Should I Go to the University of Texas at Arlington?

Ayona earned her bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Texas at Arlington. She specializes in American literature tutoring, writing tutoring, and a number of other subjects. Below, she shares her experience at the University of Texas at Arlington:  

Describe the campus setting and transportation options. 

Ayona: The University of Texas at Arlington is a very academic campus that provides a variety of transportation options. The UTARI shuttle bus is very convenient for students who need a ride to class or want to tour the campus. In addition, the Mavs Courtesy Escort is very helpful when traveling on campus after hours to ensure the safety of students. One day after leaving the library at 2 a.m., I had to walk back to my car which was parked in a garage on the opposite side of campus. I felt safe because I was able to use the courtesy shuttle. Due to the surrounding neighbors and local school districts, UTA is a very rural campus.

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

Ayona: The professors have scheduled office hours where they are available to assist students. In most cases, they are willing to schedule a meeting outside of their office hours to meet the needs of a student. To set up a meeting with an academic adviser, you are able to go online, which was very convenient.

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

Ayona: Although I lived off-campus, I have heard from friends that dorm life is very beneficial. Living on campus helps to expand social life, because you have more access to events and social gatherings. Many guest speakers and concerts are held on campus as well.

UTA has a dining hall that provides a buffet for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. There are also restaurants available, such as Pie Five, Chick-fil-A, Bombay Chopsticks, Panera Bread, and many more. There are three Starbucks located on campus, which is where I spent a lot of time and money.

Which majors/programs are best represented and supported? 

Ayona: Engineering and nursing are the top two majors at UTA. I received my bachelor’s degree in English. I chose this degree because of my strong passion for education reform. I want to teach English language arts and reading, improve education in low income schools, and progress toward becoming a college professor. The university was very supportive in helping me reach my goals.

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?

Ayona: Although I was not involved in Greek life, it does play a major role in social life. I was able to meet new friends in most of my classes, because many of my classes involved group projects.

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

Ayona: The Career Center is very helpful for students who are looking to begin work in the corporate world. They connect you with many employers, help you develop skills to succeed as a professional, and host many job fairs on campus.

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

Ayona: There are many areas for students to study, including the library, the UC (University Center), or in each academic building. The library has six floors and offers a variety of seating and computers designated for study. The UC not only has dining, but provides an abundant amount of space to study. Since the UC is also used for dining, it does get crowded around lunchtime. Any other time, seating is easily available. There are also many study areas outside to enjoy on a nice sunny day.

Describe the surrounding town.

Ayona: UTA is within a few minutes of theme parks such as Six Flags and Hurricane Harbor. Many sporting events also take place locally. Although we are located in Arlington, the campus is only about a half hour from downtown Dallas, where you can enjoy museums and performing arts centers. If you want to enjoy a night out with friends, there are many exquisite restaurants to choose from.

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

Ayona: UTA has over 30,000 students from many different backgrounds. I was always pleased with the class sizes because they were never over-crowded. They usually consisted of 20-35 students.

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

Ayona: I really enjoyed Dr. Rambsy’s English courses, because we were able to combine literature with pop culture. I took a literature course dedicated to the rapper Jay-Z where we analyzed his lyrics, had class discussions about meaning of texts, and presented our findings using graphs and other online tools. Our findings included data such as the number of metaphors or slant rhymes that were used in his lyrics. We also compared Jay-Z’s lyrics to the Autobiography of Frederick Douglass. Typically, literature courses engage students in close reading of poets from Emily Dickinson to John Donne. However, if you really think about it, rap is also poetry, which makes it relevant in the academic world.


Check out Ayona’s tutoring profile.

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