The tutors behind Varsity Tutors are not just here to teach – they’re sharing their college experiences as well. Andrew is a Chicago tutor who specializes in Algebra tutoring, Geometry tutoring, ACT prep tutoring, and more. He graduated from Cornell University with a Bachelor’s degree in Economics. See what he had to say about his undergraduate experience:
VT: Describe the campus setting and transportation options. How urban or safe is the campus? Are there buses or do you need a car/bike?
Andrew: The Cornell University campus features waterfalls, hills, and natural spaces with plenty of open, grassy areas in front of its many buildings. The campus is not urban, and I always found it to be quite safe. You can always call the campus police or take a bus late at night. I always biked everywhere!
VT: How available are the professors, academic advisors, and teaching assistants?
Andrew: I always found everyone to be available, provided that you made the effort to schedule an appointment. Normal conversations with professors are rare. I recommend regular, scheduled appointments.
VT: How would you describe dorm life – rooms, dining options, location, socialization opportunities with other students?
Andrew: At Cornell, North Campus had better rooms, but you had to travel more to classes. I always liked the food; be careful not to eat ice cream and cold cereal all the time! Socialization is up to you. If you make the effort, you will make plenty of friends. I found all my friends in the dorms.
VT: Which majors/programs are best represented and supported? What did you study and why? Did the university do a good job supporting your particular area of study?
Andrew: Cornell is especially strong in Physics, Mathematics, and Engineering. The pre-med program is also very good. I studied Economics because I wanted to go into business. Cornell did a good job of supporting students who sought out support and asked for attention and help.
VT: How easy or difficult was it for you to meet people and make friends as a freshman? Does Greek life play a significant role in the campus social life?
Andrew: I found making friends to be easy as a freshman. Everyone is looking to make new friends! You won’t have a problem as long as you put yourself out there. Greek life is important at Cornell, but the school is large and you don’t need the Greek system to have a great social life.
VT: How helpful is the Career Center and other student support services? Do companies recruit on campus?
Andrew: The Career Center is very helpful, and more helpful the more you make contact with it. I recommend making connections at the Career Center as a freshman. Make the Career Center a regular part of your whole college experience, all four years! Many companies recruit on the Cornell Campus.
VT: How are the various study areas such as libraries, student union, and dorm lounges? Are they over-crowded, easily available, spacious?
Andrew: The main library at Cornell is a beautiful, wonderful place to study or quietly talk. Different libraries worked for different kinds of studying; you’ll figure it out! I never felt crowded. I avoided studying at the student union or the dorm lounges, but I had great conversations in those places!
VT: Describe the surrounding town. What kinds of outside establishments/things to do are there that make it fun, boring, or somewhere in between? To what extent do students go to the downtown area of the city versus staying near campus?
Andrew: Ithaca is a wonderful town with plenty of restaurants, beautiful parks, and the best farmer’s market around. So, I went into Ithaca usually during the day. There is a part of Ithaca called Collegetown on the south side of campus, and there you will find diners, restaurants, and bars. Lots of students will go there at night. The natural beauty of the Ithaca area was very important to me, and I often hiked or did outdoor things.
VT: How big or small is the student body? Were you generally pleased or displeased with the typical class size?
Andrew: Cornell is a big school, and class sizes are often large especially for Introductory classes. I prefer small class sizes, and I did get smaller class sizes sometimes when I took upper level classes. But Economics is a popular major.
VT: Describe one memorable experience with a professor and/or class. Perhaps one you loved the most or one you regret the most.
Andrew: I loved my creative writing classes! I had the same professor, the classes were small, the discussions were amazing, and he told me that I could write. So now I do. College can be a great place to discover new talents!
Check out Andrew’s tutoring profile.
The views expressed in this article do not necessarily represent the views of Varsity Tutors.