Should I Go To The University of Arizona?

The tutors behind Varsity Tutors are not just here to teach – they’re sharing their college experiences as well. Jennifer is a junior at The University of Arizona majoring in Physiology. She specializes in many subjects in Tucson including World History tutoring, Psychology tutoring, Chemistry tutoring, and more. See what she had to say about her school:

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?

Jennifer: The campus is in the middle of Tucson, which is a larger town in Arizona, but the campus has never felt unsafe in anyway! There are many things that the university does to keep its students safe, from maintaining a large campus police to having a program called SafeRide. SafeRide will drop you off at locations during the night if you feel unsafe, and it will also pick you up! Tucson's bus system is called the SunTran, and its routes are extremely extensive and will drive you to all corners of the city.

VT:  How available are the professors, academic advisers, and teaching assistants?

Jennifer: Every teacher and TA is required by the school to have set office hours in which students can come in and receive help. Usually, even if those hours interfere with other plans, teachers are willing to schedule extra office hours to meet up. Advisors are harder to get a hold of, as you have to make a specific appointment in advance, but they are definitely accessible.

VT: How would you describe the dorm life – rooms, dining options, location, socialization opportunities with other students?

Jennifer: Dorm life is the best! There are at least 20 dorms on campus, all ranging in price, size, and location. It is a great way to make friends, and they're extremely convenient. You don't have to pick any certain meal plan if you live in the dorm; meal plans are sold separately.

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?

Jennifer: The University of Arizona has a broad spectrum of majors, a lot of which are nationally ranked. I am currently studying Physiology, an extremely unique major to the college. I am studying Physiology because I believe it will give me the best background to go into medicine. The university supports every student in whatever they desire to be.

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?

Jennifer: It was extremely easy for me to make friends on campus, as I was living in the dorms and became close to all of my neighbors. Greek life does play a big role in our campus, with about 30% of students being in Greek life. However, it is certainly not necessary to be involved in Greek life.

VT: How helpful is the Career Center and other student support services? Do many reputable companies recruit on campus? 

Jennifer: The most important thing we have on campus is called the Think Tank. It supports students with student-to-student tutoring, and it has really helped me through tough times in some of my classes! It's also cool because many teachers hold their office hours in the Think Tank, so you can get help from them there, too. As for recruiting opportunities, the university holds job fairs at least twice a semester.

VT: How are the various study areas such as libraries, student union, and dorm lounges?  Are they over-crowded, easily available, spacious?

Jennifer: I love the libraries we have on campus! The most popular libraries we have are the Main Library and the Science & Engineering Library, but we also have a Medical Library and an Art/Music Library. They are all very spacious, even though they definitely tend to get crowded around finals time. My favorite part about the libraries is getting my own individual study room; it allows me to concentrate better!

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? 

Jennifer: Tucson is a medium-sized town with a lot of random things to do. I would say that in general, students tend to stay around campus, just because there are more student-oriented things to do. University Street and Fourth Avenue are big hang out spots, as they have restaurants, bookstores, clothing stores, and more. The downtown area isn't real big in Tucson, but they are attempting to renovate it, and soon enough, a streetcar will run from the university to downtown.

VT: How big or small is the student body? Were you generally pleased or displeased with the typical class sizes?

Jennifer: The university is quite large, with over 30,000 students. I knew this going into college, and it was what I wanted! It gives you an opportunity to meet a lot of new people. Some of the classes tend to be large, but you can definitely find many that are 20-30 students, especially Language courses.

VT: Describe one memorable experience with a professor and/or class. Perhaps one you loved the most or one you regret the most.

Jennifer: One of my most memorable teachers was for Calculus 1. I had a graduate student teacher, named George! He was pretty much the most amazing math teacher ever, especially because I am a terrible math student. I constantly went in for help in his office hours, and I finally was able to progress, and advance at the end of the semester! He always made class fun, and it made me like math more!

Check out Jennifer’s tutoring profile.

The views expressed in this article do not necessarily represent the views of Varsity Tutors.