The tutors behind Varsity Tutors are not just here to teach – they’re sharing their college experiences as well. Jennifer is a Phoenix tutor who specializes in Statistics tutoring, Anatomy tutoring, Biology tutoring, and more. She is a 2010 graduate of Arizona State University with a Bachelor’s degree in Biological Sciences. 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?
Jennifer: The main campus at Arizona State University is pretty large, but there are definitely many transportation options. I got around just fine on a bicycle, but I also commuted in my last year of college. The light rail system also makes it easier to get to campus from the East or West Valley. They are currently expanding the light rail system, which will only make it easier to get to campus. The campus is very safe. It’s well lit and highly populated, so I never felt afraid walking alone, even at night.
VT: How available are the professors, academic advisers, and teaching assistants?
Jennifer: The professors are a little harder to come by because they are generally really busy. I attended the School of Life Sciences, and many professors were busy with research. The academic advisers were helpful and available to me when I needed to schedule a meeting. The teaching assistants in general were very good and understood their subjects.
VT: How would you describe the dorm life – rooms, dining options, location, socialization opportunities with other students?
Jennifer: I did not live in a dorm. However, I had friends who lived in the dorms, and they were nice. There are plenty of dining options in and around campus, so finding a good meal isn’t hard to do. Tempe is centrally located in the Phoenix Valley, so you can zip across town either way with ease. The shopping around the area is pretty good, as well. Tempe Marketplace has a decent shopping complex, as well as several eateries and bars if you need to relax after a hard week of classes.
ASU also has many clubs and organizations you may choose to join. I myself did not join any particular club, but I did participate in a few club outings for ultimate Frisbee. It’s a good way to get to know some people on campus and stay active.
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 Business program and the research-related programs and majors are very good at ASU. I studied Biological Science with an emphasis in Genetics, Cell Biology, and Developmental Biology because they are subjects that I have an interest in. They are also well developed by the university. ASU supported me in my particular area of study when I needed it most. They assisted me in finding a good fit for my final internship course that ended up taking me out of the country to study for two months.
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: I did not attend ASU my freshman year, but from my perspective, it seemed like there was a positive vibe flowing through the campus that made meeting new people very simple. I did not participate in a sorority. It seemed like they were well established on campus, but that they did not make it easier or more difficult to make friends if you were not a part of Greek life.
VT: How helpful is the Career Center and other student support services? Do many reputable companies recruit on campus?
Jennifer: The job fairs for my specific department allowed me to see what industries and businesses were hiring ASU graduates before I left campus. A lot of great companies and entities choose their talent from ASU because of its reputation as a research institution and also its excellent business school.
VT: How are the various study areas such as libraries, the student union, and dorm lounges? Are they over-crowded, easily available, spacious?
Jennifer: There are a huge variety of study areas at ASU. Finding a place to study was not difficult and did not require a long walk or commute. Some areas are busier than others, but for the most part they are not over-crowded and are well kept.
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: There are plenty of things to do for fun around Tempe, AZ. I really enjoyed the variety of places to eat, recreate, and experience the culture of Arizona. I think the light rail system makes it easier than ever before to travel to downtown Phoenix, where there are sporting events, arts, and fine dining. There are also lots of fun nightlife activities going on. If you decide to stick around the campus area, Mill Avenue shops, bars, and restaurants are right across the street from campus.
VT: How big or small is the student body? Were you generally pleased or displeased with the typical class sizes?
Jennifer: The ASU main campus alone is home to tens of thousands of students. It is a very large campus, but I felt that the class size was comparable to other large universities. In the higher-level courses, the class size was kept very low, so I felt that this made the instruction seem more individualized. I was able to talk directly with the professor(s) when necessary.
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 experience that I both loved and regretted the most was when I took a lab that was nearly seven hours long. The beginning of the semester started off with no A/C in the room (it was August in Arizona), and people were sweating and dropping like flies. I remember quite a few people dropped after that miserable day, but everything was fine after that! It ended up being one of my favorite courses.
Check out Jennifer’s tutoring profile.
The views expressed in this article do not necessarily represent the views of Varsity Tutors.