Tuesday, April 22, 2014

The 25 Stages of Your Mellow Mushroom Addiction
The corner is a staple of life at UVA for everyone from first years to fourth years and is filled with wondrous restaurants and places to hang out. From Starbucks to Bodo’s to Two Guys Tacos, the options are endless. However, at the end of the corner there is a magical place known as Mellow Mushroom. Inevitably, you will figure out that Mellow Mushroom is literally your life’s blood and from my experience this is how that realization will pan out.
1. First you hear talk about this amazing pizza place down on the corner.
2. You think, hey, I like pizza. Maybe I should try this place out sometime and everyone else seems to love it.
3. When told the name of this fabled locale you experience some doubt. Mellow Mushroom? Uh, okay that’s an interesting name for a restaurant. 
4. Your love of pizza compels you to overcome the slight hesitation and so you grab some friends and head on over.
5.You walk in and are confronted with the, uh, interesting d├ęcor.
6. Okay, well you made it all this way and it smells pretty good in here so why not ignore vaguely trippy ‘70s wall paintings.
7. You order a pizza or a calzone.
8. You see all this food going by you as you’re waiting for your order to come out.
9. Oh wow. That looks really good. So does that. And that.
10. You are breathless with anticipation waiting for it to come out and start getting very excited.
11. You think it’s been a million hours since you placed your order.
12.  It has not actually been that long but at this point you’re really hungry, okay?
13. Hallelujah! You see it! That is definitely your food!
14. It is!
15. Holy mackerel this stuff looks good and your waitress is surely a goddess for bringing it to you.
16. You dig in and oh. My. Goodness.
17. You have not tasted anything like this unbelievable compilation of dough, sauce, and cheese before
18. Where has this been your whole life??????
19. You obviously have not been living before having this pizza.
20.  And the dough is made with all these fresh ingredients and made by hand.
21. This pizza is totally healthy then.
22. Yeah. Let’s go with that. Healthy.
23. So you can totally eat as much pizza as humanly possible.
24. You do. No regrets.
25. You finish the pizza and immediately start planning your next trip here because THIS IS THE BEST PIZZA EVER AND YOU WILL NOT LIVE WITHOUT HAVING THIS AT LEAST ONCE A WEEK.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Whether we like it or not, it’s that time of year again to begin the process of registering for next semester’s classes. 

Signing up for courses generally has two stages. When information is first released about what will be available in the coming semester many students eagerly investigate the depths of SIS (Student Information Systems) and Lou’s List to weigh their options and work out preliminary schedules that hopefully avoid 8 a.m.’s and Friday classes. There is a comfortable buffer of time between this stage and one’s actual sign up time that allows for some exploration. 


When your enrollment appointment time approaches however, so does a degree of anxiety. As a rising second year I have to be more aware of choosing classes that will fit into certain majors I am considering. Although most students don’t declare until the end of their second year it is still a good idea to begin considering your options early. When it comes to enrollment appointment times you’re either lucky or likely to be stressed out. Waiting lists are never a fun time, but are often a reality for many people. Popular classes like Social Psychology and necessary classes like foreign language requirements (especially 2000-level Spanish) can be incredibly difficult to get into. 

First years generally have more freedom and less risk in choosing classes as they have not yet declared a major. It is a good idea in this time to experiment with a variety of classes in order to gauge where you might have interests (especially if you are undecided on you major). In many ways students are forced to do this to fulfill area requirement for the College of Arts and Sciences. Engineering and other schools have requirements to fulfill as well and are allowed to take courses outside of their designated school. 

In my first year I have taken some good and some not so good classes. Despite some less than enjoyable experiences with certain classes however it has been a worthwhile experiment in getting me closer to picking a major. So, as a first year my best advice is to take the opportunity you have to try out classes in seemingly random departments – you may not get the chance to do so later on in your career!