University of Washington at Seattle
BackgroundInterview Date:November 2018
Gender Identity: Female
Sexual Orientation: Heterosexual
Graduation Year: 2020
High School Experience: Public school in Redmond, WA with a graduating class of about 500 students. There was a culture of going to college.
First Generation College Student: No
Extracurricular Activities: I’m a student-athlete
Can you describe the weekly coursework for your major?
I have a lot of essays and typically all the essays I do towards the end of the quarter. At the beginning of the quarter, it’s mostly filled with readings.
Is there anything you feel your major’s department does especially well or poorly?
They do a really good job of teaching us how to communicate with kids of all different backgrounds and be sensitive to the fact that a lot of kids might not be comfortable with themselves yet. We’re learning a lot about different sexual orientations, genders, and races, so they do a good job of teaching us all the specific details of that.
How would you describe the learning environment? Do you think it’s particularly competitive or collaborative?
It’s very collaborative. I wouldn’t say it’s competitive. It’s a brand new major at the University of Washington, so we’re still learning together.
What has been your favorite class in your major so far?
Teaching as a Profession. I’m in it right now and they teach us teaching strategies that we can use in the classroom to get kids to participate more in the classroom.
What has been your least favorite class in your major so far?
Educational Policy. I took that my freshman year when I wasn’t really sure if education was something I wanted to do quite yet.
How accessible are your professors?
Very accessible. They have office hours at least twice and week and they are always communicating through email and are available to talk after class.
How is managing both your sport and your coursework?
It’s difficult. Sometimes I think playing a varsity sport doesn’t allow you to do a more difficult major, so I would say that’s one of the reasons why I’m an Education major. With my major it’s still hard balancing practice, writing all the essays on time, and managing when I’m supposed to do that.
How does the quarter system influence your coursework?
It’s faster, so we take three classes over 10 weeks. I like the quarter system and getting that knowledge within the 10 weeks and then moving on to something else.
Why did you choose your major? Are you happy with your choice so far?
I’m very happy with my choice. I really, really like working with kids so I’m super excited to be able to work with people for the rest of my life.
On and Around Campus
Where have you lived on campus?
Freshman: Poplar Hall with one roommate. It was a super nice dorm, I really liked it.
Sophomore & Junior: I live in a house off campus in Lake City with four of my teammates. Lake City is about a 15-20 minute drive from campus.
Can you describe the level of safety you’ve experienced on and around campus?
Overall, I’ve felt pretty safe. Poplar Hall was right near what we call “The Ave.” which is University Way NE, and there is a lot of homeless activity there. The only times I have felt unsafe have been walking there at night. Inside the dorms and around the dorms I’ve felt pretty safe. Around my house, Lake City has had a growing homeless population so late at night I just stay off the streets.
How was transitioning from your hometown to living outside of Seattle?
It wasn’t that much different because Redmond is pretty close to here, so I could go home on the weekends and visit my family which is really nice. I feel more community University of Washington football around here and there are more people talking about the university, whereas in Redmond it was about Microsoft or about high school.
How as the booming tech industry and the rising costs of Seattle influenced your experience?
Rent went up for us last year, which is okay but sucks. As we are paying our own bills now we are realizing that Seattle is becoming more expensive and it affects the other things that we would like to do. Maybe we can’t go bowling with our friends one day because we have to save up for rent even more than we did last year. It’s cheaper in Lake City than it is close to campus so that’s why we chose to live there.
What is your favorite off-campus restaurant?
I really like Bryant Corner Café. It’s a breakfast place. I find myself there way too often but it’s really good.
What is your favorite place to get away from campus?
Matthews Beach Park is pretty close to my house and if it’s a sunny day I like to go there and watch the waves come in and take some gratitude time.
Do you ever feel that you are more so a resident of Seattle than a student of the University of Washington?
No, I would consider myself more of a student because my everyday life consists of [my sport] and my school and not much else.
Pros and Cons of being in Seattle, WA?
Pros: (1) There’s always something to do. If you’re bored you can take the light rail downtown and be a tourist or find new restaurants.
(2) You get to experience four seasons. I really like the summers here, the winters are really cold, the springs are really nice and you can see the cherry blossoms, and then fall is sweater weather. I like how you can experience a little bit of everything.
Cons: (1) The weather. It rains a lot, and during the wintertime it sometimes is never sunny out. For some people that affects them a lot, which sucks.
(2) It’s getting more and more expensive. Gas is going up, prices everywhere are going up.
What kind of nightlife or weekend activities do you participate in?
Sometimes we like to go to Capitol Hill and go to the bars or clubs. I just turned 21 so that experience is a little bit new for me, but I would say that every weekend we find a day to go do something in Capitol Hill. Freshman year we would go to athlete parties. That would usually be on a Saturday night, maybe after a football game.
What nights of the week do you regularly go out?
Either a Friday or a Saturday night.
Are there certain places you like to go?
We like to change it up, but most often we go to Pie Bar which is a place that serves both pies and drinks and that would be our favorite place [laughs].
What have been your favorite times at Washington?
I love tailgates. That would be my favorite non-sports related activity is tailgating with my friends and the other athletes. My favorite activity would be getting ready to play games. I really, really like going on the light rail and going downtown and going to Pike Place Market and getting flowers. I take the light rail a lot.
How happy are you with the nightlife options at the University of Washington? Is there anything you would change if you could?
No, I don’t think I would change anything. I think there are plenty of options and we get to experience something new pretty often, so I like it.
How did you meet your closest friends?
How would you describe the overall social scene?
I would say that people who are in Greek life have their own community. I think they really like that community and I get that vibe through social media and having a few friends in Greek life. Athletes have their own community and we all get along really, really well. People who aren’t an athlete or through Greek life have their own community through the dorms and they get along as well.
To what extent do you feel people of different races and sexual orientations mix socially?
I feel that it’s not really ever an issue. People are super supportive here, especially in Seattle. There are so many people of different races and lots of people with different sexual orientations and preferences.
How would you describe the student body?
I think we have a very studious group of students here. Everyone is studying at the libraries or doing something educational during the week. People like to take school seriously here, and that is something I really like about our student body.
Do you think people are happy with their choice of the University of Washington by the time they graduate? Do you think people leave loving the University of Washington?
Yes, absolutely. I think they are really happy that they got a really good education and that there is so much to experience around the University of Washington too.
How was transitioning to a school with about 31,000 undergraduates?
It was okay. All the classes are a lot bigger. I had one class that had 500 kids in it. That makes it more difficult to create a relationship with the professor and get the help that you need. I also had some classrooms that only have 20 students in it. I think I was ready for it because I knew that I was going into really big classes, but it’s kind of cool knowing that 500 other people are learning the same material and you have 500 other people to study with.
Has the alumni network helped you find internships or jobs?
Yes, actually some alumni have given me a job that I currently have. I am a [sports] instructor in Seattle and a few alumni are the head workers there.
What did you use the career office for? How helpful have they been?
I haven’t used the career office at all because the alumni were so quick to give me a job.
Advice for Prospective Freshmen
What is something you wish you knew about the University of Washington before entering as a freshman?
I wish I knew how competitive the business school is before I got here. I knew it was hard, but I tried to get in and I wasted a bunch of time with those credits trying to get in and I fell a little bit behind with my own major because I tried so hard to get into the business school and didn’t get in. I wish I knew how difficult some of those majors are and it might work out where I do not get into that program.
What is something a prospective athlete may want to know that we haven’t touched on?
I wish I knew that need to take time for myself in the day because we’re constantly playing our sport and going to school and it’s really difficult to find time for ourselves which is very necessary for our mental health. Finding 10-20 minutes a day to just relax and find something that makes you happy is important.
What is something a prospective student may miss on a visit that is worth checking out?
There’s a bowling alley in the HUB (Husky Union Building) that often goes unseen because it’s downstairs. I think that’s so cool and a lot of people go down there and bowl and play pool and ping pong, so definitely check it out.
Reasons to attend Washington:
1) One of the best educations you would ever get.
2) It’s beautiful here.
3) The people are so friendly and accepting.
4) There are so many things to do around Seattle.
5) There are a lot of opportunities that we have with internships, jobs, and majors around Seattle.
Reasons to not attend Washington:
1) It’s starting to get expensive here in terms of cost of living and doing activities.
2) It gets really cold and gloomy during the winter.