your tastes, and learn a little bit of this and that along the way.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Class Selection

One thing seems to be on the minds of everyone this time of year: what classes should I take in the fall? It's an exciting and stressful time for everyone, but especially so when you're an incoming first year hearing horror stories about not being able to get any of the classes you want and being stuck in class purgatory. So first off, I'd like to say to everyone, take a deep breath. It will be fine. You may not get your first pick of classes but you will end up taking really cool classes, some of which might surprise you. No, you will not get into criminology your first year (or probably your second or third year either). Popular classes fill up fast and the waitlists are long. Look around at other options.

Now, you're probably wondering when exactly you will get to sign up for your classes. That will be done during orientation over the summer and you will have orientation leaders there to help you create schedules and navigate sign up on SIS. However, you should have a general idea of what sort of classes you want to take before you get to orientation to make the whole process easier on yourself. Keep in mind any AP/IB credits you come in with and the requirements for your school/potential major. For example, in the College of Arts and Sciences there is a foreign language requirement if you, like me, stopped Spanish as soon as possible and didn't place out with the knowledge you retained 2 years later. A good place to look at all the current classes, and how full they are, is on Lou's List. Focus on 1500 and 2000 level classes, which are geared more towards first and second year students.

One of the other important things to keep in mind is timing. Think about when you like to get your day started. If you're not a morning person, try and steer away from 8ams to make actually getting to class more likely. Also remember to block out time to grab lunch/ a snack in the middle of the day. Food is very important and should always be scheduled around. Lastly, when actually creating your schedule pay attention to where your classes are and how much time you give yourself to get there. If you want to get from Gilmer to Wilson in 10 minutes, keep dreaming. The orientation leaders will be really helpful with this so don't be afraid to ask.

Lastly, don't be afraid to take something weird and out of your comfort zone. You have a limited number of semesters to fit in all the classes you need and want to take and there are some surprisingly weird and interesting classes. For me, the class out of my comfort zone was an astronomy class called Unsolved Mysteries of the Universe. While definitely challenging, we got to talk about things like black holes, alternate dimensions, and dark matter. Plus the professor was a really great lecturer, so I highly recommend it. It was the first of 3 classes that I've currently taken geared toward outer space and I have no regrets.

Monday, March 14, 2016

First Year Housing

One question that I get a lot during the chats with all of you prospective students is what are the dorms like? So, here is my personal run-down of all of the first year housing options, but first some answers to a few related common questions:

Can I pick my own roommate?
Yes! You can request a roommate on the housing application that you know from high school or chatted with on the Facebook page or met through some other event. You can also pick to have a random roommate which many people do so don't feel pressured to find somebody. It honestly can work out great or not so great with either option and ultimately this person is your roommate not a required best friend and what matters is that you can live together peacefully.

Can I pick which dorm I get?
No. Where you get placed is random.

Which is the best dorm?
In my opinion, new dorms are the best, but I am incredibly biased since that's where I lived my first year. All joking aside, your living situation is what you make of it. If you put yourself out there and get to know your dormmates and hallmates you will be fine regardless of where exactly you're living.

And now on to the actual dorms!

Old Dorms
Located close to the Chem building and other science buildings that I avoid at all costs, Old Dorms are hall style which means two people per room with a bathroom that is shared by the hall. Also in all hall style dorms the entire dorm in co-ed but each floor is one gender. There's no air conditioning so bring your own fan for those last weeks of August and first weeks of September.

New Dorms
New Dorms are also hall style but have air conditioning! They are also located right near O-hill, one of the three dining halls, and the Aquatic and Fitness Center (AFC), home of the largest hot tub on the East coast.

These dorms are suite-style which means there are several single or double occupancy rooms are a common living space and with a bathroom in each suite. These dorms are also air conditioned and are a little farther from classes but are surrounded by trees and have Runk dining hall right in the middle of all the buildings.

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Ten Foods Guaranteed to Help You Survive First Year

If you're anything like me, then food speaks to you on a spiritual level. It gets you. You and food have a connection that surpasses the bonds between mere mortals. In times of sorrow concerning the latest Grey's Anatomy tragedy; in the moments of utter joy a Friday brings; and even those times in between the extremes, food can be a true source of comfort. For this reason, I've compiled a list of foods that will carry you through the ebbs and flows of your first year of college. More importantly, consider this a road map for avoiding the dining hall after eating French fries and pizza three nights in a row (but of course I'm not speaking from experience). I'm not saying you shouldn't be mindful of the dreaded "Freshman 15," but I'm also not telling you to prohibit your foodie flag from flying.

1. Ramen Noodles/Cup of Noodles
           Is it stereotypical college student food? Yes. Is it cheap? Certainly. Is it easy to make? Without a doubt. Ramen is a staple food during the first year of college for many students because it is, to say the least, cheap and easy. Beyond that, Ramen is like hipster chicken noodle soup for when you inevitably become sick during the school year. It's a source of comfort. It's dependable.

2. Soy Sauce
           Debatably a condiment, but necessary when spicing up noodle dishes and various other bland, potentially delicious meal sources. It's a cheap way to flavor food, especially when having a lazy day in the dorm. 

3. Oranges
           Here's why oranges are great: they last a long time, they're healthy, and the vitamin C packs a punch when a pick-me-up is needed. A bag of oranges from the supermarket will last at least three weeks, so it's no big deal if they’re not eaten quickly.

4. Cheez-Its 
           Another great snack food to have around the room. Whether it be dashing in and out between classes or settling down for some quality time with Netflix, these little beauties are fantastic. Caution: It's very easy to consume an entire box in one sitting without careful exercise of willpower. 

5. Steamed Veggies
           More healthy options! Steamed vegetables, the frozen packs that are bought in the supermarket, can be great microwavable foods that guarantee at least two meals. Experiment with the different flavors, but don't buy so many that the mini-fridge's even more miniature freezer becomes crowded.

6. Ice Cream
           This is just a staple for dorm life. I personally recommend those quart-sized Ben and Jerry's flavors, because you can sample a variety of concoctions. Ice cream can be for any occasion, and really I don't need to say more.

7. Breakfast Bars
           Sometimes (most of the time) you won't wake up early enough during the weekdays to go get a substantial breakfast at the dining hall. For those occasions, breakfast bars can be a lifesaver! They're also great snacks to have on hand throughout the day and for those times in class when a starving stomach is screaming in protest. 

8. Sandwich Fixings
           Let's just lump lunch meat, cheeses, peanut butter, jelly, and bread together to make this simpler. It's always helpful to have this stuff in the fridge for those times when you just want to eat something more filling than potato chips. Also relatively cheap, sandwich components are necessary food items.

9. Water filter
           Chlorinated water is gross and yet abundant. Water filters can fix that problem and guarantee a fresh drink in times of struggle. Perhaps they're a little pricier, but your taste buds will thank you later.

10. Candy

           This is pretty vague, and I'm keeping it that way. Whatever your sugar preferences may be, it's important to have some sweets in the room to keep you sane. People bond over this stuff, so make some friends through the mutual appreciation of sweets. Treat yo 'self. You deserve it.