Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam
Computer Science


Soccer, Painting, Muay Thai, The Big Bang Theory show, Gym, Volunteering, Tutoring

About Me

How I met my roommate

March 30, 2018

My blog title was a reference to the “How I met your mother” sitcom, but thankfully my roommate searching process was much more simple and easier compared to Ted Mosby’s journey.  As an out-of-state freshman, I did not know anyone at UR well enough beforehand to know that we would be compatible roommates. However, StarRez — UR’s housing platform — did a good job on matching roommates based on preferences for criteria like the cleanliness of the room, time going to bed, noise level, etc. I got matched with Dani, who was super nice and pretty compatible with me regarding living habits. I’m glad I got to room with her!

If you don’t request a roommate, StarRez also gives you a list of suggestions for roommates, and a compatibility percentage for each that is calculated based on your and the other person’s answers to the personal preference questions. Quoted from my friend, it’s “like an online dating system but used for avoiding roommate horror stories”. StarRez is actually pretty helpful in that area — I got along with Dani well, and during my second year some of the suggestions it gave are people I’m friends with in real life and know we would be good roommates. 

For freshmen, I think residence hall assignment is random, except for living-learning communities that are reserved to be in specific residence halls. As part of the Women in Math and Science living-learning community during my freshman year, I got to live in Lora Robins A1. The residence hall is very nice! My room was quite spacious, and living close to other freshmen helped me make friends more quickly. Friends can just pop into each other’s room to say hi or complain about the things they procrastinated on. The hall bathroom was definitely a new thing, but I got used to it pretty quickly as well. There’s an RA on each hall who will be there for you if you have any issues, like losing your ID card and so cannot open the passcode lock, or just feeling homesick and needing someone to talk to. Unlike how it is for my younger brother in boarding high school, UR’s dorms don’t close over fall break, winter break or spring break (although I think it’s only open for summer school students or summer researchers during the summer though).


[My little cousin contemplating applying to UR 10 years later on our move-in day]

Around March of freshman year, I received an email about the housing deposit for next year. As a Richmond scholar, my housing fees are covered by the scholarship, and thus the deposit is waived as well. (so for those who are gonna be high school seniors next year, I’d recommend applying early to the scholar program at UR!). I still had to log in to StarRez to sign the housing agreement and fill out the preference forms, or request a roommate though. We did not get to actually choose our apartment until early April. UR will send out time slots to students, and similar to the class registration system, older class years are prioritized. Seniors got an earlier time slot to choose their dorm room or apartment than juniors, and so on.

I was pretty lucky and got the last double room available in Lakeview, which is a very nice dorm that is close to the lake, Jepson building where all my computer science classes are, and Passport Cafe with their good food. My room window looks out to the lake too, so the view is super pretty! Living in Lora Robins last year was great, except for one thing — it’s very close to the dining hall but 15-minute away from the gym. I sometimes got “lost” on my way to the gym and found myself wandering in the dining hall with a plate of cupcakes instead. Lakeview is literally next to the gym, so I can roll out of bed 5 minutes before a 8 am gym class and still make it in time. 

During my second year, Ryan — my best friend, fellow KPop fan, and an awesome labmate for many of my classes — and I requested each other to be roommates. The process is pretty straightforward. Once you request someone as a roommate for a double room or connect to 3 other people to form a suite unit, you can choose the best time slot among the two (or the four) to register for the room you decided on beforehand. However, it is not easy to get your top housing choice, so I’d definitely recommend having a list of rooms you want beforehand, and move down the list based on availability when you register. For Ryan and I, we made a list of 10 rooms, and the current room we have was our third top choice. I’m very happy with how it worked out though!

About me

Hi guys, I'm Tracy, a newbie Spider at Richmond! My majors are probably Computer Science and Math, and I'm so in love with my current Math/CS classes. They're all amazing! A little more about my background: I'm from Vietnam, but I went to high school in Nebraska. It feels so weird to be a freshman again, when you practically know nobody at school, keep getting lost while finding your classes, always look up to your upperclassmen (no actually, with my height of 5ft2'',  I technically look up to everyone); and struggle with all the new changes.

Yet, it's also exciting! If you haven't already known, University of Richmond offers a wealth of choices in academics, research opportunities, extracurricular activites and - most importantly - desserts. So my goal is to get out of my comfort zone, jump at different opportunities (or desserts) that intrigue me, and make the most out of my college experience. I love soccer, so my friends and I just formed an intramural team named Kiss My Pass. I'm also interested in martial arts, learning ballroom dancing, painting, learning guitar, baking, making new friends,  tutoring and volunteering. Yup, that's quite a lot! But I have 4 years here to follow my passions and become who I aspire to be. As a Spider Diarist, I will also make sure to keep you updated on my journey at Richmond!

Why UR?

I actually applied to UR on a whim without researching carefully about it. At that time, all those tedious Why X and "What's your plans bla bla bla" prompts have exhausted my meager creative juices, and writing college essays quickly rose to the top of my most dreaded chores. "Tell us about Spiders" was a fresh air. It revived the truly poetic, hopelessly romantic, exasperatingly dramatic and possibly neurotic side of me. In short, I loved the prompt; and with the waived application fee as a plus, I decided to apply to UR. It was not until I got accepted that I started visiting the school and seriously considering what it has to offer. During my first visit, as cliched as that might sound, I fell in love with Richmond. What's not to love about such helpful and outstanding professors, the wonderful opportunities to engage in research or study abroad, the vibrant, inclusive and diverse community, and again - most importantly - the irresistable desserts? I went to the admission office to pay my deposit right during that visit. And voilà, here I am as an excited baby Spider!