A Day in the Life at Michigan State University

The tutors behind Varsity Tutors are not just here to teach—they’re sharing their college experiences as well. Ross is a Detroit tutor who earned his Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from Michigan State University in 2010. He specializes in calculus tutoring, algebra tutoring, and several other areas of math. See what he had to say about his time at Michigan State University:

Describe the campus setting and transportation options at Michigan State University.

Ross: The campus is safely closed in with all the dorm rooms and classes in a 20-minute-maximum walking distance from each other. On the outskirts of the campus is where you will find the campus apartments and restaurants. There are four transportation options on campus: driving, buses, biking, and walking. The buses take you all around campus but you have to know the schedule.

How available are the professors, academic advisers, and teaching assistants?

Ross: My professors were always available when I emailed or contacted them beforehand but they could also be reached by walk-in appointments. The Teaching Assistants always held review sessions which were very helpful to me during the tougher classes. I was a student athlete so my Academic Advisor was in the Smith Center, which is a student-athlete academic building for campus athletes. He was always available for me, probably due to the fact that he only dealt with athletes.

How would you describe the dorm life—rooms, dining options, location, socialization opportunities with other students?

Ross: Dorm life at MSU was very pleasant because of my roommate. A huge part of the dorm life experience is your roommate. This can make or break your experience, regardless of the facilities and location. The dining rooms in the dorms were great even though some included better meal options than others. One of the best things about the dorms were the events that were held on the weekends which allowed students to get know their Resident Advisors and other students in the dorms.

Which majors/programs are best represented and supported at Michigan State University?

Ross: My major was Mechanical Engineering because I was a math guy. I love the design part of the engineering program. As far as support, the Engineering Department gave 100 percent support to the students and supplied us with a vast amount of resources for classes.

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?

Ross: As previously stated, I played football during my tenure at MSU, so I socialized with mostly athletes my freshman year due to the fact that we were always around each other. Though I had a demanding football schedule, it wasn’t difficult to meet new people because of campus activities.

How helpful is the Career Center and other student support services?

Ross: The Student Support services did an excellent job helping students get comfortable with writing resumes, looking for jobs, choosing careers after college, and speaking with companies. Companies often visited our campus at job fairs, as well as academic events held by departments.

How are the various study areas such as libraries, the student union, and dorm lounges?

Ross: Our study areas were available and spacious when there were not final exams being taken. Each floor in the dorms had small conference rooms that could be used for studying. Also, the dorms had computer labs available for those who needed access to the web. The library and the student union were always available to meet up with friends to review for tests or to simply work on homework projects.

Describe the surrounding town.

Ross: Downtown East Lansing was a great place to enjoy your social life. The restaurants were very delicious and clean for friends and families, as well as local bars that showed sports events on the weekends. There was a mall not too far from campus that contained everything I needed. Multiple grocery stores were located no more than 15-20 minutes from the dorms.

How big or small is the student body at Michigan State University? Were you generally pleased or displeased with the typical class sizes?

Ross: Michigan State’s student body size is about 38,000. The class sizes were perfect for me. Some courses were taught in smaller high school-like classrooms while the larger classes that were taught in auditoriums. I enjoyed both settings because each gave students the opportunities to interact with the professor and other students.

Describe one memorable experience with a professor and/or class. Perhaps one you loved the most or one you regret the most.

Ross: One memorable experience at MSU took place my sophomore year on the way to take a final. My roommate and I went to the wrong building for our final which made us late to the actual exam. When we arrived to the exam, after walking around campus for 15 minutes, it was jam-packed. The only available seats were two seats right next to each other and we ended up being the first two done, which was weird. We both ended up with a 3.0 in the course.

Check out Ross’ tutoring profile.

The views expressed in this article do not necessarily represent the views of Varsity Tutors.