The most beautiful thing about college is that it feels perfectly normal.
Correction: the most beautiful thing about WashU is that it feels perfectly normal. I’m not sure if every university makes the college transition such an (almost) stress-free experience. WashU, however, does a very good job of this. Sometimes I find myself wondering when all the horrors of college are supposed to kick in, because so far college is great.
Before I was even old enough to know what the Common App was, I heard scary stories about attending a university. There were the common issues, such as:
- The food is horrible.
- It’s hard to make friends.
- Classes will be too difficult.
- Dorms are horrible.
Since my time at WashU, however, I realized these stereotypes obviously derived from people who didn’t go to WashU.
1. The Food
You may have already heard, but Washington University in St. Louis is ranked #1 in the nation for campus food. None of this mystery meat nonsense, I’m talking personal steaks cooked on a hearth, if you like that sort of thing.
2. Making Friends
Before classes or even orientation begins, freshmen have the opportunity to participate in something called a pre-orientation program. Signing up for the Campus Comedy pre-o was one of the best decisions I could have made. Not only did I get to do nothing but improv comedy for four days straight, but I also met some cool people that I am still great friends with today. If improv isn’t your thing, not to worry. There are 17 different programs to choose from, so you can practice writing for the student newspaper, develop your DJ skills with the campus radio station, do leadership throughout the community, or even go on a wilderness adventure.
So if you’re worried about making friends, do a pre-o! You’ll feel comfortable starting school already knowing a few people.
3. Difficult Classes
I’m not going to tell you that classes here are a piece of cake. This is WashU, after all. However, Washington University offers so many great resources that you can go from “oh no!” to “way to go!” in no time. Cornerstone (a place for academic mentoring), tutors, office hours, you name it–WashU wants you to succeed, and provides the means for you to do so.
4. Horrible Dorms?
The dorms at WashU are pretty much the opposite of horrible. WashU topped Princeton Review’s “Best College Dorms” ranking list, and it’s not hard to see why. Hammocks on the lawn, free cable, and Tempurpedic mattresses are only a few of the luxuries that students here enjoy. Two dorm styles are offered: modern and traditional. Traditional dorm residents swear by traditional, while modern dorm residents testify that modern is the way to go. Whichever style you choose, your dorm will quickly feel like home.
Long story short, I soon realized that college isn’t scary. My anxieties quickly melted away as I settled into campus life and experienced all the things I mentioned above. I am here, and I am glad.