A Hoo from Hooville: What it’s like to be from Charlottesville and go to UVA

Apparently people don’t talk about Thomas Jefferson all the time everywhere?

For most students, coming to UVA was a completely new and overwhelming experience. For some of you it was your first taste of the South. And for others it was your just first time in a new environment on your own.

Your first weeks were spent navigating grounds (while wondering why campus is called grounds), perfecting your signature Bodo’s order, trying to find new friends and overall adjusting to your new surroundings.

When I made the big move to college it was a 10 minute drive from my family’s home over to the university. Going to college in the same town you grew up in is an experience that many people try to avoid, but it’s proven to be one that I’m happy to have had.

Those of us who were raised in Hooville see and experience UVA in a different way than the rest.

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First off, for a school of twenty thousand, UVA has always seemed very small. The thought of attending a large state school was a little daunting but I learned quickly that being from Charlottesville meant that UVA offered me the small college vibe. Just on my walk to my first class here I passed a number of already familiar faces, both ones I wanted to see and ones that I pretended to be on my phone in order to avoid.

As a born and bred Wahoo, I was the one who got to explain what terms like “Wahoo” even meant. I learned from others that the term “first year” isn’t used at all colleges in the US, and that Thomas Jefferson is not someone people regularly talked about outside of Charlottesville.

I already knew that Carter’s Mountain apple cider donuts are a must every October, a sunrise hike at Humpback is essentially required before graduation and that every spring at UVA drunk slob kabobs prance around at Foxfield looking dapper AF.

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Also, for all of you out of towners, it’s Foxfield not FoxfieldS. There is only one field.

What sets my experience apart the most is that I’m doing a lot of things that aren’t necessarily new to me, but I’m enjoying them in different ways. Charlottesville is home so I have a connection to everything I do and am constantly surrounded by memories.

However, being at UVA feels like a completely different Charlottesville than the city I grew up in. When I am home on breaks, it is a very different place than when I am living closer to grounds and am immersed within the UVA bubble.

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The comfort of being home isn’t what everyone looks for in their college experience but having it has been great.

Being from Charlottesville and going to UVA creates a situation in which I am comfortable and familiar with my surroundings, but am always engaging with them in new and different ways.

I also get to see my dog on a weekly basis so win-win.

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