Virginia Tech Fall Visitation

Jasmine Brown, Staff Writer

I recently had the opportunity to go on an early action trip to Virginia Tech. I was able to explore the campus, learn about the school, and to get an admissions decision. We arrived at the hotel at around 3:00 pm and the first thing I was told was to pair up with who we planned on rooming with.  I was the odd one out of the group from Menchville so I was paired with a girl from another school. She was very friendly and we got along right away. As we got settled into our room and discussed our majors we soon discovered that we had the same interests and we wanted to go into similar fields of study. We exchanged contact information to keep in touch during and after the trip. After we got acquainted we headed back downstairs to load onto the bus to drive to Virginia Tech.

The brisk fall air invited me as I stepped off the bus onto the sidewalk. I looked around and was greeted by the beautiful, tall, majestic stature of the campus. The buildings were made of tan stone bricks and were complemented by the brightly colored autumn trees. I immediately fell in love with the feel of the campus. We walked over to Colonial Hall in the Squires Student Center where the welcoming presentation l was to take place. We got seated and were told that while we were waiting for the other schools to arrive we could explore some but to be back in about twenty minutes. My group walked around some and discovered a room dedicated to peace of mind and positivity. The room had dim lights and was silent when we walked inside. It was decorated in an art museum type of display with small pieces of artwork vertically aligned on rectangular columns. There was a giant wall with multiple pieces of paper cut to be shaped like puzzle pieces fit together. On a side table, there were instructions to label on the piece of paper three things that came to mind when thinking of peace, and we were to then post them on the wall to fit with the other puzzle pieces. We later learned that this was one of the cultural and community centers that the school had to offer.

I made my way back to Colonial Hall with my group and we got seated. We were warmly welcomed by Kayla St. Clair the Virginia Tech Fall Visitation Lead. Another presentation began about the topic of handling discriminatory comments and micro-aggressions. One of the directors explained that at Virginia Tech it is a point for everyone to feel included and the creation of cultural and community centers stemmed from the purpose of fulfilling that need. The centers are led by students and are inclusive to everyone even if you don’t identify with that culture or community. They were created to make a safe space for students to express themselves in a place familiar to the cultures and communities that they identify with and for people who want to learn more about different backgrounds. 

A student panel talked about life as a student at Virginia Tech and students were able to ask them questions to help get a better feel of what it’s like to be a Hokie. They talked about the course load expectations and the different freedoms that come with the independence you have in college. They discussed their majors and the rigor of their workload and how they balance that with friends.  The school offers different housing opportunities in particular  “Live and Learn Communities” also known as LLC’s. It was explained that they provide a way for students to make friends of people within the same field of study, with people who generally share the same classes with you and the same schedule. The overall thing that the students from the panel agreed on was that the LLC’s help them to form lasting friendships making the transition into the school easier.

We walked over to the Turner place and had an amazing dinner in the community room were Ms. Clair told us that the meal we were provided was a typical meal given to students on a day to day basis. The Visitation Lead emphasized that Virginia Tech has won multiple awards for its student dining halls. I headed back to Squires Student Center where there was a financial aid presentation presented by the Office of University Scholarships and Financial Aid. I received very detailed information on specific financial aid terminology as well as tips and tricks to be able to receive and make the most out of financial aid and scholarships. Following the presentation, Virginia Tech Alumni Eric Latham spoke to us about his incredible journey in his walkabout America and the people he met as he walked across the country to California. He spoke about his thrilling, comical and heartwarming experiences meeting people from where he raised money for cancer research. He talked about his stories visiting young children all walks of life along the way and his supporters that cheered him on.

The following morning I woke up, got ready and brought my bags down to the lobby. After my group checked out of the hotel we headed back over to Virginia Tech. I arrived at the Burruss Hall around 9 am and was prompted to sit down. The seating arrangements were broken up by major with signs naming all the colleges the school had to offer. Based on your major you sat with the college that provided that major. After I sat down with the college I wanted to visit there was an admissions information session where we were told what each type of decision meant, and the steps to take after receiving that decision. Because I plan on studying Pre-Med I went to the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. I learned about the different majors within the college and what each consisted of and learned that the school has two colleges of science. I was able to get a more personal experience of the learning environment.

I headed back to Burruss Hall on my own as we were given a little bit of freedom to decide what type of things we wanted to see around campus before our final event. I went on a campus tour but was not able to view all of the school as it is too big. I was able to better grasp a feel of what walking around the school would be like and got to see a lot of student culture and the pride they take at being at Virginia Tech. When the tour ended, I met up with a friend and we spent the remainder of our free time walking around campus and going into the bookstore to see all the Hokie merchandise.

Before the admissions decisions were distributed there was lunch with the faculty and staff for all of us on the fall visitation trip. Tables were arranged in a fashion almost like a date. I walked in and sat a table with my college of interest labeled and I had the chance to talk with someone who works within the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and other people who shared the same interests.  We talked to each other about our plans once we graduate college, and our career interests and goals. Ms. Clair handed admissions decisions to our chaperones. Those of us who came on the bus had to wait until we got back home to be given our designs. The bus ride home was very anticipating but I was able to pass time by talking to friends.