The tutors behind Varsity Tutors are not just here to teach – they’re sharing their college experiences as well. Zachary is a 2013 graduate of Texas Christian University and holds a Bachelor’s degree in Film Studies and German Language. He is an Austin tutor specializing in Literature tutoring, Writing tutoring and all levels of German tutoring. See what he had to say about his 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?
Zachary: The campus itself is extremely beautiful and easily walkable. It’s fairly insulated from the rest of the city, although it is near one street that’s been known to be questionable at night. Even so, the campus itself is very safe; it has plenty of security, with outdoor stations to call for help well dispersed throughout. There are buses, which are relatively reliable, and the campus itself is easily walkable.
VT: How available are the professors, academic advisers, and teaching assistants?
Zachary: This was probably my school’s best point; there were always multiple professors, advisors, and tutors immediately available for any student for a whole host of subjects. In my experience, I found all of them to be extremely friendly, welcoming, and easy to talk to. I was able to foster friendships with many of my professors, and was comfortable enough to stop by their offices just to say hello.
VT: How would you describe the dorm life – rooms, dining options, location, socialization opportunities with other students?
Zachary: The dorms are very nice and are constantly being renovated. The student union, where students may dine with their meal plans, is generally passable, but not particularly exciting most of the time. TCU does go out of its way to provide opportunities to socialize with other students and there are tons of clubs and events to get involved with.
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?
Zachary: The Business School is one of the most supported areas of study, but many of the others were also very well represented. My particular fields of study (German and Film) were really well supported and provided a lot of opportunities for outside work and internships, as well as fantastic professors.
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?
Zachary: I found it very easy to make friends as a freshman; the university provides nearly constant opportunities for socializing with other students and fostering new connections and friendships. Greek life is a pretty major part of the campus culture, but one can pretty easily find good groups of friends outside of that particular setting.
VT: How helpful is the Career Center and other student support services? Do many reputable companies recruit on campus?
Zachary: I didn’t personally make much use of the Career Center, but from my experiences with it, I found them to provide a lot of good advice as well as a wide array of services including resumé and cover letter review, mock interviews, and internship connections. I’m not personally very familiar with the companies that recruit on campus. I do know that a couple of very good production houses worked closely with the Film department, and many students would move on to work with them upon graduation.
VT: How are the various study areas such as libraries, the student union, and dorm lounges? Are they over-crowded, easily available, spacious?
Zachary: Most of the dorms have some kind of study area inside. In my experience, they were usually easily available and very well put together, spacious, and especially good for group study. The library has a lot of study space as well, but does get extremely crowded during midterms and finals. Luckily, there are many other available locations for studying in almost all of the buildings that see very little use, and therefore are pretty much always available.
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?
Zachary: At first, Fort Worth seems like a fairly uninteresting city, but the more time I spent in it, the more and more fun things I found to do. By the end of my study, I was pretty sad to leave. There’s a fantastic zoo right by campus, as well as the Stockyards and Billy Bob’s, a popular spot to two-step. Magnolia Street is filled with great restaurants and shops, and hosts awesome festivals. There are also food truck parks, the botanical gardens, and a few fantastic museums (especially the Museum of Modern Art). Students usually go out into the town several nights a week.
VT: How big or small is the student body? Were you generally pleased or displeased with the typical class sizes?
Zachary: I would say the student body is medium-sized. There were very few classes with more than 20 or so students, and those were generally the required freshman courses. Otherwise, many of my classes were anywhere from 8 to 15 students, which worked out fantastically in terms of engaging with the professor. Most professors used the small class sizes as an opportunity to make the classes more collaborative, which generally worked very well.
VT: Describe one memorable experience with a professor and/or class. Perhaps one you loved the most or one you regret the most.
Zachary: One of the best experiences I had was when I approached the department about putting together my own academic research project for class credit. Not only did I already feel comfortable enough with the department to be able to ask in the first place, but I ended up working closely with the Dean of the College of Communications. He really took me under his wing in terms of teaching me basic approaches and methods of academic research and writing, and we developed a friendship through working together. To me, this experience epitomizes the best of what TCU has to offer: extremely intelligent, skilled professors who are also extremely accessible, helpful, and welcoming. The opportunities for developing yourself not just intellectually, but as a human being with the help of the incredible faculty are immense.
Check out Zachary’s tutoring profile.
The views expressed in this article do not necessarily represent the views of Varsity Tutors.