The tutors behind Varsity Tutors are not just here to teach – they’re sharing their college experiences as well. Megan is a Kansas City tutor specializing in ACT prep tutoring, Anatomy tutoring, Reading tutoring, and much more. She graduated from University of Missouri in 2009 with a degree in Secondary Education. See what she had to say about her alma mater:
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?
Megan: The campus is found in the middle of Columbia, which is a very nicely developing college town. The transportation options are plentiful; there are shuttles and buses to many locations all over town. Living on campus is an option, and there are shuttles that transport many students to off-campus housing as well. Columbia also has wonderful hiking, running, and bike trails that connect in a system all over town, eliminating the need for a car or bus. The campus is very safe. There are blue lights, the emergency call system, located everywhere.
VT: How available are the professors, academic advisers, and teaching assistants?
Megan: As for availability, it depends on the class and the teacher. However, every professor and T.A. that I encountered at Mizzou strove to help students learn in any way possible. My advisors were and are some of the most important people in my life. I worked in a science laboratory as an undergraduate, and the connections I made to my professors and advisors through that lab experience are still strong. As a graduate student at Mizzou, my advisors were amazingly helpful and provided guidance for me that I could not have gotten elsewhere.
VT: How would you describe the dorm life – rooms, dining options, location, socialization opportunities with other students?
Megan: The dorms were wonderful. Mizzou has been working on renovating most of its on-campus housing to be suite style. I lived in dorms for two years as an undergraduate, all in suite-style housing. The rooms were very spacious and nice, with 4 people sharing 2 bedrooms, 2 baths, and a common living room. When I was a freshman, I was in a program meant to help ease the transition from high school to college, socially and academically. I was placed in a dorm with other students who had declared the same interests, so socialization opportunities were always present. We of course also ate on campus when I lived in the dorms. The food was wonderful, at Mizzou they are known for the Mizzou 22, not the freshman 15. That supposed weight gain, however, does not happen if you walk all over campus to class and stay active. The campus itself is about 15-20 minutes across walking, so there is plenty of opportunity for exercise.
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?
Megan: Honestly, I can’t say which majors/programs are best represented at Mizzou. There are a ton of majors, with several different colleges, just in the Columbia university system. I myself studied Secondary Science Education. This meant that my time was mainly split between Science and Education classes. I was supported very well in my area of study. As you know, Education students are placed in student teaching positions, and I received a ton of support as I went through that process. I also was a part of the Fellow’s Masters program. It is an intensive year-long program during which you receive your Master’s in exchange for working full-time as a teacher in a partnering school, while going to graduate classes all at the same time. During this very stressful time, I received an amazing amount of help from the university.
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?
Megan: It was very easy for me to make friends as a freshman due to the FIG, or Freshman Interest Group, that I was a part of. When it comes to Greek life, one can be as involved or not involved as one desires. Mizzou has a Greek town on the west side of the campus, and many guys and girls are involved in rush, homecoming, service projects, and other activities. If you are not Greek, you can still participate in all activities. I would say that the Greek community is as significant or insignificant as necessary. It is a huge campus and there are many things going on, both Greek and non.
VT: How helpful is the Career Center and other student support services? Do many reputable companies recruit on campus?
Megan: Honestly, I never used any of the Career Center resources. Students support services are around when needed, and they will always answer any questions. I was part of an Education major, so I did not pay attention to any companies recruiting on campus.
VT: How are the various study areas such as libraries, student union, and dorm lounges? Are they over-crowded, easily available, spacious?
Megan: I loved Mizzou for its study areas. The libraries and other public work areas were always open late. The student union recently got remodeled and is amazing inside. It is a great place to eat and hang out during the day. There are many places on campus to hide away and study or work if you need a quiet area. I never found any of the student areas over-crowded.
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?
Megan: Columbia is an amazing college town. There is a wonderful downtown area located just to the north of campus. There are many restaurants, bars and shops located there. Students head downtown often, catching lunch between classes and hanging out downtown on weekends. Columbia also has a mall right off the highway. There are several brewpubs and original/one-of-a-kind restaurants scattered throughout town. There is so much more that Columbia has to offer, however. In town, there are many parks and bike trails. Those lead to out of town, where there is plenty of outdoor recreation, hiking, and camping. I loved living in the town of Columbia after I moved off campus, because it has so much to offer that has nothing to do with the university. The schools and hospitals are also some of the best around.
VT: How big or small is the student body? Were you generally pleased or displeased with the typical class sizes?
Megan: Class size has never really affected my performance, so I was never upset about that. I liked large classes because my professor didn’t know my name, and I liked small classes because the professor did know my name. The student body at Mizzou is huge; it is a state school, after all.
VT: Describe one memorable experience with a professor and/or class. Perhaps one you loved the most or one you regret the most.
Megan: I had a professor who was running to class because he was always a little bit behind, even though he delivered content in a most excellent manner. He was running down the stairs of the classroom, and tripped and fell. The result of the spill was a broken arm. In the following lectures, he would get so excited talking and gesturing that his sling would slide off! This man was dedicated to transferring his knowledge to us, that is for sure.
Check out Megan’s tutoring profile.
The views expressed in this article do not necessarily represent the views of Varsity Tutors.