An Interview On
University of Vermont

Background

Interview Date:July 2018

Gender Identity: Female
Race/Ethnicity: Caucasian
Sexual Orientation: Heterosexual
Graduation Year: 2021
First Generation College Student: Yes
High School Experience: Public school in Cape Cod, MA with a diverse set of socioeconomic classes. Not everyone went to college.
Major: Nursing
Minor: None
Extracurricular Activities: I’m in the Nursing Student Association. I’m in Hall Council, which is the student council that runs programs in your halls. I’m in Medvida, which is a public health club that promotes helping others who are less fortunate around the world get health care.

Academic Experience

Can you describe your weekly coursework so far?
Freshman year it’s completing all of your pre-requisites. It was a lot of reading and writing with my humanities classes, then for science, I did chemistry and organic chemistry. You have weekly homework assignments, discussion posts, and other stuff like that.

How would you describe the learning environment? Do you think it’s competitive or collaborative?
It depends on the class. I find that the larger the class size the more I see people working together, and then the smaller the class size the more you compare yourself to others. My smallest class this past year was about 30 people and my largest was almost 300. Being in the large lecture halls were nice because you knew a lot of people in your row from your major or your dorm and you were able to collaborate on different assignments. My smaller class was an English class and that’s more individualistic because you’re writing papers. My friends that were in smaller classes that weren’t English were able to collaborate more with other people in their class.

Is there anything the Nursing department does especially well or especially poorly?
They have great advising. I was able to talk to someone within minutes on the phone or in person if I had a problem with my schedule or my class or a professor. They didn’t lack in anything and I am continuing to be a Nursing major because of how happy I am in the College of Nursing and Health Sciences.

What was your favorite class last year?
Organic Chemistry or Nutrition

What was your least favorite class last year?
English or Religions in Africa, and that’s just because I’m strong in math and science and am not as strong of a reader and writer.

Why did you choose your major? Are you happy with your choice?
I wanted to be a teacher for forever and then I took biology in high school and fell in love with science. I have a deep care in helping people, so for me the nursing program was the best idea and I absolutely love it.

On and Around Campus

Where have you lived on campus?
Freshman: Hunt Hall on Trinity Campus, which is a suite-style dorm. I lived with one roommate in a double sized dorm.

Sophomore: Murphy Hall on Trinity Campus where I will be a resident advisor.

Can you describe the level of safety you’ve experienced on and around campus?
I haven’t had any incidents where I’ve worried about the safety of myself or my friends. I usually walk with someone if I’m walking back to my dorm. Ubers are big here, so if you don’t feel safe walking back from a party or going to a party you can always Uber.

What is your favorite off-campus restaurant?
El Gato, which is a Mexican restaurant right across from Church Street.

What is your favorite place to get away from campus?
The lakefront right on Lake Champlain. Being able to walk from the waterfront to North Beach. It’s also nice to go down in the winter to see how frozen the lake is and get a breath of fresh air.

Pros and Cons of being in Burlington, VT?
Pros: (1) You have Champlain College and Saint Michael’s College right there. If you go to a party you sometimes will meet people from those schools.
(2) The town is really college friendly.

Cons: (1) I don’t ski or snowboard, and I’m not a big winter person. Getting used to the winter is very difficult. Once you have your first big snowstorm and big freeze it’s pretty easy after that. Getting used to being in freezing cold weather all the time is stuff.
(2) If you don’t ski or snowboard sometimes you are left in the dorms while other people go up to the mountain.

Social Opportunities

What kind of weekend activities or nightlife do you like to participate in?
In the first semester, it was kind of difficult getting used to being in a college town where you’re away from your hometown and your friends. I felt like during the first semester it was difficult to get into the nightlife scene. Second semester was when my friends and I really blossomed in the party scene, and to be able to put schoolwork away on a Friday or Saturday night and go party was beneficial to me.

What nights of the week do you regularly go out? Are there certain places you go on certain nights?
Friday and Saturday night were normally the party nights. We would typically go to a house or a frat or something like that. It wasn’t usually the week, and if anything, we would go to a club on a Thursday night, but [that was pretty rare].

What have been some of your favorite times at Vermont this past year?
I think finding my people was my favorite part. I met my two best friends in the first two weeks of school. Some of my favorite times were just studying at the library all day long and then going back to eat dinner together or going to downtown Burlington with my friends.

What is the impact of Greek life on nightlife?
Greek life has been beneficial to my specific nightlife. I was friends with a couple of people in sororities so we had ins with frats. It was also nice just going to a frat and being let in and talking to people there. I love that Greek life is a part of UVM.

How happy are you with the nightlife? Is there anything you would change if you could?
I would change the restrictions. A lot of houses are ticketed, so you have to pay to get in, or you have to know someone that lives in the house or know someone that knows someone who can get you in. I have no control over that until I have my own house, but that would be the only thing I would change. It’s not that that expensive though. The most I’ve paid is $5 or $10.

Campus Culture

How did you meet your closest friends?
The first day we had a meeting with my R.A. to talk about the rules and regulations of living at UVM and they were there. The next morning, we all went to breakfast and we sat together and we ended up clicking.

How would you describe the overall social scene?
It’s really positive, especially freshman year when everybody’s in the same boat and trying to get to know people. I think if you’re interested in Greek life it’s beneficial to get involved with that because you meet a lot of people through that.

How would you describe the student body?
The student body is very diverse. There are people from all walks of life and there is no way that you cannot find someone like you or want to be friends with. It is so beneficial to put yourself out there and get involved on campus.

To what extent do you think people of different races and sexual orientations mix socially?
Although I think UVM is diverse, it’s not super diverse racially, [it is 77% White]. However, it is very diverse in terms of sexual orientation and gender identity. In that sense, it’s very welcoming for people who are different than everyone else.

Financial Aid

Have you used financial aid? If so, how accommodating has the office been to your needs?
I have used financial aid. On accepted students’ day I talked with them and asked for more scholarship and grant money and they were unable to give me more money because they are unable to treat anyone differently once everything has been settled as far as financial aid, scholarships, and grants. After that, I’ve gone to the office multiple times and talked to them on the phone. They are always so quick and helpful in there and they break every price and cost down. To be able to calculate where you need money is really helpful.

Advice for Prospective Freshmen

What is something you wish you knew about UVM before entering as a freshman?
There’s not much I would say I wish I knew because getting there and being able to explore was really beneficial. I do wish that I was more familiar with the dorm styles. I was put on Trinity Campus, which is kind of far away and doesn’t feel too college-y. That made it a little bit more difficult, and I wish I knew that before I got to my dorm.

What is something a prospective student may miss on a visit that is worth checking out?
UVM is pretty much a straight shot, so you can go from Trinity Campus straight to Redstone Campus. I don’t think people realize how easy it is to get around campus, but if you spend the time to figure out the campus it’s beneficial. I also think it’s important to figure out where all the dorm buildings are around campus.

Reasons to attend UVM:
1) It is extremely welcoming.
2) Burlington is a college town. It makes getting off campus to have fun and get your mind off school accessible.
3) You meet so many different people because there are so many diverse people at UVM.

Reasons to not attend UVM:
1) If you’re not a big school person. You will see people you know and you will see people you’ve never seen before when you walk to class.
2) If you don’t love the winter. It’s a harsh winter.

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