Dear UVa Class of 2022,
First of all, The Black Sheep UVa just wants to let you know that we’re so excited for you to join our living learning community! We love that after a visit to Grounds (in which you walked in a herd like animals and slowed the overall traffic down by 15% to the chagrin of every student ever), you decided that this was the place for you.
Before you start your time here, a time that will be filled with excitement and adventure, you’ll hear about seven hundred different people giving you unwanted advice. Wahoos love nothing more than passing on their immense knowledge, even when nobody asked for it. The number of times within your first few weeks here that you’ll be forced to listen to someone ramble on about the best way to experience UVa will almost beat the number of beers you have in those same weeks.
First and foremost, learn the lingo of UVa before you even get here because there’s no syllabus week for cultural acclimation. It’s not a campus, it’s Grounds; we’re first through fourth years not freshman through seniors; Thomas Jefferson isn’t just a president, he’s a daddy; we don’t get breaks, we get “reading days” (a.k.a. “professors give extra homework days”); and there are no crimes here, just “incidents”.
Another important lesson you must learn is that everything’s a competition. GPAs, number of leadership positions, amount of times you’ve run naked across the lawn, and number of drunken nights you’ve experienced are just a few of the many competitions you’ll gladly take part in during your four years here. UVa thrives on competition because we love winning, and the only way to ensure all 16,000 of us are winners is to compete in everything. Even if you’re only known as ‘the girl who goes to Chick-fil-A more than anyone else on Grounds,’ you’re still gonna be a winner.
It’s also vital to learn when the marketing team here (also known as the UGuides, Lawnies, and anyone with an elected position) is telling the truth. This can be tricky, since they’re paid in glory and bragging rights to lie their asses off about the less than lovely details of UVa. We’ve had a Lawnie look us directly in the eye and say that the University Transit System app was a reliable tool. It was monstrous.
Lastly, and most importantly, don’t worry if you can’t immediately find a group of besties. You’ll eventually make it in to some club, or major, or satirical newspaper that’s super competitive and find people that you can do everything with, allowing you to ditch all the temporary friends you made in your hall in a desperate attempt to not eat alone.
We’re so excited to see you in the fall, and even more excited to watch you try and navigate all of the brick buildings with white columns while you nervously fiddle with the lanyard that acts as a first year calling card.
Congratulations on getting into UVa, even if you’re from NOVA and received your acceptance letter at birth.
The Black Sheep