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Hey All! This blog serves to provide a student perspective to the University as you go through the application process.Ashley Pattersonnoreply@blogger.comBlogger208125
Updated: 2 hours 49 min ago

Here Comes the Sun? Please?

March 3, 2014
If there’s one thing in Virginia you can’t count on whatsoever, it’s the weather.  I know, I know.  The weather sounds like the most boring topic ever, but hear me out!  Virginia really does have crazy weather worthy of discussion!  A huge coat with Uggs one day and a T-shirt with flip-flops the next?  Completely plausible.  Hot chocolate today, a popsicle tomorrow?  Sure.  Feel like sledding in the morning and tanning in the afternoon?  Well, our weather might not be that extreme, but you get the idea.  Allow me to walk you through the month of February in Charlottesville, starting with the arrival of a gift from Elsa…
When snowflakes start to fall, instilling a sliver of hope that whatever class or meeting you dread will get cancelled, this first question you have to ask yourself is “Will it stick?”  Because let’s be honest – snow may be pretty when it stays on your nose and eyelashes, but it basically means nothing unless it sticks to the street.  And let me tell you, this month it stuck big time. Starting in the late afternoon of Wednesday, February 12th and continuing into Thursday, the students and faculty of UVA witnessed over ten inches of snow accumulate.  This resulted in two whole days off of school on Thursday and Friday after tireless waiting around for the school officials (not just Dean Groves and his awesome tweets) to give us the official word.  Sledding, snowman and igloo building, and all-around frolicking ensued.  A winter wonderland it was!                                      Fast forward to the following weekend, at which point the snow has sufficiently melted.  I head out of my house to walk to JPJ for the basketball game against Notre Dame on Saturday, February 22nd when… what is this?  60-something degrees?  That’s right – just one week after a massive snowstorm resulting in a momentous four-day weekend, we experienced beautiful, sunny, and even warm weather.  The lawn was packed once again, but this time with students tossing Frisbees, pretending to get work done, and watching the families that came by with their dogs and cute kids.  I even saw a secret society perform a ritual!  Least productive day?  I think so.                               
Needless to say, the month of February has had its fair share of temperature fluctuations.  Since then, the air has gotten colder with small, random flurries here and there and even another snow day today, March 3rd.  As spring approaches, there’s no telling what Charlottesville weather has in store for us, but all I know is that I’m going to Florida for spring break next week.  80 degrees here I come!  

Basketball at JPJ

February 25, 2014

If football season was a disappointment as a fan of UVA sports, then basketball has certainly made up for it. Scott Stadium had its moments during football season, but the atmosphere at JPJ for basketball games is really much more exciting. UVA was recently voted to have the Naismith Student Section of the Year, and for good reason. The student section at basketball games is closer to the game than at Scott Stadium. This proximity energizes the crowd and the action is ever-constant, especially compared to football. This season has been one of the best in long time as UVA is currently ranked first in the ACC and is riding on an eleven game winning streak. 
As a student signing up for tickets to games is relatively easy. The UVA shots website allows you to request and claim tickets once they have been granted. Usually getting tickets isn’t an issue unless the game is late in the season and is highly anticipated. I was dismayed when, earlier this month, I requested to attend the Syracuse game on March 1st and was unable to receive a ticket. However the more games you go to the easier it becomes to get tickets and the better seats you will receive. Looking back now I really should have tried to attend some to the games last semester in order to get better seats later in the season. Attending Orange Passport events will also help increase your chances of attending games closer to the court. When you first sign up for tickets you get placed in group ten – meaning you are in the tenth of ten groups of students to get into JPJ prior to the game. Students in group one, for example, get the best seats close the court. I recommend going to as many games as possible, not only for the excitement but also to guarantee the best seating possible later in the season!UVA sports on the whole is a great thing to be a part of. Our teams are highly ranked in baseball, lacrosse, swimming, and many more. And even if basketball isn’t usually your thing I recommend going to the games just to witness the spectacle. Although I won’t be able to attend the Syracuse game I am excited to watch the game on TV. The atmosphere won’t be nearly as exciting as JPJ but I am still thankful to be a fan at a time when UVA is doing so well. Here’s to March Madness!

A List of Things I Wish Someone Had Told Me

February 24, 2014

As the college acceptance season begins the hardest part of senior year hits—where do I go to school? Choosing a school was really hard for me.  I was accepted into some pretty good schools, but they were all so different that I struggled to make a decision.  Reflecting on my struggles, I decided to compile a list of things that I wish someone had told me two years so that I could help ease the stress of the decision process for others. 
1)   Visit the campus and make sure you like it

 A school may sound really good on paper, but once you visit the campus, you may realize that it is too sprawled out, or isn’t exactly what you were expecting.  Be sure to check out all different types of spaces from dorms to libraries to restaurants—you’ll be spending a lot of time in these places over the next four years!
2)   If the weather is bad, visit again.
Bad weather may leave you with a negative impression.  Be sure to visit the campus a second time when the weather is better.  You may be surprised to find how much the weather can change your impression of a school.
3) Stuck between several schools? Make a pros and cons list

It may sound kind of dorky, but it can actually be pretty helpful.  Writing down the pros and cons helps you see what you value most in a school and what you can’t live without.  As you start to write you’ll begin to see the differences between the schools. 
4)   Don’t be afraid to contact current students to get their perspective

It may seem pretty daunting, but don’t be afraid to ask current students about their experiences! We loved to be asked about our college experience because there is so much to tell.  Students will be able to give you a realistic feel for the school that the admissions office can’t always provide. 
5) Consider the entire package

Even though you are going to college to get a degree, academics are not going to be your entire collegiate life.  Look for programs that interest you outside of the classroom.  Interested in volunteering?  Check out the school’s volunteer programs.  Ask about local attractions or campus traditions to get a feel for the social aspect as well. 
6)   Make sure the school has the programs you are interested in 

Interested in biomedical engineering or creative writing? Make sure that the school not only offers these specific programs but also other programs you may be interested in.  After your first semester you may change your mind, so make sure that you have several different options to choose from. 
7)   Ask lots of questions 
 If you have questions, ask them. There is no such thing as stupid questions—the more you know about a school the more capable you are to decide if it’s the place for you.    

8)   Don’t pick a school just because your friends are going there

Making new friends is part of the fun of college.  Your friends from home will always be there for you, but challenge yourself and branch out.  You’ll be glad you did. 
9) It’s OK to change your mind            You may have had your heart set on one school for years, but after touring another you may realize that the new school is the place for you.  Chose the school that makes you happy even if that is a school you threw on your application list last minute. 
10) In the end, go with your gut feeling…it wont let you down!