was very focused upon going to a smaller-scale school within
an urban area because I wanted to live in a
great environment while also getting more focused attention to better
prepare for medical school. I love Austin and St. Edward's
so far, they're great places but there are definitely some
deterrents that are leaving many of my classmates this semester
to transfer ASAP.
(1) The people: some are friendly, others
are far from it. The social scene tends to be
very cliquey and once those groups of friends are formed
it's quite difficult to find your way in to find
some people to hang out with. Really, making friends is
easier for some than others - it's really just what
you make of the opportunities. Join clubs, initiate clubs, go
to socials, etc.
(2) The professors: absolutely incredible. Undoubtedly I
would say this is the highlight of the school; the
professors are unimaginably helpful and are dedicated to your success,
just as long as you're willing to achieve it. Classes
I thought I would hate ended up being insightful and
were great ways to meet professionals in the field. Individual
attention is very heavy and it's really up to you
to make the best of it. In one of my
classes, individual appointments to meet and discuss how you're feeling
in the course, if you need help, or to review
your work was mandatory or would result in an absence.
They are very focused on letting you know they are
available. One professor even made an AIM account to answer
last minute questions before an exam over the weekend.
The food: it's good at first, but gets limited. Lots
of hamburgers, chicken tenders, quesadillas, etc. amidst other healthier options
such as salads, sandwiches, or sushi if you are a
fan of it. However, don't confine yourself to the dining
halls - take some time to explore the restaurants throughout
Austin. Whether that be downtown, or just on South Congress.
(4) Wireless: at the beginning of the semester it was
never really problematic but lately (assuming due to finals, end
of semester, etc.) it has become less reliable. Overall, the
signal is strong and trustworthy. But don't procrastinate until last
minute because you never know when it will unexpectedly leave
(5) Dorms: my dorm is great. I have a
suite-style where I share a bathroom with three other people
and my room is not too cramped. The location to
all of my classes is great (only a 3-5 minute
walk to most classes). My longest walk to class is
probably 7 minutes.
(6) Cleanliness/Maintenance: again, great. All facilities are
taken care of and there are staff who are always
repairing or keeping rooms, floors, dorms, etc. clean.
atrocious. Very limited, you just have to learn to be
(8) Gym/Rec: I have never personally used the gym,
but I hear that it's very outdated and old to
the point of where one of the guys in my
speech class did a speech about how it needs to
be renovated, or at least expanded. A lot of athletes
will take up the gym floor leaving few opportunities for
those who want to casually use it if they need
(9) Smoking: a lot of people do it
- everywhere. Some organizations are trying to move the locations
because smoke can be so heavy in some areas. I
just walk around and find different routes to avoid it.
(10) Study abroad: they are very adamant on giving you
this experience. Take full advantage of it, they are very
helpful in customizing it to make it possible for you.
You just have to let them know you're interested!
Price: far too much. I wish I had more financial
aid; this is also one of the greatest reasons why
people are transferring.
(12) Faculty/advisors: incredible. My academic advisor is
someone I have become close to because I've seen her
very often. Scheduling appointments to plan out my majors, study
abroad experiences, etc. has been a grueling process but if
you make appointments with your advisor it alleviates a LOT
of stress. Take advantage of the services they can provide
(13) Religion/Faith: you are not excluded from other
people if you're not religious. The campus ministry has a
great group of people and are very focused on volunteer
work and spreading the Holy Cross Heritage. Even as a
person who is not religious, I respect them infinitely. I've
done volunteer work with them as well. Religion is not
forced upon you if you're not affiliated with faith. However,
those who are deeply connected to faith have plenty of
resources to find/meet new friends, become active in the community,
and engage spiritually.
(14) School spirit: very minimal. There is
not a football team but at the beginning of the
semester there were lacrosse and soccer games many people attended.
The sports teams here are good, there is just a
lack of an audience to cheer them on.
work: some classes are much easier than others but overall
this university is VERY HEAVY on writing. I have friends
at UT who write maybe 3 or 4 major essays
their entire semester, but even in classes that aren't English/Rhetoric
& Composition/etc. the classes here require a lot of essay
writing. However, there is a writing center (I've never used
it, but hear it's useful) if you need time to
adjust to the influx of papers. My Rhet & Comp
professor was profoundly helpful and I never needed external help,
so really utilize your professors if you feel you're struggling.
(16) Police/Safety: The further you go south on South Congress,
the worse it gets. Austin is a huge city, so
you can't expect zero crime. However, I have never had
any bad experiences and the police patrol the university constantly.
There has never been a single time I have walked
the campus without seeing at least three UPD cars. I
even feel safe running at night; the campus is well
lit and police are nearby.
Overall, it's been great getting
to know the campus and the faculty here. A lot
of the people are cool, but again very cliquey and
some can be very snooty. However, the experience is all
what you make of it.