Dasmen - University of Virginia - Class of 2018

Dasmen - Class of 2018
Take chances, you never know what will happen. I was amazed at how quickly I changed my mind about UVA being the school for me.

When I first started my college search, I was looking for a school in a big city that had busy surroundings, but still had that college feel. I also wanted a college that would give me numerous opportunities and close personal connections with my professors.

  • Hometown: Fayetteville, GA
  • High School: Public
  • GPA: 3.90 / 4.10 (weighted)
  • SAT: 1610
  • Major: Chemistry
  • Goal: To become an orthodontist

Freshman Year Update

Life at UVA is great! Everyone is friendly and involved in something. Classes move a lot faster, and you have to read the textbook to clearly understand the concepts discussed in lectures. But the fast pace helps me stay on top of things and not procrastinate.

At first, it was hard for me to cope with the late nights. In high school, I was in bed by 11 p.m. Now I often stay up until 3 a.m. going out with friends or studying—and then get up for an 8 a.m. class. I've learned to take naps between classes, and to not go out until I've finished my homework.

I realized premed was not for me, so I changed my major to economics and now plan to work in finance. But it is still hard managing my own finances. I feel like money evaporates daily from my checking account! Next year, I will most definitely get a job.

Sophomore Year Update

I was hoping to double major in economics and global development studies, but I was denied from the global development studies program. I was upset at first, but I truly believe that everything happens for a reason and that there is another plan for me. I'm going to keep my economics major, but now I'm thinking of minoring in foreign affairs.

While I am pretty happy with my college choice, I see now that there were things I didn't consider when I applied, such as the college's demographics, class sizes, and the social scene. I was looking more at prestige and ranking, but these internal factors are important as well. UVA can be stressful and competitive at times. But I know that this environment will help me become a stronger person in the long-run.

Headed for New York City lights

I wanted to go to NYU since I was in elementary school. My mother went there and I've always looked up to her. She is a big part of the choices that I make. When I visited NYU, I knew that this school was for me, with its big city lights and people from all walks of life. Everything in New York moved so fast, and that is what I loved about the city—it was fast-paced. After my visit, I would think about NYU all day and tell people I was applying there in the fall. I even tried to remember the NYU subway station because I knew that would be my transportation for the next four years.

The night before my NYU decision was due, I couldn't even sleep. At 4 a.m., I heard my e-mail notification and immediately checked my inbox. I was denied. But I was not as sad as I thought I was going to be. I just went back to sleep, peacefully. I thought about accepting my offer to St. John's, because it was also in New York, but the financial aid package wasn't enough.

UVA pulls out in front

University of Virginia was one of my last decisions to come in—and I was accepted! I wasn't expecting to get in because UVA is considered a public Ivy League school, and I didn't have the Ivy League test scores. I went to see the school immediately, and I fell in love at once. UVA had everything I was looking for in a college. While it wasn't in a big city, it wasn't rural either. The college town was exciting and had everything for students. The people on campus were all very friendly. They had so much positive energy—I could see it beaming out of them. I could see myself riding around the campus on my bike, just like everyone else I saw.

A week later, I got my financial aid packet, and it was better than the offers from the other schools that accepted me—UVA was paying for almost everything! I knew my parents couldn't afford the full cost of attendance, so UVA was also the best choice financially.

My ups and downs

I had all types of emotions when I got into UVA. I was happy and surprised at the same time. I was amazed at how quickly I changed my mind about UVA being the school for me. Meeting my roommate was also a high point. I found out that my dad knows her dad because they took a few classes together while they were in college!

It was frustrating and disappointing not getting into NYU. I felt like I had everything going for me. My GPA was great and my resume was outstanding. I was sad for a week or two, especially when I heard that a few of my classmates were admitted. It was hurtful, but my parents told me that I had to move on.

What I learned

The whole college process is stressful, especially when you apply to so many schools like I did. Time management was a skill I had to obtain quickly. I learned that you will not get good news every time, so I had to be prepared emotionally and mentally. I also learned that taking chances is the best thing to do. If I hadn't taken a chance and applied to UVA, I wouldn't be going there today, and I would have regretted not applying.

The money factor

UVA is paying for almost everything, and my parents will cover the rest of the costs.

My advice

Take chances. You never know what will happen. The school I am going to is totally different than the school I had in mind at first, but as I got more mature by the end of senior year, I realized UVA was a fit for me. So, keep your options open.