April is one of my favorite months at UVa—of course I love the weather and blossoming flowers (which are behind schedule this year!) but I especially love Days on the Lawn. Some of you might know what DOTL is, maybe you're attending one soon(!), or maybe you've never heard of it. Days on the Lawn is an opportunity for accepted students to come visit the University, as they make the tough decision of deciding where to attend school in the fall. Parents often accompany students to DOTL and take advantage of scoping out the University as well--whether this is their first or fifth visit. (Picture: some of the DOTL volunteers bright and early!)
But Days on the Lawn is not your typical college visit. UVA students, faculty, and administration plan tons of different engaging activities to help paint a better picture of what your time here would be like, should you choose to be a Hoo! What kind of activities am I talking about, you ask? Everything from sitting in on college classes (tons of choices here!) to grabbing lunch on the Corner or at a dining hall with a current student (answering your question: what will the food be like?!). You can also visit dorms to see what they look like inside and there's a resource fair full of information if that interests you. There's also info sessions about your school (including sessions about schools you'd transfer to later: Commerce, Education, Batten) and the opportunity to meet professors.
When I went to DOTL two years ago (wow, time has FLOWN), my favorite part was going to a student panel and hearing their perspectives. Picking current students' brains was extremely helpful in extracting the information I needed to make my touch decision and the student panel, going to lunch with a student, and taking a tour provided plenty of opportunities to ask questions. When I arrived at DOTL as a senior--a bit confused and overwhelmed--I thought UVa students didn't really want to talk to me and share their thoughts--however, I quickly realized how completely wrong I was about that! Students approached me with warm, smiling faces and were excited to share their stories. And now that I'm one of "those students," I can tell you that this is exactly true: the current students couldn't be more exciting that you're here and LOVE talking with you. So much that many wake up extra early to meet you (we're talking before 6am :)
What do I think are the best parts of DOTL? Lots and lots of opportunities to interact with students to answer any and all of your questions and also share with you their UVa experience. Additionally, there isn't a set schedule of activities that you must attend. In fact, your schedule is completely up to you. DOTL is set up to be flexible and fit as best possible to your interests for the day. Want to skip sitting in on a class and just roam around and take it all in? Great. Want to spend your time talking with current and possible incoming students? Go for it! It's really up to you.
Bottom line: if you have the opportunity to attend a DOTL, I highly recommend it! If you have any further questions, feel free to email me :)