- Class: Sophomore
- Major: Neuroscience
- Gender: F
- High School: Potomac Falls High School
- Transfer Student: N
The first thing that comes to mind about UR is that is it a small, private school. I think there are only around 3,000 undergraduates. For me, personally, that was one of the reasons I chose UR; I love the smaller size. I love the familiarity of the campus, and how you're always guaranteed to see friendly faces you know wherever you go. And it isn't TOO small; after all it is not like a high school. UR is also a very academically challenging school, and is also very very selective in choosing people to attend. Therefore one thing one immediately knows about all the students is, whether they are athletes, musicians, or huge partyers, everyone is really smart and knows the importance of working hard to succeed. The classes are difficult, especially since they are taught by very knowledgable teachers ( I have yet to have one without a doctorate degree). However people quickly learn that if you work hard, of course you can play hard too! There's tons of school pride, and I really love the school. Another nice thing is that UR is only about 10 minutes away from downtown Richmond, so although it has that small-town secluded campus feel, it certainly isn't in the middle of nowhere.
One of the things I LOVE at UR is the small class size. When I was first applying to colleges in high school and I visited other colleges, the thought of having classes with 400 people absolutely terrified me. But last year, during my freshman year at UR, my biggest class had 30 people! I think this is great because 1) there can be more bonding and meeting the other classmates 2) the teachers ALWAYS will know your names and you as a person and 3) it is much easier to participate in discussions and get help in a smaller class. Like I mentioned before, the classes are difficult and no one should come into UR not expecting to study A LOT (even if you didn't need to that much in high school). Students are indeed academically competitive, but in a healthy manner, and there are often study groups and such that are organized among people. Also, UR really stresses that its kids receive a liberal arts education, so it is also stressed that, besides just being prepared for a future career, the kids also receive instructions on how to become a well balanced person that can succeed at life as a whole.
From first glance, it certainly may seem that there are a lot of "white preppy kids" going to UR. ANd sure, a lot of people do come into the school coming from places with a lot of money. However, once you get on campus, you realize that just because someone is wearing a J.Crew sweater does not tell anything about that person as an individual. It is true that UR does not boast the highest percentage of people from other ethnicities or many social groups, but there does NOT exist any type of exclusion to those people. I myself am asian, but have NEVER felt any sort of animosity or exclusion because of that. People here are very laid back and do not try to find any reason to separate themselves from others. Perhaps the only people that would feel out of place at Richmond would be kids that are not pretty confident in themselves or kids that might possibly be offended by such things as parties or what not.
The Best Things
The campus is gorgeous, the people are extremely fun and friendly, the academics are amazing.
The Worst Things
It would always be better if there was just a little more ethnic and cultural and social diversity.