By TAYLOR OSTROM
Last year I transferred to the University of Mary Washington. Previously, I was a student at Western Connecticut State University, but transferred to UMW when my family moved to Virginia. At first I assumed UMW would be very similar to my former university because they both have a small student population. However, once I stepped foot on this beautiful campus I was pleasantly surprised to find out that UMW was something completely different than WCSU.
At first, it caught me off guard how friendly people are here. There have been numerous instances in which peers have sparked friendly conversations with me. At WCSU, the people were not nearly as welcoming. When walking into class on the first day I was always met with cold stares and blank expressions, rather than the friendly smiles that greet me here. During my first week on this campus I had more pleasant encounters with students than I did in the years I spent at WCSU. It feels amazing to be a part of a campus that welcomes new students with open arms. Here I feel as if I truly belong. I no longer feel like I am being lost in a shuffle of students.
It’s not just the students here that have been making my experience enjoyable, but the professors as well. The professors here truly engage their students and make learning fun. Every morning I wake up excited to attend class, where my professors get nothing but my undivided attention. While I was a student at WCSU there were very few classes I enjoyed going to because the professors didn’t seem like they enjoyed teaching the subject material.
This made me not take full advantage of my learning potential as I have here at UMW. I have also had nothing but positive experiences with advisors. As a transfer student, I was fearful that a majority of my credits would not transfer. However, with the help of UMW advisors I was able to get credit for every class I completed at WCSU.
My major advisor is Professor Rao, and he has been nothing but helpful. I have a ten month old daughter and always want to make sure, that each semester, I am not biting off more than I can chew. Professor Rao reaffirms me each time I meet with him and every time I leave his office I feel excited to graduate.
UMW has a gorgeous campus that took my breath away the first time I saw it, and still continues to do so to this day. The scenery helps me to relax as I walk to class and the smell of fresh flowers always brings me happiness no matter how stressed out I may be.
It’s not just beautiful on campus but downtown too. I love to walk around, grab coffee and peek around in the small boutiques. On the weekends I enjoy grabbing a bite to eat and a quick drink. There’s tons of people downtown, some UMW students and some not, who are friendly. It’s fulfilling to know that the positive atmosphere on campus also extends within the Fredericksburg community, something my former university lacked.
There is no other campus I would rather call mine than UMW. I am so content with my family’s decision to move to Virginia because it brought me to this unforgettable campus. Initially, moving from the north to the south was a shock, but I quickly came to realize that change can be a good thing. No matter where life takes me I will always remain an Eagle at heart and I will never stop advocating future college students to attend UMW.