- Class: Freshman
- Major: English
- Gender: M
- High School: Grafton High School
- Transfer Student: N
I think that the best thing about VCU is that it's in the middle of a city, and that you can easily escape campus and go wherever you want quickly. There's so much to do in Richmond, and students are rarely bored here. One thing I would change is to have more on campus housing for upperclassmen who don't want to live in an apartment or be an RA. The school is sized pretty well. VCU is the biggest school in VA now, but the school is actually large enough to accommodate that many students, so there aren't really any overcrowding issues. People usually assume that I'm an art major when I tell them I go to VCU, I'm actually an English major. The school has really good art programs, but I need something more grounded as a major that I can really depend on for a long time. I spend most of my time on campus in the dining hall, or in the commons socializing with the many new friends that I have made here at school. VCU has a "quasi" college town, in that the immediate areas around the school are mostly owned by VCU, or are apartments for students going to VCU. The school has less influence downtown or up by Carytown though. I haven't had much direct contact from the school's administration except for periodic emails sent to all students about upcoming events and such, but they do a good job of keeping the school in line, and safe. There was a recent controversy about a hazing incident with one of the fraternities on campus. They have since been placed on suspension. There is a TON of school pride for the basketball teams, and VCU homecoming is a one-of-a-kind event. Most student complaints are about freshman housing or the security guards on the first floor of the freshman dorms.
In smaller classes professors get to know you very well, but in lecture classes that rarely happens unless you stay after class or visit the teacher in their office hours. My favorite class would have to be English 215: Readings in Literature with Nick Sharp. The class is very enjoyable for a lecture class, and Dr. Sharp never runs out of crafty witticisms to mutter under his breath about having to come teach on a sunny Friday afternoon. My least favorite class would be freshman English. I have heard many complaints about the class, and overall it was just a pain to show up to class most days. Students don't study too much unless they have an exam in the upcoming week. The library is always full of people though, and it is usually open until 2 in the morning. Class participation is usually pretty solid, unless the teacher is droning on about something completely negligible and the students are having a hard time paying attention. VCU students have an easy time connecting outside of class, and when there is a project due in a class, students usually have an easy time getting together and discussing the assignment together in person or over an instant-messaging service. Students are generally competitive in smaller classes where there is more incentive to be noticed for your works or when there is an opportunity for your work to be displayed to the class. The most unique class I've taken has been PHYS 103: Astronomy. The class is very interesting and the professor cares a great deal about the subject matter. I've learned a great deal about astronomy from this class, and I'm usually excited to go to it. I'm in the Humanities and Sciences department, and I enjoy the opportunities that the school has to offer me. There are usually poetry readings/discussions, and famous authors that come to speak at the school. I don't often spend time with my professors outside of class, but if I ever need to they are easily accessible. In the past I've usually just emailed the professor if I need to ask them a question outside of class or if I need help/clarification with an assignment. The VCU academic requirements aren't very rigid or unforgiving, and if you're doing badly in a class, you're usually notified about it by the teacher or your academic adviser. Different departments have different views on education and what it is geared towards. For instance, the theatre program is very centered on professionalism and getting the job, but in more liberal arts- based degrees, there is more of a focus on learning for its own sake and pondering upon the deeper meaning of things.
VCU is a very racially and socially diverse school. There is a very broad variety in the kind of students who attend the school, and narrow-minded people usually have their minds opened when they come here because of that diversity. Also, each group of people have their own organizations and their own voice on campus, so that no matter who you are, you can fit in somewhere. Most students wear casual, yet classy clothes to class. There's a certain "urban style" among students, but people really just wear whatever they want. Students socialize with anyone really, but mostly the people they meet in their classes or extracurricular activities. Most students are from Northern Virginia, out of state, or the Virginia Beach area. Most students come from an upper middle class background. There are some people who are politically active, but compared to other schools it is generally docile when it comes to politics.
The Best Things
The Worst Things