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| I just finished my first year at UVM, and I have been very pleased with my overall experience and all the opportunities granted to me. I identify as an ALANA Classics major, and I have received much support from the ALANA community as well as my major department. I was in the Integrated Humanities Program, where a group of 30 freshman lived together and took 3 classes a semester together (English, Religion, History) with some of the most brilliant, albeit eccentric professors at the school. The foundation of this program is on the great books of the Classical and Modern era, which we explored deeply. If you're interested at all in the humanities, I would recommend this program immensely - though do be warned it is a lot of work at times, and if you're not engaged in the readings you'll soon become disillusioned. Also IHP students tend to have a reputation for being "good students," almost on par with the Honors College kids; they also are very likely to get into the Honors College should they apply Sophomore year. |
If you're an incoming freshman, I would recommend applying to a programmed housing dorm, where you will most likely be in suite living (in the Living and Learning center) with people who have the same interests as you. As I've already emphasized the academic nature of my program, these programs in general are great ways to click with people.
While the dorms are not palaces my any means (except University Heights N and S...), whenever anything broke in our suite we sent in a "fix-it" report which was taken care of within one day. The repairmen were friendly and efficient, so I have absolutely no qualms about that. Very rarely did I ever see actual vomit anywhere in my living quarters (maybe once, after the Naked Bike Ride), but in suite-style living you also have to clean your bathrooms yourself. So maybe that was part of it.
All of the professors I have had, in IHP, the Classics department, and in the few general requirement courses I've taken thus far have been very approachable and helpful.
The campus is beautiful, of course. While many of the buildings aren't new, I think they are taken care of fairly well. And the older buildings that house many of the major departments are essentially antiques - creaking floors, wood paneling and very quaint.
Since this is UVM, many people do smoke weed and drink regularly. At least where I lived though, it was not hard to find people who didn't (if you're not looking to party often - live in L/L). And I was never actually pressured to smoke or drink when I didn't want to; everyone understood and left it alone. I honestly didn't find it an issue, and only occasionally overheard very vapid conversations at a house party on the weekend. If you get into you're niche, I think you'll like the social activities on the weekends. I personally wasn't into frat parties or big keggers, but there are plenty of other low-key "parties" that you will run into if you know the right people.I think UVM is great, and I think that those who take issues with it have not put in enough effort to discover all of the opportunities that are here. There are a ton, just do your research. Get a work-study job if you can, get to know your professors, be a TA, get involved with a club, try out a few parties.
|May 11 2013|| 1st Year Female --
Class 2016 |
Here's my take on UVM, I've been there for a couple of years now so I have a pretty good take on what the school is like socially, academically, pros, cons,etc.
UVM is a big school with like 10,000 undergrads. If you want to party, smoke weed and snowboard for four (plus) years, then you can. There are all different types of students at this school, and naturally there will be students of that nature here because it's college, and...Vermont. That shouldn't be a surprise to any incoming students. But I've also met some of the most interesting people I've ever encountered in my life here, and if you want a good academic and social experience then you will most certainly get one. Again, UVM won't spoon-feed anything to you because it's not a small school. Yes, you will have to go out of your way to get to know most of your professors, and you may have to go out of your way to find your niche socially (I know I did), it's all part of growing as a person and becoming more independent.
The school has over 100 majors so you probably won't have trouble finding one, and its a great place to go if you want to study the liberal arts, pre-med, env. studies or the life sciences. I was a double-major in economics and anthropology in the CAS, while being undecided for the first year and a half of being there. The classes are for the most part big during the first two years (like 80-250 students), and then they usually shrink dramatically later on, although it will depend on what you study.
The social life really is what you make of it. UVM is known to be a party school, and if you want it to be then it most certainly can be. Most students go to parties in off-campus apartments or in frats, although it's pretty easy to sneak in a small dorm party, since, even though the school is technically dry, the RAs don't really care, at least in my experience. On the contrary, there are more than enough students (if not the majority) who want nothing to do with partying, and enjoy staying in their dorms, studying in the library, or going downtown. I know lots of kids studying engineering and the hard sciences who don't party, simply because they can't.
Oh, and speaking of downtown, the school is definitely in a fun location. Burlington is a fun little city with some great shopping, eating, and entertainment. If you're bored here, it's your own fault. The outdoors are right nearby with some awesome ski areas (a lot of students get discounted ski passes at places like Jay, Stowe, etc) and it's a fun and popular activity to do on the weekends, although, again, there are plenty here who want nothing to do with skiing. Transportation is excellent. CCTA busses can take UVM students anywhere in the greater Burlington area for free, and the UVM campus bus goes everywhere on campus and sometimes runs as late as 3 am.
Oh and some cons- it's super expensive. I know lots of kids who are working two jobs to stay here, and it's certainly overpriced, no doubt about it. They keep raising the tuition price to, which is absurd. Everything here is also ridiculously overpriced, particularly the food, which you will get sick of quickly (it gave me diarhea). You may also get bored during the winter when it's too cold to do anything fun. Also, while there are lots of clubs, its hard to get involved in them. Diversity could also be a tad better, at least 85% of kids here are white. Most are from the Northeast, although I've met kids from all corners of the country.
Anyways, I think UVM is a great place to go if you want a good overall college experience. It's the perfect size, being big enough to feel like a university, but small enough to not feel like you're in a black hole. It's in a great location, being in a great town in a beautiful region. And it's pretty nice campus with some interesting, open-minded people. UVM has a lot of artsy/hipster people along with the stereotypical students, and everything in between. It's not for everyone, you definitely need to be open-minded to like it here, and the stereotypes are certainly true to an extent, but if you can fit this mold then I suggest considering it.
Hope that helped!
|Dec 18 2011|| 3rd Year Male --
Class 2013 |
| UVM is the type of school where you get what you put into it. If you want to party, get sloppy drunk, and have your text messages on "TFLN," you can absolutely do that. However, if you're a serious student, you can find professors to challenge and motivate you, and get a lot out of UVM (or at least when I was there!). |
|Dec 08 2011|| Alumna Female --
Class 2000 |