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College Student Lindsay G. This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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     Are you one of the many high-school students perplexed as to where to apply to college?

My sister is a sophomore at the University of Richmond in Richmond, Virginia. Several weeks ago I visited her and was curious how she perceived her school. The University of Richmond is a private suburban university. It is very selective and has Division I sports teams. Not many are aware of the university's prestige, and I decided that "ya'll" needed to be informed!

What attracted you to the University of Richmond, and what made you decide to apply?

The beauty of this school is unbelievable. It is on 350 rolling acres with a lake, tall pine trees and flowers, and red-brick Georgian architecture. The people are so nic eand friendly, and from all over the country. I love the idea of Southern hospitality. When I took a campus tour, I couldn't imagine myself anywhere else. My gut feeling actually played a major role in my decision to apply. I felt I had to be here.


There are 2, 950 undergraduate students; 92 percent live on campus all four years. How has that affected you as a student?

The school's small size has a positive effect mainly because of the student to professor ratio. There are fewer students in classes, which means more one-on-onetime with professors. At UR you are more than just a number to your professors, you are a name. They know you and you know them. You can find your niche a lot easier with smaller numbers of students. You know more people so you feel secure, and you know your surroundings.

The small number can also have a negative impact because people know a lot about you. But the fact that almost everyone lives on campus is great. It's nice to be where everyone is and be around your friends and acquaintances.


What are Richmond's best and worst qualities?

Richmond is beautiful, as I said. And the interaction between professors and students is phenomenal. The dorm rooms are great: spacious, comfortable and clean. Even eating at Richmond is good! The food is excellent compared to other schools. Basically, student life is awesome. There is so much to get involved in including intramural sports, clubs and Greek life.

The downside is that UR is pretty far from a major city. Students sometimes feel secluded and joke around by saying we live in the "Richmond bubble. "What I mean is, the college campus isn't the real world in the sense that we seem to be untouched by what's happening off campus.

You are in a sorority. How has that affected your college experience?

Being in a sorority has definitely added. Even though I consider myself an outgoing person, and am convinced I would have met the girls in my sorority regardless, I definitely have a special bond with them. My sorority interacts with the community through our work with charities like Habitat for Humanity. And, my sorority is involved with UR through intramurals.


How is college different from high school?

College is totally different from high school because you are on your own. I cannot stress enough the idea of learning independence. You discover so much about yourself. No one is there to walk you to class. You need to motivate yourself because there is no one to make you do your schoolwork, set your schedule, get to class on time. You gain a better sense of self and find yourself maturing when you are away from home. I have to say you truly find yourself in college.


Tell me more about the professors.

The professors are absolutely brilliant! Most have been published many times. Since I am majoring in business, I am aware that the professors have various certificates including CPA (Certified Public Accountant), CFA (Certified Financial Analyst) MBA (Masters in Business Administration), and PhDs. The professors have had careers in business before teaching here. They are always trying to help you. They truly care about students.


How would you classify the University of Richmond? For example, is it a "party school?"

"Work hard and play hard" would be the Richmond motto. Academics are taken very seriously during the week; everyone goes to class, studies and works really hard. By the time Thursday rolls around everyone begins to relax and goes out and has a great time. The curriculum here is hard and requires a lot of hours of study. You will receive an amazing education at the University of Richmond, but you have to be willing to put in a lot of effort.

The social scene at this school is great. People usually party Thursday through Saturday. I love this school because not only do I study hard, but I party as well. It's a nice balance.


What would you recommend to those still in high school planning to attend a four-year college?

I would definitely tour any schools you have in mind or, if possible, spend a weekend as a prospective student. At the college, someone will host you, which means you will go to class with them, live in their dorm, and eat with them. You can follow the student around as if you were his or her shadow. I believe this is crucial in making your final decision because you can actually see what college life is like, as opposed to a guided tour that you go on with your parents.

I am an advocate of going with your gut feeling because it is usually right. Never think that you cannot get into a certain school. Also, you don't always need to listen to your parents! Remember to work hard in school; get involved in school activities, or involved in the community. Being an athlete helps, too. What it comes down to is: be a well-rounded person. Grades are not everything; try to make yourself a complete package.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.




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