Ah…college…you’ve made it!
Time for some of the best years filled with lifelong friend, countless memories, parties, and all around adventure!
Remember one thing though, more than anything you’re here to learn.
It’s obvious that you will learn from growing up and experiencing new things but I’m talking about learning in a classroom.
You’re here for an education.
Now, don’t stress out when you get your first C, or D, or even F on an exam. Keep in mind you’re at one of the Top 25 universities in the nation, it’s not high school anymore, and that is okay. Learn from your mistakes and find some ways to improve for next time. One of the best pieces of advice I received in regards to my education First Year was to make connections with professors. They have Office Hours for a reason and it’s only to your benefit to take advantage of them. You don’t even have to talk about schoolwork. By establishing these connections you feel a little more connecting to your class and in turn will strive to engage more in what you’re learning.
Another thing I have to say is take things because they interest you. Yes, maybe taking Econ 101 is “practical” but look to balance it out with something that sincerely sparks your interest. There are classes on anything and everything at UVa and if you take the time to search then you just might end discovering something entirely new to enjoy learning about. You can get creative with your requirements this way (now, I can only speak from the perspective of a student in the College of Arts and Sciences so take that with a grain of salt). I remember when I was looking to fulfill a Social Science requirement and found out that ‘Anthropology of the Internet’ counted, this saved me from a long semester of what was about to be some 100-level Psychology class (which are great classes just not up my area of interest).
There are pros and cons in whatever you end up taking but I think it’s always important to remember why we are all here in the first place. Everyone has a home in academics here and you will find what suites you best. With nearly a dozen schools you will surely find what drives you to learn in a classroom.
Here is just a glimpse of what UVa has to offer academically:
“The University of Virginia has eleven schools: the School of Architecture, the College and Graduate School of Arts & Sciences, the McIntire School of Commerce, the School of Engineering and Applied Science, and the School of Nursing all offer both undergraduate and graduate studies. The Darden School of Business, the School of Law, and the School of Medicine offer graduate studies and several other programs as well. The Curry School of Education offers graduate degrees and a 5-year dual degree program with the College of Arts & Sciences through which students receive both an undergraduate degree and a master’s of education. The School of Continuing and Professional Studies offers an undergraduate degree program and many other programs and graduate study. The Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy trains students for public service careers in both domestic and international arenas. Graduates of the Batten School will assume leadership positions in government, in the non-profit sector, in consulting firms, and in selected private sector firms.” (http://www.virginia.edu/QandAGen.html)
The great memories, friends, opportunities, and experiences are invaluable but don’t forget why you came here.