The tutors behind Varsity Tutors are not just here to teach – they’re sharing their college experiences as well. Caitlin received her bachelor’s degree in History and Secondary Education from the University of North Georgia. She is currently a tutor in Atlanta specializing in European and Latin American history, Spanish, and civics, among other subjects. See what she had to say about her experience at the University of North Georgia:
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?
Caitlin: The campus is incredibly safe – one of the safest in the country, in fact. The campus is in the middle of Dahlonega, and is really the heart of the town. Students can walk from their dorms to the town square, if they're willing to stretch their legs for ten minutes. The campus is so safe because of our campus police, but also because it is a military college and safety is an important feature with our cadets. Women can feel doubly safe, as rape prevention and awareness are emphasized. You need a car or bike to get to stores like Walmart, as there is no bus. A bike could conceivably work as well, because nothing too important is further than two or three miles away. It's a small town, though, so you'll need a car to get to major sources of entertainment, like the nearest movie theatre (15 minutes away).
VT: How available are the professors, academic advisers, and teaching assistants?
Caitlin: Professors and advisers always want to help. They have heavy workloads teaching and writing, but they always have office hours posted and tend to be really good about keeping to them, and dropping whatever they're working on if you come in during those times. I have never had a problem communicating with a professor or getting a meeting with one on short notice!
VT: How would you describe the dorm life – rooms, dining options, location, socialization opportunities with other students?
Caitlin: Dorm life is great! We have a variety of options – traditional, suite style, and apartment style. The rooms were well cared for and the furniture was in great shape. I loved my time in the dorms! The dining hall was recently built, and it has some really wonderful options. There is no need to gain that freshman fifteen if you take advantage of all the delicious and healthy choices they provide! There are a ton of opportunities for you to mingle with other students at the various student events the school puts on. Additionally, there are so many clubs and special interest groups you can get involved in. You can also start a club for something you're passionate about!
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?
Caitlin: We have a lot of great programs at the University of North Georgia. I studied History and Secondary Education and loved it. I heard that the University of North Georgia had a great history program, and what I heard was right. I loved my classes and professors – they have taught me so much, advocated for me, have written so many letters of recommendation, and helped me get my current job teaching. I studied history because I love it, and teaching because I have a passion for passing on said love of history. All of my major-specific professors helped me along the way.
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?
Caitlin: It was easy to make friends as a freshman. I joined some organizations and got to know people through classes, as well as my roommates (I was in an apartment and had three). Greek life does play a significant role in the campus social life, though I never chose to take part in it – I had plenty of friends without relying on Greek life, though the people I know who chose to do it seem to enjoy it as well! I can definitely say that hazing is a huge taboo on our campus, due to the corps of cadets. There is no tolerance for it, so you ought to be able to pledge without worrying about that.
VT: How helpful is the Career Center and other student support services? Do many reputable companies recruit on campus?
Caitlin: The Career Center is quite helpful and we have a lot of companies that recruit on campus regularly. The Career Center will help you with a job search, resume writing, applications, and anything else you need!
VT: How are the various study areas such as libraries, the student union, and dorm lounges? Are they over-crowded, easily available, spacious?
Caitlin: The library is wonderful and does get a little crowded around finals, but is still a great place to study if you can get there in time to reserve one of the many private study rooms. We have a student center with many food options other than the dining hall, and many people study there as well. Dorm lounges don't tend to get too loud, so if your room is busy, that might be a great place to go. Most of our buildings provide some lovely private space for study, so you should never have a problem finding a quiet and comfortable place to do your primary job: be a student.
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?
Caitlin: Dahlonega is gorgeous. This is regularly ranked as one of the prettiest small towns in the South, and is also one of the safest in Georgia. It's sweet and historical, with a beautiful square and a lot of tourism. We have several big festivals during the year that draw thousands of people, and are known for our local wineries, lodges, and horseback riding, as well as gold panning. Just 15 minutes away is Dawsonville, with large outlet malls, a movie theatre, and more mainstream sources of entertainment. Students tend to spend a lot of time in the city of Dahlonega, but when they want to go out, Dawsonville is close by, and Atlanta is only an hour and a half away.
VT: How big or small is the student body? Were you generally pleased or displeased with the typical class sizes?
Caitlin: The student body has technically grown recently, as we now have multiple campuses. The Dahlonega campus that I graduated from has several thousand students living on campus, and more that commute in. That said, I was always pleased with my class sizes. I was in a few freshman classes that had 40 to 60 students, but for the most part was in classes of 20 to 30 students, with a few senior courses of only 15 or so. I was always able to develop relationships with my professors and felt like I was seen and known as a student – I never felt like a number.
VT: Describe one memorable experience with a professor and/or class. Perhaps one you loved the most or one you regret the most.
Caitlin: Honestly, I have so many wonderful memories of my professors, and have no regrets. I regularly get coffee and lunch with one professor, and we have transitioned into something more like peers, as we compare our experiences teaching. I see others and visit them in their offices several times a year and am still in contact with them. They were so wonderful and I love them dearly. If one is willing to work hard, put in the time, and ask the right questions, the history professors at UNG will swing open their doors. They raked my writing over the coals, made me work harder, made me think deeper, and made me the historian I am today.
Check out Caitlin’s tutoring profile.
The views expressed in this article do not necessarily represent the views of Varsity Tutors.