Many of you reading this blog may be seniors, or even juniors, in high school and yes, you’re finally the ones graduating and the ones who “rule the school” [or so many seniors appear to think]. I was in your shoes at this time last year and was anxiously waiting a few more college decision letters. As I stated in my first blog, after receiving my college decision letters I threatened to draw a college name out of a hat, and at one point I even labeled three different tea sweetener packets and closed my eyes and picked one [just so you know, I picked UVa…all THREE times]. My mother didn’t really think this seemed like the best way to choose a college, so I started making pro and con lists. Eventually I came to the conclusion that I would attend UVa, which you probably could’ve guessed since you’re reading a UVa Blog. Anyways now after jogging your memory about my background, I figured I’d let you in on some of the great experiences of being a first-year, [even though this means you will no longer be the oldest in the school]!
I thought picking a college based on the Sweet'N Low packet seemed like a GOOD IDEA!
A day-in-the-life…I’ll start with dorm life. Well there are basically three sets of dorms from the way I see it: Old Dorms (McCormick Road), Alderman Road Dorms (from Balz-Dobie and Watson-Webb to Courtenay House), and Gooch-Dillard Residence Hall. I live in Gooch-Dillard, a co-ed residence area that is composed of suites that house between 5 and 6 people per suite and consists of individual bedrooms and one bathroom. Some of you may know where Gooch-Dillard is from visiting and the quote you will inevitably hear if you live in Gooch-Dillard is, “Oh, I’m so sorry! You are so far from everything…” Well I’m not going to deny this quote per se, but I will try to put a positive spin on it because Gooch-Dillard has a few perks such as your own bedroom, AIR CONDITIONING, a quick walk to Scott Stadium, and best of all, you’ll keep OFF the FRESHMAN FIFTEEN. Gooch-Dillard is now my “home-away-from-home” which may sound cliché, but I have actually enjoyed dorm life. I have become good friends with my Resident Advisor, Sarah, and have met some of the most amazing people in Gooch-Dillard from our First-Year President, Andrew, to my friends who I typically give a “shout-out” to in these blogs! Many of the people you meet in your dorm are going to help you survive the first week here and encourage you and push you to thrive during your college career, these people become your support system.
Welcome to Gooch-Dillard (my "home away from home")
Speaking of surviving the first week, the transition from college is a BIG one for many people because you are now on your own, have to think independently, and act like a “young adult.” Sometimes college classes are great because you won’t do work for a week or two at a time, but don’t let this fool you because typically it creeps up on you, so time management is definitely a great skill to acquire [I am still working on this one]. However, don’t fear the big transition because everyone handles it in their own way, but believe me when I say YOU WILL be able to handle the transition. Yes, classes are harder than high school classes and AP classes, and to my dismay many teachers don’t give you a study guide before every test, but most of the work is manageable and teachers hold office hours to help you out [take advantage of these because I didn’t very much first semester and I really regret not taking the opportunity to meet my professors one-on-one].
My friends and I at the Virginia Gentlemen Concert
Now that I have given you a few helpful hints, let me warn you that ALMOST EVERY upperclassmen will rag on you for being a “First-Year,” but let me tell you a little secret, I was informed by a recent graduate that it is simply because all the upperclassmen wish they were us. Being a First-Year is one of the greatest years of your life and probably one of the greatest at college because all your classmates live on Grounds with you, almost no first-year has a car so you bond over riding the bus and or free-trolley, and you don’t have to pick a major or go into the real world anytime soon [this is probably why the upperclassmen envy us the most].
And "Hoo" doesn't want to look at this for the next FOUR years?!