- Class: Junior
- Major: International Relations
- Gender: F
- High School: Rockbridge County High School
- Transfer Student: N
The best thing about UMW is the sense of community. Since it is a small school, when you walk on campus, you'll more than likely know more people that you don't. This is great because you always see your friends and everyone is very friendly. Unless you like to disappear in crowds, you'll feel right at home at UMW. One thing I'd change about UMW is the course offerings. Although a good variety of courses are offered, when I look at the courses offered at schools such as UVA, there seem to be far more mind-expanding and unique classes offered, instead of general educational topics. UMW is small, but it is just right for me and most everyone I know, even people who had considered going to larger schools, are very happy with it. When I tell people that I go to Mary Washington, most people don't know where it is, and often confuse it with Mary Baldwin, a big mistake, as they are nothing alike. The old town section of Fredericksburg definitely has the feel of a college town, but the city in no way depends on the University to function. The administration has received a great deal of criticism lately with the scandal with Dr. Frawley, but other than his mess-ups, we have a very strong administration that strives to be personal with the students, which I feel is an important aspect of being a part of the University. The biggest recent controversy on campus was definitely President Frawley's repeated DUI's. However, to my knowledge he in no way damaged the University as a whole. There isn't the strongest sense of school pride at UMW since we don't have a football team, but nearly everyone that I have known to have gone to UMW loved it and considers the time spent there some of the best times of their life. There is nothing unusual about UMW that I can think of. An experience I will always remember is my first event as a member of Class Council my freshman year. As a member, we preserve the traditions of UMW and my event was Devil Goat Day, one of the biggest events of the year. It is a carnival-like celebration spent outside in the spring when it gets warm. Students always love to come out and play games and eat free pizza and I was proud to have planned such a big event for the student body. The most frequent student complaints are the food. UMW does not by any means have the best quality or selection of food, but you get used to it, and it only makes you look forward to home-cooked meals that much more.
Something that I like so much about UMW is the student to professor ratio. The class sizes are usually quite small, so that enables the teacher to know nearly every student by name. That was an important quality that played a big part in my attending UMW. My favorite class was Macroeconomics with Steven Stageberg because he is an extremely unique and interesting man, who made economics exciting, which I didn't believe possible. My least favorite class was an Intro to Theatre class. The teacher was loopy and had no idea what she was doing. Students study nearly every night but it really depends on what your goals are. I would study an average of 3-4 hours a day. Because the classes are so small, class participation is expected and can benefit students. UMW students most definitely have intellectual conversations outside of class, but there is a balance between that and just leisurely conversation. One reason why I chose UMW is because students are not particularly competitive. Most everyone just sets personal goals, not taking into account how other students are performing. UMW is lacking in unique class offerings. The International Relations department is one of the biggest departments at UMW. There are lots of requirements however, and it can be difficult to get into theclasses that you need in order to graduate. Most students don't experience too much trouble though. I do not normally spend time with professors outside of class. UMW's academic requirements are I believe one reason why there is a lack of unique courses. We have several "goals" that have to be met for General Education requirements and these caues students to have to take a number of classes that possibly won't interest them at all, and that don't particularly contribute to student's worldly knowledge because they usually just try to get through the class doing the least amount of learning possible. I feel that UMW has a good balance between gearing students toward jobs and learning for its own sake.
UMW is a fairly diverse campus. We had a large exchange program with Korean students this year, and several students from Afghanistan. There is not a particularly strong black or hispanic population among students. I feel that the socio-economic status of most students is average. Black and hispanic students might feel out of place if they're used to being surrounded by others of the same ethnicity, but in no way are they made to feel out of place by the student body. Most students wear casual clothing to class, though some wear sweats or pj's. Different types of students do interact. There is no sort of clique or segregation at the school. The four tables in the dining hall would seat different types of students. Most UMW students are from northern Virginia. Students are very politically aware and active, although the campus definitely leans toward being liberal. Most students do not talk about how much they'll earn in the future.
The Best Things
The sense of community
The Worst Things