The tutors behind Varsity Tutors are not just here to teach – they’re sharing their college experiences as well. Ivorie graduated from Baylor University in 2013 with a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology. She is a Philadelphia tutor specializing in Algebra tutoring, ISEE prep tutoring, Grammar & Mechanics tutoring, and more. See what she had to say about 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?
Ivorie: Everyone refers to Baylor as the “Baylor Bubble.” It seems like a completely different city from Waco. That being said, campus is very safe. I felt comfortable walking around campus at any time of night. It is well lit and has stations where you can call security if there ever was an emergency. There are also shuttles that take you around campus and to some apartments off campus, but campus is relatively small with the walk from one end to another being around 15 minutes. The shuttles run around every 15 minutes, but a large amount of students do have bikes and cars. You’ll need a car if you want to go places off campus (e.g. Walmart).
VT: How available are the professors, academic advisers, and teaching assistants?
Ivorie: They all have set office hours, but are generally in their offices and available whenever they aren’t teaching a class. From my experience, the majority of my teachers were very helpful whenever I went for help. Some will even give you their cell phone numbers and invite you to call at 2 a.m. if you’re studying really late for a test and need help!
VT: How would you describe the dorm life – rooms, dining options, location, socialization opportunities with other students?
Ivorie: There are many different dorms with different styles to fit each individual. The basic dorm is a single room with 2 people and a community bathroom, but more expensive dorms range from having private bathrooms, to being apartment-style with your own bedroom. There are currently 4 dining halls on campus, with a ton of other options (Chick-fil-A, Moe’s Burgers, Starbucks, etc.). Baylor also offers a lot of community opportunities starting at the very beginning of the school year to help students make friends and stay connected. One thing that I loved was that organizations could spread the word about upcoming events by writing them with chalk on the sidewalks around campus. You’ll also receive emails every week and see flyers in dorms and academic buildings about upcoming events and ways to stay involved.
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?
Ivorie: I think all majors are supported nicely, but most of my friends were either Business or Science majors. They have recently built a new Science building and are working on creating a new Business building (although the current one is already amazing). I majored in Psychology and minored in English, and am currently a graduate student elsewhere. The Psychology staff is great and definitely helped me learn and retain information They were also very supportive in my journey to graduate school. Baylor offers an incredible amount of options for classes to take so that you can really focus on what interests you.
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?
Ivorie: It was not hard for me to meet people at all. People are extremely nice and there are so many social opportunities that it is hard to not meet people. I was not involved in Greek life so it is not a huge deal, but a very large amount of people do join Greek organizations and it does help to collect a smaller but closer circle of friends.
VT: How helpful is the Career Center and other student support services? Do many reputable companies recruit on campus?
Ivorie: I never visited the Career Center so I would not know. I did, however, receive a lot of emails about companies coming to campus for job fairs.
VT: How are the various study areas such as libraries, the student union, and dorm lounges? Are they over-crowded, easily available, spacious?
Ivorie: The main library (Moody) is incredible; so much so that I never visited the others. It has a Starbucks and 4 floors with different sections designed for different comfort zones, e.g. a quiet zone, a low talking zone, and a “talk as much and as loud as you want” zone. There are private study rooms, couches, and a large amount of computers. The library is also open 24 hours. The Student Union building has good food options, 4 floors with rooms available to reserve for meetings or studying, a stage, and lots of couches. It is open until midnight on most days. Because there are so many options for people to study, the only time any of these are overcrowded is during finals week.
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?
Ivorie: Waco is not a very exciting town at all. The only thing that people usually go into the town for are groceries, restaurants, the movies, and the mall. Waco is very small so it’s only about a two-minute drive to downtown from campus. Students typically go downtown on weekends for fun, although there is not a huge selection of things to do.
VT: How big or small is the student body? Were you generally pleased or displeased with the typical class sizes?
Ivorie: The size was perfect for me: not too big and not too small. My largest class was about 300 students (these classes are very limited, you may only have 1 or 2 classes this large during your entire 4 years) and the smallest was 6 students. I’d say the average class size is about 25-30 students. There are around 13,000 students total, I believe.
VT: Describe one memorable experience with a professor and/or class. Perhaps one you loved the most or one you regret the most.
Ivorie: One of my most memorable experiences was my Learning and Behavior class. In class, my teacher would bring us donuts and other breakfast items, which we really appreciated. He genuinely cared about us. The lab was my favorite part, though. We each had a rat to train, and although it was scary dealing with a rat at first, I really learned to love mine (and got to train it to do really cool tricks!).
Check out Ivorie’s tutoring profile.
The views expressed in this article do not necessarily represent the views of Varsity Tutors.