The tutors behind Varsity Tutors are not just here to teach – they’re sharing their college experiences as well. Krystal is a Houston tutor who specializes in Algebra tutoring, Chemistry tutoring, Earth Science tutoring, and several other subjects. She is a 2009 graduate of Texas Southern University with a Bachelor’s degree in Chemistry. Check out her review of Texas Southern 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?
Krystal: The campus is small. There are many police officers and security personnel who are on bikes and who walk throughout campus. There are transportation carts driven by security personnel that travel along the main street of the campus. These carts offer free transportation to the various buildings on campus. There are designated pick-up and drop-off areas. Also, many students use their bikes to travel back and forth.
VT: How available are the professors, academic advisers, and teaching assistants?
Krystal: All the professors, academic advisers, and teaching assistants have office hours. But what I like most is the one-on-one attention and outside-of-office-hours attention that the professors and advisers are willing to give. The professors, advisers, and staff at Texas Southern University are willing to do whatever it takes to ensure that every student excels.
VT: How would you describe the dorm life – rooms, dining options, location, socialization opportunities with other students?
Krystal: I lived on campus for a few years. I enjoyed the dorm life. I made many lifetime friends via dorm life. I lived in the apartments on campus, and the campus security and police station was across the street. Dorm life helped me come out of my shell. I learned a lot from the other students. The rooms were spacious enough for me. I had my own room, but I shared the kitchen, living room, and a bathroom with my roommate. My roommates and I are still close friends. There are many restaurants near the campus. However, the dining hall in the student center on campus offers a variety of dishes. The bookstore, vending machines, and restaurant kiosks are also located in the student center. The school issues a card that can be loaded and reloaded, and this card can be used to purchase meals and bookstore items. There are many organizations on campus. Getting involved is advised, as it will allow students to become more social.
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?
Krystal: Students attend Texas Southern University from many areas around the globe. The College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, law school, and business school attract many students. The College of Education and College of Science and Technology also attract many students. The entire university is very diverse. I studied Pharmacy, Chemistry, and Environmental Toxicology. The Chemistry program was a passion of mine. It was my first major, and after changing my major several times, I went back to chemistry. The professors and staff in the Chemistry department are awesome. They helped me get internships and provided a strict study track to help me excel as a scientist. Texas Southern University did an excellent job in preparing me for my career.
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?
Krystal: At first, it was very difficult to meet people. I only met those who moved in to the dorm at the same time that I did. Dorm life helped me open up. I learned about the different organizations on campus and the different cultures that were all around me. I joined a sorority. It played a significant role in my social life. I was also active in many other organizations on campus. My sorority sisters and I spent a lot of time together. We still spend time together. One was actually my roommate for a couple of years. We still celebrate many of life’s moments with one another, and I am still active in my organization. Greek life also has a downside. The students must know that they are on campus for an education. My organization required a particular GPA in order to join, and an even higher GPA must be maintained. Therefore, we had to study and serve the community before anything else.
VT: How helpful is the Career Center and other student support services? Do many reputable companies recruit on campus?
Krystal: The Career Center and Student Support Services are very helpful. They help with financial aid, dorm life, the life-away-from-home adjustment, tutoring services, career services, and anything that will help students while in school and once graduated. There are services to help students create resumes and classes to teach them how to get a desired job. Many reputable companies recruit on campus, including hospitals, oil and gas companies, engineering companies, education institutions, pharmaceutical companies, the American military. Various other companies recruit on the campus of Texas Southern University.
VT: How are the various study areas such as libraries, the student union, and dorm lounges? Are they over-crowded, easily available, spacious?
Krystal: There are study areas in every building, including the dorms. They are not over-crowded. They are very spacious with easy access. I used the library a lot, and there are rooms of various sizes. In the student center, there are also study rooms. Every building on campus has available study rooms. These rooms have whiteboards and other resources to help students excel in their studies.
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?
Krystal: Houston is a beautiful city. There are many things to do. The campus is located very close to downtown, the museum district, and the medical center. There are many attractions surrounding the campus. The downtown area is a wonderful place to unwind and relax. The campus is about 10 minutes from downtown, and students can use the side streets to safely travel to the downtown area. There are coffee shops, reading rooms, and other small, cozy places to study in the area. The University of Houston is within walking distance, so many students study together.
VT: How big or small is the student body? Were you generally pleased or displeased with the typical class sizes?
Krystal: The campus is small, and there are small class sizes. I like the small classes. It allows the professor to have more time with each student. The university has a total undergraduate enrollment of about 7,000.
VT: Describe one memorable experience with a professor and/or class. Perhaps one you loved the most or one you regret the most.
Krystal: I have had the opportunity to have many wonderful experiences with my professors. My most memorable experience was with my research professor. We were researching carbon nanotubes and their toxicology. He had the “career” speech with me. His words guided me to the career that I have currently. He changed my life. I am very appreciative.
Check out Krystal’s tutoring profile.
The views expressed in this article do not necessarily represent the views of Varsity Tutors.