What is it Like to Attend Old Dominion University?

The tutors behind Varsity Tutors are not just here to teach – they’re sharing their college experiences as well. Dexter received his Bachelor’s degree in Business Management from Old Dominion University. He is currently a tutor in Washington, D.C. specializing in business tutoring, economics tutoring, microeconomics tutoring, and several other subjects. See what he had to say about his experience at Old Dominion University:

VT: Describe the campus setting and transportation options. How urban or rural is the campus? Did you feel safe on campus? Are there buses or do you need a car/bike?

Dexter: Old Dominion University is an urban campus in the heart of the Hampton Roads region of Virginia. It was originally a commuter school for students from the surrounding cities of Hampton, Virginia Beach, Chesapeake, and Portsmouth, but it has grown to be more of an on-campus institution. Most students have a car, but others prefer biking or taking public transportation due to the high number of parks, trails, and sidewalks that make the campus very accessible. Safety was not an issue while I was there – as long as you used some common sense and were aware of your surroundings, there weren't any problems.

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

Dexter: The majority of my professors were available. They posted their office hours so students could reach out to them if extra help was needed. Academic advising was phenomenal, as were the teaching assistants.

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

Dexter: Dorm life was an experience that I will never forget! Adjusting to having a roommate was a challenge at first, but I made it work. The food options were above average. Since I was only 70 miles from home, I had the advantage of having a good amount of family/friends in the area, so social opportunities were abundant. Concerts, sporting events, and parties were always going on, so I would have to say there was never a dull moment during my years.

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?

Dexter: Engineering and Business were the two most heavily supported and publicized majors at Old Dominion University, and there were numerous activities, socials, and events for those majors to participate in. I was a Business Management major, so the majority of my friends and associates were Business majors as well. The reason I chose Business Management was because in high school I joined a club called Future Business Leaders of America with some friends, and we became really intrigued about learning how the economy, financial system, and corporations function. I felt we were well supported by the university, and I have no complaints. Overall, I feel as though college is what you make of it. I was determined to walk across the stage and better myself for the future. I'm forever grateful for what Old Dominion University did for me, and I'm honored to be a part of the university.

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?

Dexter: Since I was not far from home and played sports my whole life, I was able to connect with people in class and in the on-campus gyms fairly quickly. Most of my long-time friends are from my college years due to the bond we created at Old Dominion University. Greek life was never an interest of mine, but I had friends who participated and enjoyed what they offered.

VT: How helpful is the Career Center and other student support services? Do many reputable companies recruit on campus?

Dexter: The Career Center was great at bringing in top companies, holding resume writing seminars, and ensuring all students were prepared for life after college.

VT: How are the various study areas such as libraries, the student union, and dorm lounges? Are they over-crowded, easily available, spacious?

Dexter: I have no complaints at all about the libraries, commons, or dorms. All of them had plenty of space, extended hours during peak times (i.e. midterms and finals week), and were very accommodating.

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?

Dexter: Being 30 minutes from the beach was the #1 bonus about Old Dominion University. Granby Street (in downtown Norfolk) was the most popular hangout spot for Old Dominion University students, but with the densely populated Hampton Roads area, every major road had some type of establishment for students to have fun at. I wanted to get away from campus sometimes, so I would frequent the Virginia Beach/Hampton areas when the opportunity presented itself.

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

Dexter: During my years, Old Dominion University had roughly 15,000-20,000 students (it is around the 25,000 mark now), and some of the introductory classes were extremely large at certain times of the day. Lectures could easily have 80 to 120 students, and more advanced major courses ranged from 15 to 30 students. Overall, I was pleased with the structure and my class sizes.

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

Dexter: My most memorable experience was with my first Economics professor. I was just fascinated that he was so knowledgeable and never read aloud a book, notes, or slides, but would just discuss topics/issues going on in the world off the top of his head and relate them to what we were learning.

Check out Dexter’s tutoring profile.

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