"Congratulations on becoming a sophomore, Shiv".
May 4, 2015
I was congratulated on having conquered the battle that is finals week, by my mother with a short message that said: "Congratulations on becoming a sophomore, Shiv". My heart fell into my stomach on hearing these words. It is frightening to even think about being done with my first year at this place, which I have come to grow so fond of. It feels like last week that I landed in the United States, moved into Marsh Hall, and made the beautiful walk for the first time down the Whitehurst drive to see the drop dead gorgeous lake.
I'm going to channel my sentimentality in a positive way by compiling a list of things I have come to grow amazingly fond of at UR.
- The company. My closest friends here have kept me from going insane on days when I felt like the world was crashing around me. Philosophizing about life at 5 am, sitting around the round tables in the third room of d-hall, "studying" on the third floor of the library, trying to find food at 3am, walking around the lake talking about issues that plague the world, and countless others that I could write about all night. What a fantastic time I've had with the friends I've made here at the University. I am so grateful to them for being by my side and for having allowed me to fall in love with this place.
- The passion that exudes from students and teachers alike - Something that I adore about the university is how passionate students and teachers are about what their craft. I've had the opportunity to play compositions by music majors for the University Orchestra that are nothing less than sublime, code a number recognition software at the end of my first class in Computer Science, learn about a vast array of things from students of different majors, learn about different cultures, witness one of the world's best mandolinist, violinists and pianists at no charge, have friends who talk about their majors with the kind of enthusiasm you'd expect of a teenage boy discovering women, have hour long discussions about random things with my professors, conduct research with the most brilliant professor I've met in my life, watch close to 20 movies during the semester for film classes I am taking, and countless others. (My FYS professor will be shaking his head if he were to read this long sentence).
- The beauty - Most of my pictures from previous blogs are self explanatory. This place is heaven on Earth. The lake, the foliage, the flowers, the geese, the open grounds and the beautiful buildings.
- The friendliness and welcoming nature of people - Coming from 10,000 miles away isn't the easiest thing, and to have people here who will welcome you and ask you to stay at their houses over breaks is nothing short of perfection. I can't imagine being welcomed like this at any other university. While I was in d-hall the other day, one of the staff gave me a dish she had prepared for herself at home, which turned out to be what I used to eat at my grandmother's house every weekend in Calcutta. This honestly made my entire year.
- The attention - Small class sizes have meant that I could connect with my professors in a way that I couldn't at a bigger university. For that matter, because of our relatively smaller size, I've had the opportunity to connect with students from all grades, and forge very close friendships with all kinds of people.
- I'll end by saying that there's nothing negative that I can really point out about this place.
The last four months have been the best of my life, and I pride myself for having made the decision to come to this place. It's turned my life around, and has permitted me to fall in love with so many aspects of life that I never knew possible earlier.
Yesterday marked my last night as a freshman, and I guess that the whole euphoria associated with a freshman isn't entirely true. I'm just as excited to be labeled a sophomore by my mother since I get to spend another 3 years at this place I now call home.
It's been a privilege to tell you about this place over the course of my freshman year. Thanks for taking the time to read my posts, and I hope to have many more memories to share with you here next year.
Below are a couple of pictures taken by my close friend, Ziad, who is a fantastic photographer. The one with the stars was taken over the course of an hour and a half at 4AM, as we talked about life and all its contents.
Cheers and laughs,
Hey guys! My name is Shiv, and I'm currently a freshman at the University of Richmond (UR is the popular moniker among students on campus). I intend on majoring in Math and possibly Computer Science as well.
Even though I've spent only 3 weeks at UR, I already feel as if I've made the best decision of my life by coming here. I hope to use this blog as a means to both chronicle my time at UR, and to provide my perspective on life here. Most of you reading this blog will probably be prospective freshman wondering about all the different facets of University of Richmond, and I'm here to help you out! For those of you who live too far away to visit, I can understand how frustrating it must be to decide on where you'd like to spend the next four years of your life. I'm going to be as forthright with you when writing this blog, and I hope that this blog will convince you that the University of Richmond is one of the most wonderful places that you can choose to shape your thoughts, your outlook on the world, and the person that you're going to enter the world as at the end of your senior year.
To name a few things that are very dear to me: my family, conversations with my grandmother about life, books, music, movies, playing the violin, meeting new people, traveling, learning something new everyday, and my friends.
I wanted to attend a university that would cater to my thirst for knowledge, one that would transform my train of thought, one where each class that I’d attend would leave me in awe, making me feel smarter because of my newly acquired knowledge and stupider for having realized that there was SO much about the world that I did not know about yet. Liberal arts schools were definitely the way to go in this regard. I had heard about the small class sizes, immense research opportunities, not to mention the beauty of their college campuses. Having charted out a mental checklist of all the things that I sought in an academic institution, a name that kept recurring in my search was the ‘University of Richmond’. I’ll be honest with you; I didn’t know a lot about the university before this, but further research left me sure that this university was where I wanted to spend the next four years of my life.