My First Weeks at University of Chicago

July 13, 2015

No matter what school you attend, your first few weeks can be difficult, exciting, or just plain fun. AndreaPopova, UChicago ‘18, tells us her experiences upon arrival at college. First impressions of classes, roommates, and everything in between, AndreaPopova helps us understand UChicago a lot better.
Interested in UChicago? Check out AndreaPopova's profile on AdmitSee!
Interested in UChicago? Check out AndreaPopova’s profile on AdmitSee!

My first weeks at UChicago were pretty overwhelming, but in an awesome way. There were way too many new things to do and people to meet—it was hard to keep up with everything that was going on. Unlike most other students, I didn’t get to start any of my exciting college adventures until really late into the summer because of UChicago’s Quarter System. Instead of the traditional two semesters, UChicago’s year is broken up into quarters, which causes the first quarter to begin some time in late September. By the time I had started college, all my friends had already been in school for a month. This had its pros and cons—it was bad because I had to stay back at home while my friends enjoyed college, but good because I was able to hear their advice.

The first major change I had to adjust to when I came to college was my new living conditions. Instead of having my own room and bathroom and being under the close supervision of my parents, I suddenly had a roommate and two suitemates to share a bathroom and spend time with. I was lucky because I really get along with all my suitemates; we’re even planning on living together again next year! My “house” at UChicago has also allowed me to become a part of a network of incredibly kind, supportive, and intelligent people. Something that really helped me make friends during the first few weeks here was the house table in the dining hall, which is designated specifically for members of our house.

As far as academics go, I won’t lie—UChicago classes are hard. Learning how to study effectively took up a lot of my time during the first month or so of classes. I really had to buckle down and do my work ahead of time instead of waiting until the last minute. That said, working harder outside of classes made my experience in class that much more worthwhile. I was suddenly seeing details in texts that I had never noticed before, and I was raising my hand frequently to answer questions in class. I actually enjoyed taking part in class conversations because everyone was well-informed and clearly cared about the subject we were studying. If you do your part, UChicago classes are incredibly rewarding on many levels. They allowed me to take my education into my own hands and appreciate the knowledge being provided for me.

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