Sunday, February 6, 2011

So when teachers want you to go around the class and introduce yourself, they also may add in the typical icebreaker question: "Give an interesting fact about yourself." Usually, students answer with a "I like to collect [insert something cool here]" or "I've been to [insert exotic country here] where I rode on an alpaca and wrestled with a chimp."

My answer usually is, "I have never driven a car. I don't have a license or ... even a permit for that matter." I'm 19 years old. And yes, that may or may not seem strange to you. The reason why is because I grew up in a city in New Jersey, a place where traffic and parking is the worst of your nightmares. In fact, the public transportation system (Bus, PATH train, and Lightrail) is pretty much amazing. And yes, you guys, this story has a point to it.

I went to an inner-city public high school which was continually top 5 in NJ for a pretty long time, so some liked to call it a "magnet" school. My school didn't have a football team (because honestly, where you can put a football field in the middle of ten-story buildings and brownstone houses) or any homecomings. It was unique. Everyday while on my way home on the lightrail, I would always pass by the the New York City skyline.

So, why UVA? Why Charlottesville? To name a few: Great academics, Check. Historical Tradition, Check. College experience, Check. Location, CheckCheckCheck.
I wanted to get out of the urban atmosphere and into a college town. While on my way down to visit UVA for the first time, I passed by lots of farms. Lots and lots of farms. I really wasn't used to it. However, once we got to Charlottesville, I knew this was the place I want to be. I took AP Art History my senior year of high school, and one of the sites we learned about was the Rotunda at the University of Virginia. It was so remarkable to see what I studied in reality. The campus or "Grounds" as we Wahoos call it, is obviously beautiful. With all the architecture of one style (Neoclassical), all of the buildings are uniform providing a sense of unity. Many people say that Grounds is really large, but I think it is a perfect size - If I can get from the Chemistry Building to the Art History Department on Rugby in 1o-15 minutes, so can you.

From the gray concrete sidewalks surrounding my high school to the fresh green grass on the Lawn at UVA, I would say it was a 180 (Okay, maybe not totally), but still. One of the greatest things about Charlottesville, is that it has its own little urban feel downtown: tons of great restaurants, entertainment, movie theater, boutiques and stores.

One of my favorite places it the The Flat: Takeaway Creperie. It's the perfect place to go for a Saturday or Sunday morning brunch. Just hop on the Free Trolley and you'll get there in a matter of minutes. They have a great variety of crepes for both those who have a sweet tooth or for those who don't! My personal favorites are the Spinach, Mushroom, Avocado, and Feta Crepe and the Nutella with Strawberries Crepe.

Essentially, I just want to say that there is a little bit of everything here. The city girl, the go green enthusiast - or anyone in between can make this place feel like home, just like I did.

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