What is it Like to Attend Western Washington University?

The tutors behind Varsity Tutors are not just here to teach – they’re sharing their college experiences as well. Brianna received her bachelor’s degree in Spanish from Western Washington University. She is currently a tutor in Portland specializing in Spanish. See what she had to say about her experience at Western Washington 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?

Brianna: Campus is very close to everything you need, including the downtown, restaurants, grocery stores, etc. There is a great bus system that runs through campus, downtown, and surrounding areas. I never needed a car while living at college; and in fact, biking is often more convenient and fun than a bus or car!

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

Brianna: The majority of my professors and advisers were very helpful and committed to their students’ education, providing extra office hours when needed and good communication.

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

Brianna: Personally, I was not a fan of the dorms; however, many students I talk to have loved living in them! It is a great way to meet people because there are a variety of activities weekly that cater to the interests of a diverse group of students. The dining options are alright, but not fantastic.

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?

Brianna: The Sciences, Education, and Business programs are some of the best-represented programs. I studied Spanish, and I did feel very supported by the teachers and staff. It is a small major, so you get to know everyone in your classes fairly quickly, which makes making connections with professors and other students easy.

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?

Brianna: I made friends primarily by participating in collegiate track. Getting involved in clubs and intramural sports is a great way for freshmen to make friends. Because of students’ votes, we do not have a Greek life at our school.

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

Brianna: The Career Center is helpful for many students; however, I did not take advantage of it, and therefore I am unfamiliar with the companies who recruit.

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

Brianna: There are a variety of study areas at Western Washington University. There is an ideal study spot for anyone, whether it be spacious or small and cozy. The library only gets very crowded during mid-terms and finals week. There are also many other cafes and markets on campus that are great for studying (if you don’t mind a little noisier environment).

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? 

Brianna: One of my favorite things about Western Washington University is the amazing wilderness that surrounds the campus. It is an ideal place for campers, hikers, mountain bikers, sailors, kayakers, and everyone and anyone in between! I can walk outside my apartment and onto a trail that runs through the forest and leads to a lake. If you are not a big fan of the outdoors, the downtown is also a great place to be. It is only a mile from campus and so it is very easy to grab a bite to eat during a busy day at one of the many restaurants. Students are everywhere at Western Washington University. Lots of students enjoy going to the boardwalk on the bay which connects to downtown by a beautiful, lush trail.

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

Brianna: The student body was a perfect size for me. There are 15,000 students that attend Western Washington University; however, it feels like much fewer. The campus itself is fairly small, so you see people you know everywhere! The class sizes were ideal for me. In my upper-division classes there were on average 20-30 students. Of course the lower-division lecture classes usually had more like 60-150 students.

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

Brianna: One memorable experience was in my Developmental Psychology class. My professor showed a video of an elderly choir group who sings for underrepresented populations all over the world. They sang for a group of inmates at a jail immediately after one of the choir members had passed away. It was very inspiring and emotional to see the way the choir inspired the inmates, many of whom were crying and hugging the elderly folks after the performance. I found myself as well as other students tearing up. it was a very moving experience to see two extremely different populations who would normally not interact connect in such a positive and meaningful way.

Check out Brianna’s tutoring profile.

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