People/Web Search Calendar Emergency Info A-Z Index UVA Email   University of Virginia  

HooStories Student Blog

Subscribe to HooStories Student Blog feed
Hey All! This blog serves to provide a student perspective to the University as you go through the application process.Meravnoreply@blogger.comBlogger307125
Updated: 1 hour 27 min ago

So What Exactly is Happening to the Rotunda?

February 17, 2015
UVa's Rotunda is getting quite the makeover. When you're almost 200 years old, you could probably use a face lift, too. Three years after the University of Virginia was established in 1819, construction of the Rotunda began and was completed in 1826. Jefferson's original plans for the Rotunda included exercise yards, classrooms, and a library. Once Alderman Library was created in the 1930s, the Rotunda was no longer central to academics. The Rotunda renovation is meant to restore Jefferson's building back to its original purpose. In 2016, it will resume its former role as a library and classroom building that unites students and faculty in an academic setting.Today, the Rotunda is a World Heritage Site and the core of UVa's grounds. The second phase of this renovation costs around $42.5 million. Don't worry, tuition money is not paying for it. Actually, the majority of funds are from private philanthropy. How thoughtful!
So what exactly is happening to the Rotunda? Here is a brief list of construction plans:
  • classroom space expansion
  • portico roof replacement
  • updating utility systems
  • new marble capitals
  • Dome Room ceiling replacement
  • underground room to house mechanical systems

Pros and Cons: Since the Rotunda is the centerpiece of UVa, its construction has undoubtedly altered events and traditions. For example, 2015 Final Exercises will occur during two days in May instead of one. As a result, the College and Graduate School of Arts and Sciences will have their Final Exercises on May 16 and all of UVa's other schools will have theirs on May 17. This limits students to allowing 4 guests and prevents some friends and family members from graduating together. On the other hand, the renovation will give students the chance to attend classes in Jefferson's self-designed building. It'll allow the UVa community to connect and embrace the history around them. The Rotunda isn't just a historical landmark, it's a symbol of neoclassicism, education, community, history, and dear old UVa.

Why UVA?

February 10, 2015
As many of you know we hold online chats a couple times a semester for perspective students to ask any questions that they have which current students do their best to answer. From my experience, one question is asked more than any other: why should I come to UVA? Now I can't speak for why any of you reading this should come here, so I will just list some of the many reasons why I chose UVA and why I haven't regretted that decision for a second since coming here.

1. The academics
UVA is consistently rated among the top schools year after year (we're currently tied as the second best public school in the nation according to US News and World Reports.

2. The price
As an in-state student, you really can't beat the price for the quality of education that you are getting.

3. Majors
There is a wide variety of majors available as well as options for double-majoring or minoring so you can explore all of your interests.

4. Study abroad
There are many different programs to pick from and the administration really encourages students to take advantage of all of the opportunities (which you can read more about here http://www.virginia.edu/studyabroad/about.html)

5. Location
Not only is UVA only a few hours from my hometown in Northern Virginia, downtown Charlottesville is just a quick drive (in a car, bus, or the free trolley) from grounds which offers entertainment, food, and a change of scenery.

6. The students
Everyone who I talked to, current students, former students, and administration, absolutely love UVA. Sure, everyone has things that they don't like as much but overall the amount of school spirit people have is amazing.

7. I felt comfortable and at home here
The most important thing when deciding on a college is how you feel when you visit there and whether you can picture yourself there or not. I have to admit that it took me about three visits to really get the feeling that I would like to come here but I definitely felt that connection before committing. At the end of the day, while statistics, rankings, and the feelings of school spirit that students have are great, only you know what school is right for you. I do however, have to highly recommend a visit here either just for a tour or as a part of Days on the Lawn to get a feel for how awesome UVA is.

A Love for UVA Basketball

February 3, 2015
One of the greatest privileges enjoyed by UVA students is to be a fan of the men’s basketball team. Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past few years, you’ve probably noticed that we are pretty good. Currently ranked #3 in the country, UVA basketball is no longer an up-and-coming team. It has the capacity to compete with the very best. I believe that since we are this good and since Tony Bennett is such an awesome person it would be a total travesty to not take the opportunity to become a rabid fan while you’re a student at UVA. Therefore I have come up with a list of my top five moments as a UVA basketball fan. 5. Ranking in the top five has to be my first time experiencing a men’s basketball game at JPJ. The atmosphere is indescribable and the team can easily feed off of the energy of the fan base. Charlottesville loves UVA basketball. After my first game I was hooked and I have missed very, very few home games since then.
4. An opportunity I would recommend to any basketball fan is Ball with the Hoos. This event is held in the fall, prior to the basketball season. Students can participate in games like knockout and the three point challenge against actual players. Although my attempts to score points in these challenges were less than successful, it was still so much fun. All of the players are incredibly welcoming to their fellow students. 3. The most recent event on this list is ESPN College GameDay. Held this past Saturday at JPJ, the ESPN broadcast showcased the loyalty, craziness and intensity of the most rabid UVA fans. More than 5,100 people attended the event and brought creative signs and high-pitched screams in support of the basketball team. As this was the first time GameDay came to Charlottesville, I believe it is truly a testament to how far the program has come.
2. Meeting the team’s bus at JPJ after their win at the ACC tournament in Greensboro last March was absolutely incredible. It was freezing cold and snowing hard, yet fans still showed up and waited to congratulate the players in person. Honestly, it was probably the most excited I have ever been. 1. Number one on this list has to be watching the team win the ACC tournament title. It was a fitting sequel to an ACC regular season title. Although I did not attend the game in North Carolina, I still watched on TV in Charlottesville. That game was perfect. Last year’s season was nothing but historic and I know that the years to come will only further prove how deserving Virginia is of national recognition.- Megan Beissner 

Spring Semester Survival Guide

January 26, 2015
        Believe it or not, the spring semester is here already! For some, this is a time to reconnect with old friends, make new ones, dive into some books, and pull all-nighters in Clemons. On the other hand, it may be hard for some students to get back into the groove. A warm, comfy bed is pretty appealing when it's freezing outside. So how do you stay focused and avoid falling behind? Well, here are some tips--take it from a fourth year.  Study: This may seem like a no-brainer but sometimes it's harder than you'd think. If you regularly go to class, take notes, and do homework, then studying should be easy-peasy for you. Go over your lecture notes and highlight what's most important. We all tend to zone out in class at times so remembering the main points in your notes will do wonders come exam time. Also, look over passages from textbooks or readings that your professor pointed out in class. If it was important enough for them to discuss, then it'll be important on the exam. Avoid distractions and go to a quiet place. Netflix can wait. Time Management: Time can either be your best friend or your worst enemy in college so get on its good side. Write down your assignments, readings, and exams on a calendar. Once you've completed a task, cross it off. Be sure to check your schedule every day. If you think you can write an essay overnight then plan for it. Likewise, if it takes you a week to write an essay then ensure that you give yourself enough time. Don't push yourself beyond your limits. Do your assignments ahead of time; not at the last minute. For example, finish your readings before lecture or study every day the week before an exam. It'll help! Office Hours: This may seem crazy, but professors are actually here to help you. Visit them during office hours - they'll love it. Whether you need help writing an essay or need a concept simplified for you, seek out your professor. Plus, you're only here for a few years so take some time to meet them and your TAs. Relax: It may seem odd that putting your feet up every now and then can lead to a successful semester but it's true. We get so caught up with assignments, deadlines, meetings, events, and our social lives that we forget about ourselves. Sleep is one of the best ways to stay relaxed and focused. Although it might be impossible to get a full night's sleep every night, try to sleep for eight hours at least three days a week. This way, you're giving your body the rest that it needs. Relax while studying, too. After you've completed an assignment, take a 30 minute break. Have a snack; go jogging; watch TV. You're brain also needs some rest.  Now go forth and conquer!