Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam
Computer Science


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

About Me

National College Decision Day!

May 1, 2017

Around this time last year, I already paid my deposit for University of Richmond. It was an easy choice — I really enjoyed my admitted student visit weekend, and could not be more thrilled to become a Spider! This year, as a new batch of prospective students arrived at UR for the accepted student weekend, I got an opportunity to look back on my experiences at UR and reflected on why I made that choice. 

I volunteered to host a prospective student during the admitted student weekend and got matched up with Addie Quinlen, who is nice, super smart and awesome. Addie actually knew that she would be committed to UR even before she arrived, so I’m really excited to welcome her again next year! Just last year, I was the one going around cluelessly with a crumbled map on my hand, but now it was my turn to show Addie and a few other prospective students around campus. There were different events to welcome Richmond scholars as well, like the ice cream social, dinners, and scholar Q-A gatherings. 

At the Q-A meeting, us current students would answer any concern or questions that the visiting high school students might have. Last year, this Q-A gathering was one of the deciding factor in why I chose to matriculate at Richmond. It was an informal, yet very informative and effective meeting through which I learned more about the experiences of current students at UR, how they had succeeded, and what they loved about the school. Talking to them directly broke down any existing barriers and just gave me the reassurance I needed to make my final decision. Therefore I came to the gathering this year, hoping to be helpful in turn to any prospective students that were still unsure about their choices.

For me, the foremost reason I chose Richmond was how incredibly supportive UR is in its student’s academic, personal and professional endeavors. This year I had been sponsored by UR to go to hackathons and conferences for Computer Science, and my professors always introduced me to new opportunities or competitions that could advance my knowledge. I just got summer research funding too (Richmond’s Guarantee is awesome woohoo!) and I’m excited to delve deeper into computer graphics this summer. After I became a student at UR, I realized UR has a lot more to offer as well. The flexibility to explore multiple fields at the same time— be it mathematics, economics, humanities, or arts, etc. — to satisfy my curiosity, the adorable ducklings by the lake that my friends kept snap-chatting about, or how friendly and helpful UR students are; all those small details added up and made UR a second home to me. 

During the gathering, my friends and I each took turn to share with the accepted students why we chose UR and how  that choice had affected us. Some of the students were deciding between Richmond and a national college with greater size or higher USNews ranking. I would like to quote my friend Aaqil who gave a really helpful advice on this: choose the school based on how you feel you would fit in, not on rankings and prestige. Plus, although UR offers wonderful opportunities to do research as well, you could always apply to summer research programs at top national universities if they happened to align with your interests more. A UR junior also shared that UR had helped her grow both personally and professionally, and she was just as competitive a candidate to PhD programs or internships as her friends at other schools. 

I know that this decision could seem like a major life event, and for some of you the pressure to choose between favorite schools is not easy. However, whether you succeed depends not only on the school, but also on yourself. I have confidence that no matter what your choice is, you could thrive at your institution and reach your goals (although of course, I unabashedly believe UR to be one of the best places to do so ;) ). Good luck with your choice!

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!