Should I Go to Old Dominion University?

Tracey earned her bachelor’s degree in communications and is currently pursuing her master’s degree in communications from Old Dominion University. She specializes in public speaking tutoring, study skills tutoring, and a number of other subjects. Below, she shares her experience at Old Dominion University:

Describe the campus setting and transportation options. 

Tracey: Old Dominion University is a great school in Norfolk, Virginia. It’s an urban campus connected to local towns by bus transportation, and students commute to class by walking or riding bikes. Bike fix-it stations are all over campus, and bikes can be rented from the school as well. I lived off campus and I didn’t have an issue finding parking to attend class on time. In my experience, I felt safe walking to the parking garage at night after classes ended.

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

Tracey: At ODU, meeting with my professors and academic advisors truly fit the definition of an open door policy. They made themselves available to meet in person or through email and they provided constructive feedback in a timely manner.

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

Tracey: We have recently built a stunning dining hall named Broderick Dining Commons. I love that the school offers unique food options on campus in addition to the classics like Starbucks, Chick-fil-A, and Einstein Bros. Bagels at ODU’s 24-hour library. Our Webb Center is a great place to switch up your work environment or to meet with friends and relax in the campus game lounge.

Which majors/programs are best represented and supported? 

Tracey: At ODU, our motto and core principle is “idea fusion.” We learn and work in the classroom, but fusing this knowledge with the real world is a priority across all disciplines. Working outside the classroom provided me tangible experiences as a student and professional. These hands-on takeaways from my courses have been especially helpful when explaining to prospective employers the relevant experience I have.

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?

Tracey: I met some of my best friends in my classes at ODU and, for me, it’s a priceless takeaway I will treasure forever. Although I didn’t join a sorority, many ODU students are proud members of the Greek life on campus.

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

Tracey: Our career center is an awesome place with many resources and a great staff ready to help current students and alumni. ODU collaborates with the local community throughout the year. The most recent ODU sponsored job fair I attended featured about 100 local and international employers.

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

Tracey: At the reading center in the library, students can book an appointment with an onsite editor to help edit their papers. This is one of my favorite services on campus. The library has multiple floors with different study areas available for both individual students and groups. The first floor has couches, ottomans, a computer lab, and private study rooms that can be reserved online. Most of the time when I needed a quiet place to study at the library, I could find a place to sit without an issue. The librarians are really helpful, too.

Describe the surrounding town.

Tracey: There are all sorts of places in Norfolk to enjoy and explore. The Waterside District has gorgeous views of the city on the water and has been rebuilt with delicious restaurants. It offers concerts and festivals, too.

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

Tracey: Although it’s a university with over 24,000 students, I didn’t feel like I was just a number in a lecture hall. The class size typically hovered around 18 students per class.

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

Tracey: Participating in poetry night as a student in Dr. Baesler’s listening course was one of my most memorable experiences as an undergraduate student. Not only did my listening skills significantly improve, I love how an informal off-campus event was brought into the classroom with fantastic results. I loved the experience so much that I incorporate the same teaching technique when I teach public speaking students, too!


Check out Tracey’s tutoring profile.

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