Last week I visited my big sister in Tuscon and decided to take advantage of the trip and visit U of A. My sister joined me along with two of my minions and a one month old baby who is currently in my sister’s care (more on foster care in the future!).
Needless to say, visiting a college with three kids in tow is tough but we made the most of it and I am so glad we did! U of A is amazing!
My college reviews are not comprehensive. School websites are good for learning about programs, faculty, statistics, etc. My reviews are a summary of my personal experience on the campus. I write about how the school made me feel that day, how my family felt touring the campus, how well we were received and what kinds of people I met. So this is a list of the four things that stood out to me about the University of Arizona.
Top 4 reasons I LOVED U of A
1. Size – While the number of students exceeds 30,000 the campus itself had a very intimate feel. Everything was walking or biking distance. Without feeling crowded, a student can get from one end of the campus to the other with little difficulty. Just off campus there was a cute little “downtown” area full of restaurants, shops, and basic student essentials. The dorms were nearby as well. I love visiting schools that feel like a small community… which leads me to my next favorite thing about U of A…
2. Comradery and School Spirit – I visited the week after graduation so there were very few students on campus. Of the handful of people I actually saw and spoke with, they all said the same thing: They love their school. This was clear all over campus. Students feel safe, connected, supported and in touch with their institution. The cute little campus town was full of school spirit, school colors, special deals and discounts for students. One student was very excited to share with me about her major in nutrition and the the fact that she only had a year left before she graduated. Another family was touring the school and I asked why they were interested in U of A. The father proudly shared that he was an alum and was there to show both of his teenage daughters his Alma Mater.
3. Kindness – maybe this was just a Tuscon thing? i am not sure but everyone everywhere was SO NICE. People were going out of there to show kindness, give compliments, offer help and share information. The staff I spoke with at U of A were thrilled to talk about their school and share interesting historical facts. They sure made this Southern California girl feel very welcome.
4. Digital Citizenship – It was very reassuring to hear from the admissions staff that their campus is very digitally friendly. Not only does the school actively use a variety of social media accounts, they also have their own mobile app to help students and visitors stay connected and informed. While I could not confirm that applicant social media was browsed as part of the admissions process, the admissions staff did share that students are encouraged to use their social media on campus to stay engaged and build their networks while managing a positive reputation.
U of A is full of progressive ideas and activities. They boast about their global reach, their community impact and their high rankings but what I saw and felt went much deeper than. The University felt safe, comfortable, and community-oriented. It felt modern but with a deep history. Most of the students are AZ residents but this is place where a California student can really grow into their independence without being terribly far from home. Everything is close enough for a student to not feel overwhelmed but there is still plenty to go do and explore.
I was very impressed with U of A and look forward to exploring it further and visiting again. The kids enjoyed their visit too!