The tutors behind Varsity Tutors are not just here to teach – they’re sharing their college experiences as well. David is a Kansas City tutor who graduated from Missouri State University in 2011. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Biology with a minor in Chemistry. David specializes in many subjects including Algebra tutoring, Organic Chemistry tutoring, and Biology tutoring. See what he had to say about his alma mater:
VT: How easy or difficult is it to get around on your campus? Is it hilly, do lots of people bike, are there buses, etc.
David: The campus is very easy to maneuver. They have clearly designated bike trails through out the major high traffic areas with plenty of bike racks. There is also a free bus system for students and faculty, making for convenient and expedient travel between classes.
VT: How helpful are the academic advisors?
David: The academic advisors are as helpful as you want them to be. A majority of them are also professors with a lot on their plate, but if you take the time to set appointments and ask questions, they are happy to help you out.
VT: How would you describe the dorm life?
David: I took a year off between high school and college so I never had the dorm experience. As I understand it, dorm life can make or break a college career. It's all about using the resources available to get involved rather than getting off track and caught up in all of the typical college temptations.
VT: Which majors/programs are best represented and supported?
David: MSU prides itself on being primarily a Public Affairs Institution. This means they focus on ethical leadership, cultural competence and community engagement. I was a Biology major and feel that they did a great job supplying us with an up to date education in a quickly evolving field.
VT: How easy or difficult was it for you to meet people and make friends as a freshman?
David: Making friends was difficult for me. I did not take part in very many collegiate activities, though they were readily accessible. I made most of my friends by participating in the community that the wonderful city of Springfield has to offer. Having said this, the friendships I made during my time at MSU are worthwhile and long lasting, one of them is soon to be my wife :)
VT: How helpful is the Career Center?
David: Much to my parents’ dismay, I never used the career center at MSU.
VT: How are the various study areas? Libraries? The Student Union? Dorm lounges?
David: The study areas that I utilized the most at MSU were the libraries and the Student Union. Both of these areas were extremely comfortable and well thought out. They had quiet areas for individual studying, and designated areas for group sessions and projects. I spent several hours in these areas and I am thankful to their designers.
VT: What is the surrounding town like? What are the best local attractions that make it unique?
David: Springfield is an amazing city. Besides the obvious Bass Pro and near-by Branson, MO, its location in the heart of the Ozark's lends itself to limitless day trips and adventures. Its size offers the amenities of a large city without feeling too over whelming, yet it is small enough to feel like a college town. For me, the city of Springfield is what made my college experience so memorable.
VT: How big or small is the student body and how does that affect your experience?
David: MSU is a fairly large college. It has about 23,000 enrolled students. Like any large college, the introductory classes have high enrollment. But as you move farther into your major, the class sizes decrease dramatically. Most of my upper level classes had less than 25 students in them. For the most part the professors knew my name, and no matter what class it was, they were always willing to see me during their office hours. For me, MSU's size was not a hindrance to my overall education.
VT: Describe one memorable experience with a professor and/or class. Perhaps one you loved the most or one you dreaded the most.
David: I had a Microbiology lab class that I dreaded going to, but it was because of my own mistake. On the second day of class I was over 20 minutes late. My teacher, Dr. Plank, pulled me a side explained the importance of punctuality, especially in regards to this particular lab and she kindly asked me not to let it happened again. Of course, the next class meeting I again was over 20 minutes late. This time my professor was not so kind. Needless to say I did not make a good first impression on her. But as the semester progressed I made sure to never be late. I turned in my assignments on time and I earned a good grade in the class. On the last day of class my professor, who had learned of my interest in becoming a teacher, pulled me aside once more and told me that if there was anyway she could help me to just ask, she also gave me several books and materials on biology education. Dr. Plank wasn't the easiest or the kindest Professor but she taught me how to be a good student, and she showed me how to be a good teacher.
Check out David’s tutoring profile.
The views expressed in this article do not necessarily represent the views of Varsity Tutors.