The tutors behind Varsity Tutors are not just here to teach – they’re sharing their college experiences as well. Kristen is a Houston tutor who specializes in Spanish tutoring, English tutoring, Literature tutoring, and Grammar and Mechanics tutoring. She graduated from Texas State University in 2010 with a degree in Mass Communications and a minor in Spanish. Check out her review of Texas State:
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?
Kristen: Texas State University is set in Texas "hill country" and there's even a river running through the heart of the campus where people go to cool off after classes. It's definitely has a very relaxed college-town feel. The bus transportation is excellent and they run around the entire campus with late hours, too. Lots of students ride bikes, but be ready to get a workout with all those hills!
VT: How available are the professors, academic advisers, and teaching assistants?
Kristen: My professors were quite eclectic and definitely knowledgeable and the academic advisers were awesome! They always made sure I was right on track to graduate.
VT: How would you describe the dorm life - rooms, dining options, location, socialization opportunities with other students?
Kristen: Because freshmen are required to live on campus, dorm life is great for the first year because everyone's in the same boat. I met my current best friend because she lived in the dorm next to mine; we clicked immediately. Dining options are good and people who run out of their dining money too quickly are always asking around for "swipes" or "meal trades" when they're hungry. It's a running joke.
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?
Kristen: Texas State started out as a teacher's school, so that plays a big role even still today. But people study from a wide range of majors and I personally got my degree in Mass Communications. The faculty in my major was amazing and the small class sizes were perfect for classes like Media Law and Web Design.
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?
Kristen: It was very easy for everyone to make friends as a freshman. Everyone in nearby dorms knew each other and hung out together. We would go to the movies, get lunch, study together, etc. Greek life does play a big role on campus, but I was never involved in Greek life although I did have friends that joined fraternities and sororities.
VT: How helpful is the Career Center and other student support services? Do many reputable companies recruit on campus?
Kristen: The Career Center is constantly hosting recruitment events; they really try to bring as many reputable companies as they can to campus. They helped me review and revise my resume and make sure everything was in order before graduation. Not to mention, there are always internship and job postings on the university website.
VT: How are the various study areas such as libraries, student union, and dorm lounges? Are they over-crowded, easily available, spacious?
Kristen: Alkek Library is definitely the spot to go study. There are even individual and group study rooms that you can reserve. There are plenty of computer labs on campus and one of my favorite things is that printing is free, which meant that I could print all my materials without worrying about the extra cost. There are also lots of lounges and spaces to hang out, watch TV, play pool, and relax on campus when you need time off from studying.
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?
Kristen: Like I mentioned, San Marcos is a relatively small college town so there are plenty of low-cost activities nearby. The three biggest activities are 1) the river where everyone goes to float in tubes on the weekends, 2) the park where people suntan, and play Frisbee, basketball and volleyball, and 3) the movie theater (50 cent Tuesdays!).
VT: How big or small is the student body? Were you generally pleased or displeased with the typical class sizes?
Kristen: The student body is medium-sized and definitely feels smaller than it actually is because the class sizes (after freshman year) are small and you constantly see people you know on campus. It makes for a very homey feeling.
VT: Describe one memorable experience with a professor and/or class. Perhaps one you loved the most or one you regret the most.
Kristen: Definitely one of the most memorable things is Mass Communications week every year. Speakers come to inspire the students and answer questions about their career and life after graduation. A few years ago, Gary Vaynerchuk came to speak and that was a huge inspiration. Of course there are so many memorable moments throughout my college experience and I wouldn't have wanted to be anywhere except Texas State.
Check out Kristen’s tutoring profile.
The views expressed in this article do not necessarily represent the views of Varsity Tutors.