I hate UVA and want to warn others

I hate UVA.

It has been the worst decision of my LIFE. I have cried too many nights and want to tell other students not to come here. It’s a misery hole unless you like elitism and snobbiness. There is a culture here that refuses to grow and change. Unless you’re a multimillionaire kid from boarding school with a ton of connections, DON’T COME TO UVA.

woah! relax! cant be that bad.

OP, the last thing I want to do is invalidate your opinion, but although I personally do not go to UVA I have some info about the school that might be helpful to someone looking at this thread.

I know many UVA students who come from various backgrounds who love it. My sister is a second year and has had a great experience so far. (We grew up on a country road and went to public school, fwiw.) Elitism does exist at UVA, but every school has elitists. The Greek culture is not appealing to some people, neither is the rather competitive atmosphere. But every school has its pros and cons, and for some people, cons might outweigh the pros, or vice-versa.

If you truly don’t feel like you fit in, @Langgirl2, there is always the opportunity to transfer.

My son came from a middle class family from a northern state and had a great experience at UVa. He was recruited on grounds for a job that he loves and where he is given tremendous responsibilities.

It is a large enough university that everyone should be able to find their crowd, if they put in a little bit of effort. My son was turned down for the first 4 activities for which he applied as a first year, but he found 4 other groups that he really loved.

@Langgirl2 …“come here.”

I don’t understand. School closed two weeks ago. Why are you still there?

There were some annoying spoiled sheltered students at UVa when I attended. I just did my best to avoid them, which wasn’t that hard to do, because there were plenty of other students. You can find those same annoying types at many northern private universities too - just with a different accent.

Posts like these always perplex me…UVa is a fairly large school. We have been on campus multiple times. We have seen all “types” of kids.

My son and 12 of his classmates are attending there this Fall. None of these kids are multimillionaire prep school kids… I would say their high school is very “middle” America…some lower class kids, some upper class kids, but mostly middle class kids… There are kids raised on a farm, kids that are immigrants or the children of immigrants…I really can’t imagine the contingent from my son’s high school arriving at UVa and being transformed into a monolithic preppy orb of snobbiness.

Regardless of where you go to college, ultimately your experience is what you make of it. If you are pre-occupied with what other people do, where they come from, and what they appear to be, I would imagine you end up missing out on many of the opportunities a school affords you.

OP needs to transfer.

Actually, my son’s initial complaint his first semester was that there were too many unsociable Asian engineering students in his dorm. The international students are actually some of the richest students on grounds because they all pay full OOS sticker price.

UVa attracts many middle income US students because it has much better need-based financial aid than most public and private universities. The really rich students would rather attend private universities where they will be more pampered.

I don’t understand how a school with 18,000 students can be any one thing, other than large. And the large part can’t really be a surprise to anyone.

(Disclosure: Pro-UVA at the moment as S18 planning to apply there next fall).

UVa is less than half the size of many major flagship universities (Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State, Penn State-UP, Berkeley, UCLA, U Md.-CP, Wisconsin Madison, UT Austin, etc). It is 2/3rds the size of UNC-CH and Illinois - Champaign

I believe that UVA has the highest graduation rate of any university in the country. To me, that would imply that OP is in the minority at UVA to an extent greater than at any other school.Students succeed and stay at UVA for some reason.
I can tell you that our son had an amazing experience he will always cherish. Not snobby, not rich, not southern, not elitist, not tooGreek. But he did have a great group of friends who were smart, caring, economically and racially diverse. And, it was easy for a fairly quiet kid to find this wonderful group of friends.

^ UVA has about the highest graduation rate and retention of any public school in the country, though not of any school overall. Still, the basic point is true: There must be thousands of kids there who are not either snobby elitists or miserable.

But if you’re unhappy somewhere, you’re unhappy. Knowing that there are other people who are happy there would not necessarily help. This in fact may be why some posts like this go beyond pointing out legitimate problems at a school to asserting that “Everybody is unhappy here” or “Everybody who is not a rich jerk is unhappy here,” which can’t be true.

Yes, UVa is in the top 2% of colleges in 4 year graduation rates, with a rate equal to U. Penn and only 1% less than Yale/.


Frankly - a childish rant wildly throwing about stereotypes/generalizations. Discourse of this nature is not productive and adds nothing to the community seeking information about UVA. If you want to provide a coherent explanation of your concerns, that might be helpful. This post does not qualify as an opinion - just a rant.

Your college experience is based on how you utilize the opportunities you have access to on campus and your ability to get along with people. Basically your college experience is what you make of it.

In real life we have to learn to get along with people who may have different views than us.
Acquiring this skill will help you in your relationships with people and in your career. When you have a job and family responsibilities you sometimes don’t have the choice of leaving a job immediately if you don’t like your environment or the people you work with. Every college campus has positive and not so perfect things. In a big school like UVA there is such a diverse population as they seek to enroll a diverse class each year. Every college tries to create an incoming class of students from different backgrounds and interests. There is no guarantee that you will be happy at the college you transfer to as you may find some faults there too. I hope you have a positive experience wherever you decide to transfer to. Keep an open mind and a positive attitude and don’t be so quick to judge others. Just try to be the best version of yourself.

There are many prospective students that would have loved to receive an acceptance letter from UVA. Look at the waitlist threads and you can see how much students say it is their dream school and how they wish they get off the waitlist so that they can attend. I think sometimes people don’t value what they have until they lose that opportunity and find out the grass is not greener on the other side. No college campus is perfect but you have to make the best of what is offered to you and be proactive in seeking opportunities for yourself.

For every student that is unhappy at a college campus there is also many students really enjoying their college experience at the same school. It is a matter of fit. That’s why it is important to visit schools and talk to teachers, and students to get to know the feel of a campus before making a decision on deciding where to attend. I hope your new school is a good fit for you.


Over 35 years ago, when I (Asian American) was a senior at a high school in Northern VA, I noticed many kids (including whites, Jewish kids and Asian-Americans) were applying to UVA, so I decided to visit the UVA campus and check it out. As my friend and I were driving in his car, I suddenly realized that UVA seemed to be going towards the direction of WEST Virginia where I never went before, and then I began to notice one or two KKK posters here and there several miles from the campus. That unnerved me enough so that I did a quick tour of the campus and came back and never even applied there. Fast forward to several years ago, I took my elderly parents to Monticello, home of Thomas Jefferson, and had a very good time and learned a lot about how Thomas Jefferson treated his slaves including his own servant son who looked very much like him.

@Langgirl2, Are you still at UVA? Have you not found any happiness? Why have you not looked into transfer? I am happy to help you if you want to talk.

@websensation Are you saying that 35 years ago, UVA was in a different location? It has been 2 hours south of Gainesville since the beginning.

FWIW, UVA students know more about Jefferson’s faults than the average American. Our community is well aware that he was a very flawed man. We have a website all about the school and founder’s history with enslaved labor and first years take a special tour of the historic part of Grounds with a UGuide who has studied that history.


To OP: If you hate any college for whatever reason, just transfer rather than wasting your valuable energy by hating the place. But realize the grass is often not greener elsewhere. For me, certain experiences I had near the area long time ago led me to not apply, but to many, UVA is Harvard of the South — at least it was marketed that way long time ago. They have good medical, law and business schools, I believe. I guess I mentioned Thomas Jefferson because when I think of UVA, I automatically think of TJ, a highly interesting man with many interests.