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Phillip Rodgers

Phillip Rodgers

Year: 4th
Hometown: Salem, VA
Major: Political Philosophy Policy and Law

What is the most surprising thing you’ve found at U.Va.?

I was astounded at the number of international students at U.Va. On my hall we had student from Turkey and London. In my building we had people from Greece, Egypt, and Brazil. I loved meeting people from all around the world. Our admissions office does a wonderful job of choosing such a diverse group of people.


Where are your closest U.Va. friends from?

My closest friends with out a shadow of a doubt come from FYP (First Year Players). FYP is a student-run musical theater group that puts on a musical each semester.


How do you spend your spring breaks?

In high school I used spring break as an opportunity to relax at home and catch up, because I was usually so busy. I did the same thing this year especially since I wanted to see my friends. It was a great week of seeing my friends and taking a break from a busy semester.


Where do you go to study for exams?

During exams everyone freaks out and searches for a place to study. With my hall abandoned and free. I would study in my room quietly without any interruptions. If my room became too comfortable I would study in the library.


Did you visit U.Va. before deciding to attend?

Yes I did. I came on my sister’s college visit and fell in love with U.Va. while my sister fell for William and Mary.


Why U.Va.?

I love the diversity, prestige, and history. Despite what most people think there are so many different people at U.Va. You can always find people who are like you, but the best part is you can find people who are different from you. To me that is the best part because you can learn and grow from them, and they from you. U.Va. is a well-ranked school with a wonderful reputation. I feel proud to go here. U.Va. is all about history, from our founding father, to our alumni, to our buildings, to our traditions. History is the glue that holds U.Va. together.


What was your favorite class?

I took an INST (interdisciplinary) course called Advocacy in the Judicial System. The course covered information on lawyers and how they structured their case materials and the different parts of a civil and criminal trial. A major component of the class was guest speakers. One of our guest speakers represented Bill Clinton in the infamous Monica Lewinski case. We also took a field trip to the Supreme Court in D.C.


What activities are you involved in?

I’m heavily involved in theater. I was in First Year Players last year. I had a role in Carousel and RENT. This semester I’me in the Drama Department’s production of Parade.


How would you describe the students who attend U.Va.?

The U.Va. student is driven inside and outside the classroom. This is what I enjoy most about U.Va. We excel in the classroom and know the importance of good grades but that isn’t all that is to us. We are leaders on the field, stage, in the community, etc. I would say that the students that attend U.Va. are well-rounded people who push themselves no matter what.


What was your first year living situation like?

I lived in Old Dorms and I loved it. My hallmates and I became really close. Our hall was more of a house than a hall. We hung out a lot and spent time in each other’s rooms daily.


Have you had a chance to study abroad?

Not yet but I plan on it. I would love to participate in the Semester at Sea program, so rather then visit one country I would have the opportunity to visit several in one semester.


What is something unique about U.Va. that few people know about?

We were the first university to offer courses in astronomy and philosophy.


Is it hard to be a student on a small budget?

It is absolutely not hard to be a student on a budget. I believe I spent around $200 each semester on frivolous spending. There are plenty of free events on grounds (and some have food). And most shows are only $5.


Can you have a car at all? Do you need one?

As a first year you can’t have a car. In my honest opinion you don’t need a car. The U.Va. bus system is really reliable, and parking is terrible.


What is the Greek system like?

Our Greek system is great, because you can be as involved as you want to be. If you choose not to be involved in the Greek system then you will still have friends. I have plenty of friends who are in the Greek system and extend invitations for me to hang out with them and their respective fraternities all the time.