The tutors behind Varsity Tutors are not just here to teach – they’re sharing their college experiences as well. Lisa is a graduate of Brigham Young University with a Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education. She is an Atlanta tutor who specializes in Phonics tutoring, Reading tutoring, and Elementary Math tutoring. Check out her review of 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?
Lisa: The campus is in a suburban area. There is a good public bus system (UTA) that can get you around to where you want to go if you don’t have a car. There are plenty of places you can reach by walking or biking also. There are many shuttles that will take you to and from the airport if needed, but they can be pricey (the airport is about a 45 minute drive). If you have a car, parking can be tight, especially around the dorms and some housing complexes. There are a lot of job opportunities on campus, so it is possible to be able to work with no car. There is very little student parking near campus and most students find it easier to walk from their apartments than drive. But there are many areas and shops that are too far by bike or take a long time on the bus. A car is not necessary for campus life, but can be very helpful in visiting the surrounding area.
VT: How available are the professors, academic advisers, and teaching assistants?
Lisa: My experience with the teaching staff was very positive. All had office hours posted and were more than happy to meet with you during that time. I found that most students didn’t take advantage of office hours or study sessions. When I went to meet with professors or to study sessions, I always felt it was a good use of my time and received greater understanding or clarification as a result.
VT: How would you describe the dorm life – rooms, dining options, location, socialization opportunities with other students?
Lisa: Dorms are occupied mostly by freshman. Upperclassmen tend to move into apartments near campus. The dorms are currently being renovated and many of the old buildings were completely torn down and rebuilt. The Morris Center and Cannon Center (two dining halls) had great food and were a great place to meet or socialize. There is also the option to live in a dorm with a kitchen and be able to prepare your own food. The common areas were very nice and offered a lot of socialization opportunities. LDS wards (congregations) are dictated by certain dorm clusters, so you get to know many of the other students through church and activities.
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?
Lisa: BYU is well known for many of its Business Schools and the Law School. There is a large selection of strong programs to choose for majors. I majored in Elementary Education, but enjoyed my English Lit classes so much that I added English as a minor so I could take more classes. I had a great program that really prepared me for working as a full-time teacher.
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?
Lisa: I participated in a performing group which helped me make friends and be involved as a freshman. There are many clubs, performing groups, service groups, and intramurals which provide a great opportunity to meet new people. BYU also has “Freshman Academy” which pairs freshmen with an upperclassman mentor to help ease their transition into college and help them make friends in their area of study. There are no sororities or fraternities at BYU.
VT: How helpful is the Career Center and other student support services? Do many reputable companies recruit on campus?
Lisa: The Student Support Services offer a lot of classes and workshops as well as the opportunity to meet with a counselor if you so desire. When I was applying for jobs after college, the Career Center was extremely helpful in getting my transcripts and other necessary documents out to where I needed them. There are a lot of great companies that recruit at BYU.
VT: How are the various study areas such as libraries, student union, and dorm lounges? Are they over-crowded, easily available, spacious?
Lisa: The library is huge and there is a lot of space to study there. When the weather is nice, you will see a lot of students studying on the green areas around campus and the dorms. The student center and most of the college buildings have plenty of seating and other places to study. I never had trouble finding a spot to study.
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?
Lisa: There are a lot of restaurants and commercial places to go for fun, but BYU also has great outdoor areas. Tons of hiking, camping areas, close access to Park City, Sundance and other ski areas, caves, tubing on the Provo river, and many other outdoor activities are right next door. You can rent equipment from a shop on campus if you don’t have your own. There is also plenty of shopping at the Riverwoods outdoor mall, University mall, and other areas. There is plenty to do around campus, but a lot of people do things away from campus on weekends, too. Salt Lake is only about 45 minutes away and offers a lot as far as concerts and other events.
VT: How big or small is the student body? Were you generally pleased or displeased with the typical class sizes?
Lisa: BYU has a large student body - around 30,000 students. Most general classes were very large, auditorium-style classes, but Major classes and Religion classes typically offered a smaller setting.
VT: Describe one memorable experience with a professor and/or class. Perhaps one you loved the most or one you regret the most.
Lisa: I had so many great professors, but I especially enjoyed my Linguistics professor. I often struggled with his assignments. But if I met him during his office hours, he would go over the assignment with me question by question until I understood the principle and was able to complete the work. I found almost all of my professors were willing to help as long as you asked.
Check out Lisa’s tutoring profile.
The views expressed in this article do not necessarily represent the views of Varsity Tutors.