Info for Incoming 1st Years

<p>Hey guys! Here's some general advice/tips for our first years. If you think of something you would like us to elaborate on, let us know!</p>

<p>1. The Buses.
As a first year, the buses will be your best friend in the winter and rainy weather. If you live in Hereford or the farther away dorms of Alderman, you’ll definitely appreciate them by the end of the year. Before my first year last year, the bus routes were overhauled and I found that they worked efficiently. You can check on a bus 3 ways: the internet, phone, and a touch pad at the bus stop. The bus tracking website is: UTS</a> HoosWhere, parking & Transportation, U.Va. The phone number is 1-866-748-4227. I would save the number in your phone. It really helped me plan how to get home when I didn’t have a computer handy or didn’t want to go to the bus stop. Also, memorize the codes for the bus stops you use most often. Since I lived in Old Dorms last year, the three most important to me were the Mccormick road stop (11795), chem (11782), and the one in front of Alderman library (11912). If you master the bus system, you’ll find life will be a lot easier. Also, on Fri & Sat, bus service is extended; instead of stopping at midnight, it stops at 2 AM. Frat parties have to close at 2, so it’s usually a good idea to leave the party around 1:30 to have enough time to catch the bus (it’ll be packed), especially if you live far away (Hereford, Courtney, Kellogg, etc.)</p>

<p>2. The Libraries.
We have a ridiculous number of libraries on Grounds. If you find that you can’t study in your room or common area, head to a library. If you’re worried about your social image or some nonsense to that effect, don’t be. Remember the types of people that were accepted here; they were all academically successful in high school and most prefer to keep being academically successful. The 3 big ones are Alderman, Clark, and Clemons. The general rule of thumb is that the lower you go down, the quieter you have to be. If you eat chips in the basement of Clemons, people will glare at you. Alderman and Clark both have a Greenberry’s, which is like Starbucks. Alderman is much more stately; when you traditionally think of a college library, you think Alderman. Great architecture, nice views, comfy chairs, people asleep in those comfy chairs. ;) Clemons and Alderman are literally right next to each other. When I think Clemons, I think more of people who really need to get their work done, but really don’t want to. Everytime I go to Clemons, I waste a few hours; it’s more conducive to working in groups. But hey, everyone is different. You may work there just fine. Clark is another library with great architecture and comfy chairs. If you go down a level to the stacks, there are desks and a few classrooms. It’s extremely quiet down there. Clark also has this room right in front of the library called the naked room. It’s called that because the mural on the wall has naked people in it. When you walk into Clark, you may be confused since the library isn’t in the front; walk straight ahead and the library will be there in front of you. You’ll discover your favorite library soon enough. :) Alderman is open til 12, Clark til 2 AM, and Clemons is open 24 hours. Weekend hours are shorter and during Finals, the libraries tend to be open later.</p>

<p>3. Dining.
You have 3 dining halls: Runk, O’Hill, and Newcomb. For the vast majority of students who live in McCormick and Alderman, you’ll be eating in O’Hill. Hereford people get Runk. I’ve only been to Runk a few times, and the food was great. The dining hall is very zen. The food is organic and focuses more on local stuff. Newcomb gets a bad rap for some reason, but I like Newcomb. I ate there a lot second semester. Newcomb is extremely convenient when you’re at the library because it takes about 2 minutes to get there. Dining probably doesn’t endorse this, but I stopped buying cereal after a while because I would just take it from the dining hall lol. I would get a takeout box and fill it with cereal. Then when I got home, I’d just put it into a Ziploc bag. To get a takeout box: When you swipe, ask for one. :) Before you eat, check out what’s on the menu: Welcome</a> to CampusDish at University of Virginia!</p>

<p>4. Classes
Don't worry. In the end, you'll get into the classes you want. A friend of mine signed up for random classes during orientation because all the ones he wanted were full. After the first week or so, he got into all the classes he wanted. Be persistent. You can add/drop classes again on August 5th. sign up for the waitlists, and on the first day of the class you want, go to the class with a filled out course action form. <a href=""&gt;;/a> Many professors will sign them and let you into the class. Some professors will also read out the entire roster and if someone isn't present, they're kicked out. You may be able to take that spot. If a class you want to take is full and there is no waitlist, e-mail the professor. Some of them have "personal" waitlists where you need to contact them to get on the waitlist. Before you sign up for a class, check out the <a href=""&gt;;/a> and <a href=""&gt;;/a> You can get more info on the profs/TAs and on TheCourseForum, you'll be able to get past grade distributions for classes. Also, check toolkit <a href=""&gt;;/a> Search for a class's syllabus from past years through the search engine; it'll give you a better idea of the reading/work load, and what you'll be expected to do. Change the year and semester you want to search first, and then enter the course number. Also keep in mind that this year, we moved to a 4 number system for classes; in past years, it has been 3. So, if you're searching for CHEM1420, that may not work. Try CHEM142. In general, just taking off the last number will work.</p>

1 Like

<p>A note about books...</p>

<p>Aside from the Main Grounds bookstore, there is also the student bookstore on the Corner. Sometimes they may have used copies of books or generally lower prices than the Main Bookstore. Always try and shop a place like though if you have the time. </p>

<p>Also, at some point or another, you will meet the "Course Packet". Many times professors will only want to use an essay or an excerpt of a book and will have the copies bound together so as to <em>try</em> and save you some money. There are two locations on Elliewood Ave. (on the Corner, near Mincer's) that produce course packets. However, be sure that you are going to stay in the course or that you know someone who will buy the packet off of you, as they are non-refundable.</p>

<p>5. Books</p>

<p>To add to what wahoogirl said. The UVa Bookstore, for the most part, sells at MSRP, You really won't save anything. Definitely check Amazon. Also, before the class starts and a few weeks after, you'll be getting e-mails from students who want to sell their books. Generally, they'll be cheap. I bought all my books new first semester, and I looked back and it made no sense. Buy used. You'll save a lot of money. Also check and Students will be trying to sell their books. You may also get some advice from them. And some may offer to give you their notes for the class (I got a set for my PLIR class this past spring.)</p>

<p>Course Packet: If you just read and don't annotate, see if you know someone else in the class. Offer to split the cost 50/50 and if they agree, you both can use it for half the price. I did that with my hallmate who was taking the same PLIR class as me.</p>

<p>Oh! And another point about the Libraries</p>

<p>You can rent/borrow movies from the Robertson Media Center in Clemons. They have relatively popular/recent things. I know someone who got all the seasons of Sex and the City.</p>

<p>To add:</p>

They're generally good, on schedule, and make getting around easier. db posted the phone number to tell you when they're coming, but if you use a crackberry or iPhone bookmark this site U.Va</a>. Mobile / Search, and then you just type in the stop number. Also, if you're coming home late from a fraternity party, or wherever, yellow cab is cheap (under $10 from far away houses on Grady to new dorms) and gets you back safe and sound. Plus if you don't have any cash on you, they can bill it to your student account. </p></li>
They're everywhere, just find someplace to study. My personal favorite is Clark, but the basement lounges of new dorms are pretty quiet places to study too. Greenberry's is decent coffee, but coming from a big city with a Starbucks on every street corner, I do miss having easy access to Starbucks. The only one near by is on the corner and isn't open particularly late.</p></li>
As db said, Runk has considerably better food. My suggestion is, if you're on the Northline bus coming back from class with friends, just ride it up to Runk, it's worth the trip. Definitely just take to-go boxes filled with cereal, and fill a couple of cups with milk. Fill a box with cookies too and save yourself some money.</p></li>

<p>As for eating out, the White Spot and Little John's are always good for a midnight food run. Lemongrass on the corner is good for Asian food, and I can't remember the sushi restaurant's name, but it's good too. College Inn, Coupe's and the Virginian are good for a nice, informal lunch or dinner. Christian's pizza is good, but really greasy - College Inn is better. Norbits has really good burgers, and you order them with a scantron. Bodos is great for a good, cheap breakfast or lunch. </p>

Wait, there are classes ;) But really, don't worry, you'll get the classes you want.</p></li>
Amazon is probably your best bet. If you are e-school, just buy them now, they are cheaper the earlier you buy them, and it' not like you have a choice of courses anyways. For things like solutions manuals, just split the cost with a friend. For things like Mastering Chem, buy it, you have to - ie, don't buy a used chem text unless it is cheaper than also buying it with the extra mastering chem (~$45). </p></li>
<li><p>What to have in a dorm room
A fridge is essential, bring lots of bottled water for move in day. A microwave is nice for ramen at 3 am. The more fans the better, the first couple weeks are hot. A rug is important. TV is nice, although I didn't watch it much, and my TiVo rarely got used, until I got home and watched the full seasons of just about everything I missed over the year.</p></li>

<p>Good golly, people at UVa are wayyy to nice and helpful ;) I'll throw in my two cents and maybe some transfer stuff later. I'm slightly occupied celebrating the best dayof TJ's life (well ok besides the day he decided to begin our fabbb school)</p>

<p>Good rule, today, grab a beer, head outside and celebrate. When the sun goes down, watch fireworks, get off the internet.</p>

A fridge is essential, bring lots of bottled water for move in day


<p>I think it's cheaper to just use the water fountain? If you get into Brown or the IRC, there'll be communal kitchens so you can get by without a personal fridge. (The only issue is people sometimes steal food -- but this can be avoided by clearly marking your stuff.) Make use of that expensive dining plan to get free ingredients for a midnight snack before you leave. You can make fantastic 10-minute curry using stuff from the O-Hill salad bar...(well you have to get your own powder of course but it's really cheap). </p>

<p>Transportation -- in addition to the UTS system, there's the CTS system which takes you downtown, and up Emmet / 29 into Barracks' supermarkets and big box stores. And when you get sick of dining hall food, there's an Asian market right after Barracks, and an Indian store across the corner from Fashion Square. Please don't get ripped off by Crossroads. They love to price-gouge students. ;) </p>

<p>Oh SafeRide. I use this a lot. Sometimes if it's 11:30 and I'm far from my dorm I'll wait until midnight intentionally rather than take the bus because SafeRide brings you right to your door. They start service after midnight and end on 6 am on Sundays to Thursday nights (when I say Sunday night, it's really more like Monday morning but you get what I mean). And to prevent people using them as party transport service, they only start service after 2 am on Friday and Saturday nights. They'll eagerly transport you HOME from a party though. </p>

<p>A lot of parties held at apartments on JPA or the 14th St area will last longer than 2 am. So if you find yourself without bus service, and you're willing to wait 10-15 minutes (about the time it takes for a cab anyway), you don't have to waste money -- SafeRide will take you home for free. </p>

<p>Undergrad opportunities -- while you're looking for classes, if you're looking to get into research early, you can start looking for profs you'd like to work under, even if you won't be in their class. Start the search now :) and you could be doing exciting stuff early on! A lot of profs like to talk about their research, especially to curious and impressionable young first-years. ;) </p>

<p>CavLink -- if you haven't heard of this and you're looking for a student job or volunteer opportunities, check this out right now!</p>

<p>Avoiding markups -- the Bookstore and other official vendors will rip you off on mini fridges and box fans. For these items, please buy elsewhere (like CVS). :)</p>

<p>Instead of water fountains or bottled water, Brita filter/pitcher + fridge.</p>

<p>wow, you guys are too nice, this is helpful, thanks for taking the time to type all this, your hard work is appreciated</p>

<p>Thanx a lot people...that is really helpful...I have another question...I am going to be first yr can I get the book titles/ISBN for the textbooks required for the courses I want to take at UVa...any useful link or guidance will be very kind</p>

<p>To get the textbook list, head to:</p>

<p>Textbooks</a> | The UVA Bookstore - Secure Online Shopping</p>

<p>Scroll to the bottom and click on "Fall textbook list". A pdf file should pop out. However, this list is not completed yet since many professors have not informed the bookstore which textbooks they use. Keep checking that website for a most updated textbook list.</p>

<p>^thanx WTC</p>

<p>Wow, this is really helpful! About the official vendors ripping us off for buying fridges and the like, would renting their MicroFridge (I think that's what it's called- the microwave/fridge combo) be a bad idea, as well?</p>

<p>re: caltech:</a> fridge - Google Search</p>

<p>i'm going to try to get this thread stickied</p>

<p>Thanks tokenadult for stickying!</p>

<p>Do not rent the fridge, it costs considerably more than buying one. Even if you're from the other side of the world and want it for simplicity, just order one from Walmart online.</p>

<p>As for water, for move in day, just buy bottles, that way they are cold and convenient. After that, just get a Brita filter and save money.</p>

<p>To echo what shirker and canuck have said, get a Brita water filter. You will save a LOT of money. I had a Nalgene (they're about $10 at the Bookstore), and I would fill that up. Imagine the number of water bottles you save. Which brings me to another point.</p>

<p>Buy BAKING SODA for your fridge.</p>

<p>That $2 investment will save you a world of trouble. Times will come when you and your roommate will forget to throw something out/open the fridge for a week or so. When something has been rotting in there for a while, it will stink. We forgot that we had some homemade shrimp concoction in our fridge during 1st sem midterms, and after we opened the fridge 2 weeks later, it literally smelled like something had died. Worse, my Brita filter had taken on the smell of the shrimp thing, so my water smelled bad. It took some serious elbow grease to get the smell out. Also, the baking soda will help mask the smell of various everyday things like Chinese takeout, pizza, etc. etc. Food will keep it's own flavor and all of your refrigerated food won't smell like...your fridge.</p>


<p>MOVE IN DAY!yay! :)</p>

<p>When thinking about the things you need for your room consult your parents! Mine were invaluable on move in day.</p>

<p>Why? Your parents think of things you would easily overlook; they're trained for it! ;) After moving in, I realized I forgot to buy socks (I hate shoes; love sandals), an umbrella (my rents bought me two; one for heavier gusty winds and one lighter one that would work in most situations. I would never think of that. And, buying two means you'll have an extra if you lose one. ;)), a basic screwdriver set, scissors, flashlight, cotton balls, first aid kit, FOOD, storage, etc.</p>

<p>Your parents will also be there for most of the day. Buying all the stuff you forgot, putting everything together, making sure you're settled in. Always remember to thank them and tell them you love them. :) You, their baby, is going off to college! </p>

<p>And, if they offer to unpack your stuff, let them. Unpacking will go by much, much faster and they just know where to put stuff. Seriously. If mine hadn't unpacked my stuff despite my protests, I wouldn't have unpacked for weeks. And the first thing you should unpack is your fan. Set it up and turn it on immediately.</p>

<p>Next order of business.</p>


<p>When to come?</p>

<p>Early. Whenever they let you start to move in, get there. Why?</p>

<li><p>You want a good place to park.</p></li>
<li><p>You want to grab the poor student greeters who will do manual labor for you; they're literally there to carry your junk up. So, let them take your fridge and microwave. There are more available in the morning and once you get a greeter, they'll pretty much stick with you the whole time. Greatness.</p></li>
<li><p>Your groggy siblings will be in a daze so they'll do the work without an excessive amount of grumbling. (Also, if you have siblings that can carry more than 10 pounds, they will be of benefit. Bring them. My brother came, hated every minute, but saved us a lot of trips. And after we were done, we dropped him off at the hotel where he continued his slumber.)</p></li>

<p>A lot of you will be driving because you have so much to haul and you live relatively close. (Like, within an 8 hour driving radius.) It's minivan/SUV central in cville during move in. So to avoid traffic/stress/people yelling at everyone, I would recommend coming the night before. I live in NOVA (like 2 hours away from cville) and we drove down the night before, checked into a hotel, and relaxed. We went and checked out exactly where my building was, how to get there, etc. so we wouldn't run into problems in the morning. My roomie came down the day of move in and she was frazzled. Also, in the morning, it's not as hot. Be warned however. If you want a room, you need to book NOW. My mom started looking around the middle of July and everything was full. Luckily, my rents have accumulated quite a few points from business trips so the hotel was able to pull a few strings. ;)</p>

<p>So, what have we covered? When to come and importance of parents. </p>

<p>Next, what to buy.</p>


<p>Seriously, less is more. Most of you have no clue what the rooms look like except for the diagrams on the UVa housing page and the fleeting glimpse during DOTL. Do NOT follow any of the lists from stores like Bed, Bath, and Beyond (BBB), Macys, etc. There's no way you would ever need all that stuff. I'm sure someone else can comment on how New Dorms (Alderman) set up. I lived in Old Dorms so I'll talk about what you need for that, along with some basics.</p>

<p>1. Bedding.
2 sets of twin XL sheets. I've heard BBB has some really nice ones. I'm really picky about bedding and whatnot, so I bought some great ones at Macys.</p>

<p>Style&co</a>. "300 Thread Count" Sheet Set, Twin XL - Twin XL Sheets Bed & Bath Back to School - for the home - Macy's</p>

<p>They are a little more expensive, but with the number of coupons you get from Macys, you could get the price down quite a bit. We ended up paying like $40-50 for two of those sheet sets. They were ****ing amazing. Well worth it. I also got a Style&Co comforter. Seriously, their whole line is so soft and completely worth it. If you're willing to invest a little more, get Style&Co bedding.</p>

<p>Also, I would not recommend white. You could be a complete neat freak, but your sheets will STILL get dirty. It's really annoying.</p>

<p>Also, you need a mattress pad. The beds are not the softest. I had a regular one that did the trick, until I feel asleep on my hallmate's bed. She had a Tempurpedic mattress pad, and it was amazing. Bought that sucka. Everyone was envious. ;) If you can afford it/convince your parents, go for it. It's heaven. Although it did make getting up for class that much harder. >.></p>

<p>Also, 2 pillows, if you want more, get them. I had 5, 2 standard, 2 euro (the big square ones), and a headroll. My roommate had 2 pillows and a husband (the pillow with two armrests; google it.)</p>

<p>So, for bedding, you need 2 XL sheet sets, 1 comforter, 2+ pillows (depending on your preference), and a mattress pad.</p>

<p>Lawlers, here’s me from last year freaking out about what to buy. :)</p>

<p><a href=""&gt;;/a&gt;&lt;/p>

<p>Hangers Pretty self explanatory.</p>

<p>Books/School Supplies!!</p>

<p>Sometimes people forget their going to college to learn/study. ;) Filler paper, pens, pencils, eraser, stapler, glue, scissors, push pins, binders, tabs, folders, sticky notes, you’ll need them all. Also, I would get a little desk organizer. It helps keep your desk clean. You can buy that stuff when you get to cville, but there’s a good chance the local staples/office depot will be out. They have to deal with the UVa traffic and all the local elementary/middle/high school kids. And the bookstore is overpriced. </p>

<p>Books: we’ve had multiple discussions on this; search the forum for a more detailed vrsion. The basic consensus is this. The bookstore is overpriced (see a trend here?). Don’t buy there unless necessary. Check Amazon, craigslist, uloop, hoohasit, and other online stores to buy your books. You really don’t need new books; buying used will save you a LOT of money. Also, students will be e-mailing your class to sell their books for the specific class. Another great thing about ordering online is that you can have them shipped to your school address.</p>

We’ve talked about this a lot! </p>

<p><a href=""&gt;;/a&gt;&lt;/p>

<p><a href=""&gt;;/a> The clothing issue comes more into play around page 7. And for everyone involved in that thread last year, good times. :) Olympics ring a bell? ahahaha.</p>

<p><a href=""&gt;;/a&gt;&lt;/p>

<p>I know someone in one of those threads said I wouldn’t be able to go a month without doing laundry, but I did every month! Ahahahaha. My monthly trips home were specifically for laundry. But I had clothes coming out the wazoo. The amount of clothing I started with < the amount I ended the year with.</p>

<p>Cool fact. UVa has this thing called Laundry Alert. UNIVERSITY</a> OF VIRGINIA LaundryAlert Web Application</p>

<p>It shows you which washers/dryers are open where. Also, you can check on how much time your load of laundry has left. I was not fond of the washers/dryers, because the few times I used it, my clothes came out dirtier than how they went in. Some clothes were still drenched in water, while others were completely dry.</p>

<p>Fan(s). Can’t stress it enough. Get a box fan and a little clip on fan. Our room had 5 going at all times for most of the fall. It was definitely the coolest. Some of you lucky dogs have AC. Forget this.</p>


<p>So, that pretty much covers the basic things you need. Bedding, Clothing, Books, Fan. I’m sure you know which gender appropriate toiletries you need.</p>

<p>Now, a little more specific. </p>

<p>McCormick Road Dormitories (Old Dorms.)
If you live in Bonnycastle/Hancock, ignore the information regarding storage/bed situations. Your setup is different.</p>

<p>First off, congrats! :) I’m an Old Dormer, so I’m a little biased.</p>

<p>None of you have AC. Bring fan.</p>

You have captain’s beds, which means under your bed, you have 6 drawers. You do NOT need the things that raise your bed up--won’t work.</p>

<p>Bring a tape measure with you, and after you’ve decided how you want to setup your room, measure the amount of space somewhere that would be good to have a tower/chest/etc. Go to Lowe’s or Walmart or Kmart or Target or BBB; all of them are up Rt. 29. Lowe’s and Walmart are almost right next to each other on your left hand side. Kmart is the 2nd closest on your right, and Target is the farthest and it’ll be on your left. BBB is the closest; it’s in the Baracks shopping center on your left. (all assuming your coming from UVa.) Buy appropriate storage unit(s) for your storage needs. This is another place where your parents come in handy. They’ll know better than you will. I would recommend buying your storage stuff after moving in. You’ll have a better idea of spacing. Different room arrangements and needs will determine what storage unit you’ll buy.</p>


<p>Your desk comes equipped with 4 drawers, a built in desk lamp/outlet (a lot of people don’t realize this. If you look under the shelf, you’ll see that and the outlet), and a corkboard. So, you don’t need to buy a desk lamp. If yours isn’t working, put in a work order, and someone from housing will come and fix it. In terms of lighting, you really don’t need any extra lamps. I had a clip on light for when I read in bed. Otherwise, the regular lights worked fine. If you want to have Christmas lights, then put them up after the fire marshall comes through. Same goes for posters. You’re not supposed to have those lights/posters up.</p>


<p>You’re room comes equipped with a mirror but it is small and you can only see your chest up. So, get a full length mirror; they’re usually around $10. You’re technically not supposed to have your mirror hanging from your door, but a lot of people do it anyway. Again, I would wait to get this until you’ve seen your room. Some people get lucky and already have a full length mirror bolted onto their door. Girls, it’s also a good idea to get a small mirror to do your makeup.</p>


<p>You have communal showers/sinks/toilets. For the first week or two, everyone is really shy about taking a dump, because you can usually do it in the privacy of your own home. You’ll get over it. For showering, you need shower shoes (flip flops will do), a shower caddy (+ associated essentials like shampoo/conditioner/loofah/etc.), and a towel. A robe is highly recommended. Bring two bath towels/bath sheets, and two hand towels. The hand towels are great for brushing/face washing/etc in the morning and at night. I would also bring a small caddy to keep your toothbrush, toothpaste, floss, mouthwash, face wash, toner, etc in.</p>

<p>Work Orders</p>

<p>This goes for *anyone. * If something doesn't work, put in a work order.</p>

<p>University</a> of Virginia - Housing Division :: Maintenance Requests</p>

<p>New Dorms
Well, as a New Dormer I can offer the other specifics:</p>

<p>Enjoy it, even if new dorms weren't your first pick, they're still fun, and you get to know some people really well.</p>

You get a bed, with a mattress that definitely needs a pad if you want to sleep comfortably and don't want back problems down the road. The great thing about this bed is that it is nice and high with plenty of storage underneath it. With that, you can store plenty of boxes with your clothes/shoes/junk underneath. The Kellogg beds are even high enough to allow you to store a fridge underneath it. </p>

The desk is plenty big enough, with enough shelves for books. There is also a fluorescent desk lamp with an electrical outlet. I didn't use another desk lamp on the desk, but had on beside my bed. You may also want a floor lamp depending on where the celling lamp is, sometimes with the location of the celling lamp, the far corners of the rooms can be quite dark. Just wait until the fire marshall has come before you start plugging lots of things in, or putting things on the wall. They usually only check 1/2 rooms per suite. </p>

There is a full length mirror attached to one of the closet doors, get another to hang from the door if you want. For things hanging from the door, I recommend a shoe rack. </p>

Using the bathroom in new dorms is slightly more private than in old dorms. The bathroom and shower is shared by only 10 people. There are 2 showers per bathroom, but that generally isn't an issue timing wise as I only had to wait a couple times. Bring a shower kit with whatever you need. Within the suite everyone just wears a towel to shower, a robe isn't as necessary as in old dorms. </p>

<p>Work Orders
Use them, they're good about fixing problems. They also provide free pest control, which is especially important if you live on the first floor. I had some problems with ants and roaches, get them to come in and deal with them sooner than later.</p>