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20 Moments that Define Your Richmond Experience

By Beth Anne Spacht

April 13, 2016

Each year during the month of April, we enjoy coming up with some sort of list corresponding to the incoming students’ class year. In recent years, we've shared “17 (Hidden) Reasons to Join the Class of '17,” “18 Phrases You’ll Never Hear at Richmond,” and for the Class of 2019, "19 Things you Could do with $4000 From Richmond."

This year, in honor of the Class of '20, Nadine Saint (Class of 2010), presents...

20 Moments that Define Your Richmond Experience
  1. Orientation. You’ll arrive a few days early to figure out which brick building is which and meet the other amazingly cool people in the class of 2020. You’ll never forget the icebreaker palooza that is Playfair (no spoilers on what this entails), and you will refer to acquaintances at graduation as your "Playfair friends." The name you give yourself during the “Name Game” sticks. So think of a fantastic adjective (e.g. Rockin’ Rick) now.
  2. Tradition. Whether it’s Investiture for Richmond College or Proclamation Night for Westhampton College, these nights are your first step into the Richmond community. Take time to reflect on the next four years ahead and look sharp – cheesy group photos will be happening.
  3. Nomz. Midnight Munchies may become the saving grace that brings you back from your zombie existence in Boatwright Library during exams. Fried cheese, chicken wings, and ice cream are paramount to survival. Head to the dining hall from 10 p.m. to midnight on finals week for all the fried goodness your heart desires.
  4. Off-campus Nomz. You will have what can only be described as a religious experience at Carytown Burgers and Fries. Because why wouldn’t you put chicken tenders and an egg on top of a burger? Looking for other restaurants to explore? Super. We have 900 of them. Get crackin’.
  5. All-Day-Dhall. Inevitably, you’ll realize our dining hall (a.k.a. Dhall) is a great place to study. Find a table in the back and enjoy breakfast, lunch, dinner, and dessert, dessert, dessert. Sensing a food theme? Whatever, I’m getting cheese fries.
  6. Parents meeting Parents. Move-in day will be marked by the sensational awkwardness of your parents meeting your roommate’s parents. Maybe it will be smooth sailing. Maybe your mom will tell your roommate to make sure you wear your retainer. Anything can happen.
  7. Registering for that 7:30am Psych lab was a bad choice.
  8. No Friday class was a great choice.
  9. Studying Abroad...was so amazing! I had so much FUN! Traveling internationally for a semester, year, or two weeks with an SSIR will be more than amazing. It will be life changing. You will make meaningful inroads into another culture and return with a different frame of mind. Richmond students are globally focused and prepared to change the world.
  10. Your first C (dare I say D/F). Richmond’s Class of 2020 was crafted from one of the most academically competitive applicant pools the admission office has ever seen. Your entire high school existence has been one in search of perfection and straight A’s.  If achieving over a 36 on your ACT was possible, you would find a way. At Richmond, you will be challenged academically and you might see a grade that you vowed you would never see in your lifetime. You might end up crying in the Jepson Quad over your first less-than-perfect grade, but that’s ok because…
  11. Meeting one-on-one with a professor is a routine part of life here at Richmond, and the most memorable moments will probably happen outside of office hours. You’ll schedule lunch at Café Caturra to talk about your independent study, or grab a coffee at 8:15 between classes. Not making it to class? Your professor will seek you out to make sure you’re ok. Faculty here are an invaluable resource for students – take advantage!
  12. First UR v. VCUbasketball game. You win some, you lose some, but spider spirit is alive and well. Even the Robins statue in the academic quad gets dressed up for games.
  13. First Year Seminar (FYS). Okay, so you didn’t get into the class about chocolate. But every FYS course is a deep dive into a fascinating subject that will teach you a foundational skill set to be successful in a liberal arts curriculum. And you can always go to Dhall and get a slice of salted caramel torte for uh…research.          
  14. Experiencing Virginia weather. It’s all sunshine and tulips for the most part, but the exceptions can be hurricanes, tropical storms, blizzards, and heat waves followed by cold snaps. We have a bit of everything. So if Snowpocolypse hits, grab a Dhall tray as a sled and embrace the crazy.
  15. Festivals. Richmond is a festival town, and we like any excuse to get together for music, food, and fun. Start with the Folk Festival and you’ll be hooked.
  16. Boatwright Beach. It’s a Thursday afternoon in April. You have a Passion Tea Lemonade from 8:15 chillin’ in your hand. The sun is setting slowly behind the lake and you’re lying on the grass in front of the library enjoying the warmest part of the day. A light breeze picks up and you realize that you go to school in the most beautiful place of all time.
  17. STC (improv comedy) show at midnight on the Jepson Quad. A good laugh at midnight on a Wednesday of a tough week will get you through.
  18. Registration. Ideal Schedule. Back up schedule. Back up to the back up schedule. Schedule with no classes on Fridays. Schedule with no classes on Mondays. Schedule to schedule your schedules.
  19. Realizing that your peers are incredible. There will come a time when you hear your roommate belt Lady Gaga at the top of their lungs at an a cappella concert, or listen to your friend’s poster presentation at the Arts & Sciences Symposium, and a wave of pride will wash over you. You will watch your friends receive Fulbright Scholarships, publish their research, and carry the mace (sort of like a valedictorian) at graduation and think to yourself – this is what they meant when they said “tell us about Spiders”.
  20. Five Year Reunion. You’ll spend the next four years creating a home at Richmond. Your experiences, friendships, failures, and triumphs will shape who you are and the people you meet are the ones who will be in your life forever. Coming back to campus to pretend you’re freshman will be the highlight of your mid-20s. Because who says you can’t go home again?

Tags: Why Richmond?

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Tom NicholasTom Nicholas
Senior Assistant Director of Admission 


A Richmond alumnus (Class of 2007), Tom has been working and blogging for the Office of Admission since he graduated. He loves his alma mater and the city that shares its name.

Learn more about Tom


Beth Anne SpachtBeth Anne Spacht
Assistant Director of Admission


Beth Anne was a double major at Richmond (English and Latin American & Iberian Studies) and now enjoys helping prospective students discover the best of her alma mater.

Learn more about Beth Anne

The University of Richmond is a highly ranked liberal arts university offering an extraordinary combination of the liberal arts with law, business, leadership studies, and continuing education. The university is consistently named a best value in higher education by leading publications.

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