The tutors behind Varsity Tutors are not just here to teach – they’re sharing their college experiences as well. James is currently a junior at Texas Christian University majoring in Engineering. He specializes in multiple mathematics subjects including Algebra tutoring, Geometry tutoring, Trigonometry tutoring, and more. Check out his review of his university:
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?
James: There is no need for a car if you plan on staying on the campus at Texas Christian University (TCU). In order to get to stores, it may be a good idea to have one (although you will likely have one or two friends who have a car that you could borrow). I have a bike, and I use it to get to Kroger and Walgreens. Those two stores have all of my essentials. There is bus transportation, although I do not find it to be helpful. In short, I would suggest getting a bike; it is cheaper, yet still allows you to be mobile. You can always pitch in for gas money with a friend who takes you to Target once a month.
VT: How available are the professors, academic advisers, and teaching assistants?
James: I chose Texas Christian University based on the professors, academic advisers, and teaching assistants being so inviting. I have never had a problem with office hours, and I even go in at other times (and I am able to find the professor). I find the professors to be inviting of questions. They are there to see you succeed, and they will not stop helping you until you do. The faculty at TCU is wonderful. They have welcoming arms open to anyone who comes their way.
VT: How would you describe the dorm life – rooms, dining options, location, socialization opportunities with other students?
James: The dorms are in tip-top shape, with each only being a few years old. There is one food court on campus, which is annoying. It is in central campus, which makes it easy to get to regardless of where you might be. Being in Texas, it is warm year-round. Going to classes, I always see people I know and others who I have never seen before. People are very nice to one another, much like the professors. It is that southern hospitality each student possesses.
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?
James: Texas Christian University is known for its business school. It has been ranked highly among other great schools. We are also known for our nursing school. Both of these programs are challenging, and they are accompanied by knowledgeable professors. I am majoring in Mechanical Engineering. This has been my choice ever since I was young. I chose TCU because there are only about 50 students in my engineering classes, making the classroom setting small. The professors get to know you very well due to such a small class size. I have found TCU to be very good at coaching me for the real world once I graduate.
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?
James: Greek life does play a significant role at Texas Christian University. However, with Frog Camp and Freshman Orientation, TCU does a phenomenal job at helping incoming freshmen find peers (both in their class and upper classes). I did not rush my freshman year, and I was able to find a group of friends that I enjoyed being around. You will find your group early on, and you will probably keep those same friends all four years (but you are not limited to only those friends you meet freshman year).
VT: How helpful is the Career Center and other student support services? Do many reputable companies recruit on campus?
James: I visit the Career Center at least twice a month. They do a great job at letting the students know who is hiring. They host two campus-wide career fairs a year that hundreds of companies attend. Through FrogJobs, students are able to look up jobs both on-campus and off-campus, both for now and for the future. My resume looks golden thanks to the help of Career Services. They take their job seriously, and they make sure to get the name of Texas Christian University out to the big employers.
VT: How are the various study areas such as libraries, the student union, and dorm lounges? Are they over-crowded, easily available, spacious?
James: The library is very crowded. Taking this into consideration, Texas Christian University is expanding the library, which will be ready in the fall of 2015. Although the library is always packed, there are plenty of other study areas (both in dorms and other academic halls) that are unused and are open to studying. No matter your preferred studying environment, you can duplicate that on campus to help lead you to success.
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?
James: Fort Worth is about 15 minutes by car from campus. Besides the bars, the city shuts down fairly early (around 10:00 p.m. or so). There is not much to do in downtown Fort Worth. Dallas is about an hour by car (or by train). Dallas is a much bigger metropolitan area, thus giving students more options for things to do. If you were to draw a two-mile radius around campus, you have all your necessities: clothes shops, burger joints, pizza places, grocery stores, convenience stores, etc.
VT: How big or small is the student body? Were you generally pleased or displeased with the typical class sizes?
James: I picked Texas Christian University due to its medium size. TCU has about 8,000 undergraduates. I am pleased with the general class size, and I feel like TCU can comfortably hold this volume of students.
VT: Describe one memorable experience with a professor and/or class. Perhaps one you loved the most or one you regret the most.
James: I joined a club in December of 2013 called TCU Idea Factory. This is an entrepreneurial club. Through meeting Dr. Eric Simanek, I have learned what it takes to be an entrepreneur in this world. Through the funding of TCU and the knowledge passed down to me by Dr. Simanek, I have been able to start my own company and help students with their education. This has been a great resource for me, and has truly helped me formulate my career goals for post-college.
Check out James’ tutoring profile.
The views expressed in this article do not necessarily represent the views of Varsity Tutors.