Me and Nova go waaaaayy back…and I have plenty to say about him.
About half way through my Freshman year, on some Saturday night (after hours of hard core partying), I came across this school: Villanova University. Maybe I found it in my big book of colleges, maybe I came across it on College Prowler, maybe it was whispered to me in a dream a few nights before and I didn’t register it until then, regardless of how I found it, I found it. I had never heard of it until that night and when I discovered it I become instantly obsessed to learn more. I read the pages in my book, I read every word on its College Prowler page, and I thoroughly examined their website–I stayed up until about 2 a.m., until I couldn’t keep my eyes open any longer.
Everything I saw, every word I read, sounded perfect to me. I was soooooo happy because I really, truly believed I had found my school. I woke up the next morning feeling ecstatic (a bit tired) and as though a great weight had been lifted off my shoulders. I was about ready to dust off my hands and call it a day…I seriously thought my college search had come to a close.
They had great athletics, school spirit, good location (near Philadelphia), a beautiful campus, close community, good education, perfect size (6,000), and a super cool name. What more could you ask for?! It literally checked off all of my boxes and I immediately thought I was going to go there. I thought I had discovered my “Dream School,” my Soul Mate of colleges if you will.
Little did I know that I would not get off so easily.
When I went on the Northeastern trip in the Fall of my Sophomore year, I was given the opportunity to tour Villanova. I was so nervous and so excited to go there. I thought it was going to be my very first visit of my school, it was a pretty powerful feeling. I was just hoping that it met my expectations…
To be blunt: it did not. Not even close.
Imagine hearing about this dog. This really cute dog that your friend says is really nice, and snuggly, and cuddly, and playful, and loves everyone, and smells like flowers. Naturally, you’d get really excited to meet this perfect puppy! Right? But guess what. When you meet it, it bites your face. That’s kind of what my experience was like with visiting Villanova.
Everything I knew about it was still true when I visited, (they had the same great basketball team, they still had a beautiful school, they still had the same numbers) the only thing that changed was that I was actually there. I had such a bad feeling when I was on the campus. I was so disappointed, so let down, and a bit crushed to tell you the truth. (Rest assured, I’ve moved on now. The bite marks have faded.)
It really is a beautiful campus, our tour guide was very kind, all the facilities are great, and they even have a science building in the shape of the periodic table! Craazzaaaayy.
I guess the only way to describe my dislike was that it just felt wrong. On paper, it seemed perfect for me but once I was there I realized it very much was not.
It seemed very homogeneous and dull. The student body was predominately white. Yes, I could have known that prior to visiting because that’s just a statistic, but it wasn’t until going to Villanova that I realized how much a lack of diversity bothers me. Also, it felt very cliquey. It’s hard to describe how or why I felt like this, but it just seemed like most people were solely focused on the small group of friends they were talking to. It didn’t seem like anyone was mean, or like they were intentionally being closed off, it just felt somewhat uninviting. It also felt pretty boring and monotonous. As though everyone was just there, there wasn’t an excited feeling at all. After my visit, I wrote in my college journal that it was “sad”. Although simple and somewhat ambiguous, that really is the most apt word to describe how I felt there.
Now please keep in mind that I was only there for a couple hours and it’s impossible to truly know a school in that amount of time. I’m just writing from my personal experience.
But hey! I’ve talked to someone whose daughter goes there and loves it! I mean it certainly isn’t a bad school, I just know it isn’t my school. Which is fine! I’m just sooooooooooo grateful that I got to visit early on because I know that if I hadn’t I would still want to apply there. Pheeewwwww! Good to know I’ve saved a few bucks on that one.
The food was good! I got to eat in one of the cafeterias and it was really nice. Also, I really liked the gym–it was a great facility. We also got to see the stadium which is literally smack-dab on campus, which I thought was pretty dang cool. There’s also a train station right there so that going into Philadelphia is very doable. And although I don’t have many pictures to support my claim, the campus really is breathtakingly beautiful.
There are certainly many great things going for Villanova, I just know that I won’t be going there.
If I learned anything from this visit it’s the importance of visiting your top schools. I mean, you just never know! You could end up hating it!
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