My First Weeks: University of Virginia

August 31, 2015

Image by Bob Michal via Flickr

Choosing your college can be hard. Once you make the difficult decision, then comes meeting new people, discovering new things, and finding your place on campus. But over the course of your first few weeks, the process gets easier. This week, we have one Admit tell us his story about the first weeks at UVA. Sometimes, it’s just about finding one person - then everything can change.

It should come as no surprise that my first week at UVA was incredibly hectic. As a first-year student, I was required to attend a lot of events hosted by my Residential Advisor, most of which went by in a blur. Games, dinners, movie nights—those sorts of ice-breakers. You introduce yourself, tell everyone what you’re interested in studying, a fun fact about yourself, et cetera. Wash, rinse, repeat.  

I am quite possibly one of the most awkward people to have ever walked this earth, so naturally my inclination was to shy away from others and keep to myself. Of course, I knew that my first few days in a completely new location wasn’t a good time to be so introverted, but I always have a hard time thriving in such busy, people-intensive settings.  

My first few days at UVA were mostly spent aimlessly wandering about, bouncing from event to event, exploring the scenery around me, and trying to keep track of where everything was. By the end of the first week, it seemed like other people were already beginning to find their rhythm. I, on the other hand, still felt like I didn’t quite fully belong. I was confused, missing home, and frustrated at myself for being so reclusive.

Unlike pretty much every other college student I’ve ever known, once classes officially began, I actually felt relieved. I had a set schedule to structure my day around and real work to do, so I couldn’t just spend my time holed up in my room. I was also excited to see what the classroom setting in college would be like. I finally felt like a real college student. Lectures were interesting enough to keep me engaged, but those too eventually blurred in with the rest of the week.

Weekends were, at first, quite lonely. I tried to attend social events like frat parties, but I found all of them to be dull and would eventually just wind up back in my room after a couple hours. My roommate, who was a friend from high school, was busy doing his own thing, so we didn’t hang out much either.

I thought I was alone, but as it turned out, there was another person in my hall who was going through the exact same thing. We eventually started talking to each other, and quickly noticed our similar personalities: we were both comfortable with silence, enjoyed good literature, and loved to talk about philosophy and religion. Some might find those kinds of things boring, but for us, it was our bread-and-butter. Meeting that person was one of the best things to happen to be my freshman year—just when I thought that I would remain alone for the whole year, I made my first friend.

In a college setting, where so many diverse people come together, chances are that everyone will find a group to fit into. For me, after I got comfortable with my new friend, things slowly started gaining momentum. One event led to another, and I eventually found myself in the Judo club and a Christian fellowship, where I finally felt at home.

I’ve found that adjusting to college classes isn’t really the hard part; it’s adjusting to the social setting that is the challenge. And if you’re like me, you’ll probably struggle with that for a while, too. But that’s okay, because I’ve learned that spending time alone and searching for the things that you really enjoy—the things that really mean something to you—is an important part of the college experience.

What were your first weeks like? Comment below and tell us more.

Browse Successful Application Files


Accepted to UVA, JMU, Penn State, USC

I am a first year Kinesiology major at the University of Virginia.

Accepted to UVA, William & Mary

currently a 1st year at UVA

Accepted to UVA, Rutgers, Tufts, William & Mary, Northeastern, UConn

I'm a First Year at the University of Virginia, Majoring in Spanish and Economics and planning to earn a Fourth Year MS in Commerce.

Accepted to UVA, GA Tech, UC Davis, UCSC, Northeastern

Computer Science Student coming from an All Girls Prep School

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