I would be lying if I said Villanova was my top choice or my dream school, but it ended up being the school I committed to. As it was a last minute decision (in the sense that I was torn between Villanova and another great school) and I didn't know much about Villanova (I had only visited it once and everything else was online research), I was a little hesitant and unsure about my choice. I kept thinking back to before May 1st and wondering if I had made the right decision; I was afraid that I wouldn't fit in or I wouldn't be able to do all the things I wanted to... or I wouldn't even like the school and its environment. Needless to say, all those fears went away the day I moved in. From August 24th until now, I have enjoyed every moment here at Nova. And I know the next 3 years will be memorable. Here are 10 things I have come to love about Villanova.
Villanova's campus is one of the most beautiful campuses I have seen. I am biased of course, but I am still being as objective as I can be. During spring, the flowers on the trees blossom and color the campus pink (Nova has different species of trees since it used to be an arboretum) while in the winter, a blanket of snow may adorn the campus. And even the layout and buildings are aesthetically pleasing and add character to Villanova.
The people here in Pennsylvania, and especially at Villanova, are unnaturally nice (in a good way). Everyone holds the door here for everyone and everyone says "thank you" in response. This may not seem like much, but every time I go back home, I notice how that's not the case there. But in general, people are extremely nice, caring and empathetic to others, even strangers.
3. Holy Grounds.
Villanova's own coffee shop has some of the greatest drinks, in addition to the delicious muffins like French Vanilla Chip and Red Velvet. It's a convenient place to stop to grab breakfast or refreshments before class or even just to grab a snack. And what makes it even cuter is the religious reference (Villanova is a Catholic university).
The Oreo is a sculpture located in the center of campus. Actually called The Awakening, the Oreo is the place to be in order to really get a sense of Villanova. Clubs have tables set up for their fundraising activities, people are always walking around the ellipse, and on nice days people sit outside to eat and socialize with others.
One of Villanova's core values, Caritas, symbolizes the importance of caring and compassion. I am part of the Caritas learning community, which means I spend 3 hours a week tutoring at a high school in Philadelphia. But even those who are not in this program are able to display Caritas through the day of service and other service opportunities. During the day of service, students from all grades and all majors come together on a Saturday to volunteer at various sites in and around Philly.
Another one of Villanova's core values, Unitas, represents the unity among different people and their different stories. There are many events where students come together and share their opinions and viewpoints, no matter how different they are. There are events where students of different cultures and academic standings come together to support one cause they all believe in. This sense of oneness that exists at Villanova that is quite unique.
The atmosphere at Villanova is very positive and empathetic. Classmates are nice and friendly, professors are approachable and helpful, and even people whom one may have never conversed with will at least smile. It is true that every school tries to nurture the student, but Villanova's atmosphere is so much more optimistic and happier.
8. Campus Corner.
Campus Corner is a small place to eat at the edge of campus. It provides students with most of their freshmen (and older) 15, with foods full of grease and calories. However, the food is so good, students can't stop consuming it even though they are aware of the unhealthiness. Also, fun fact - around September of this year, Harry Styles was spotted at CampCo!
Although Villanova is in a more suburb-like area, with houses surrounding it and probably quieter than other campuses, it's in a perfect location. Down the Main Line on Lancaster Avenue, there are many small stores and restaurants that are great for college students. There are so many things to do on Lancaster Avenue that one may not be able to go to all of them before they graduate. At the same time, there's a bus to King of Prussia Mall, one of the biggest in the nation, and it is also a 20 minute train ride into Philadelphia.
10. Basketball season.
I can't explain basketball season at Nova. The hype for basketball season is too real... is the best I can do. Hoops Mania, a pep-rally of sorts, indicates the beginning of basketball season and it only gets more exciting from there. Everyone tries to get a ticket to every game. Those who are not able to go to the games, watch it wherever they can, no matter what. The spirit of the students, families and Nova alumni stands strong during games and the concept of Unitas really holds. When I went to my first (and only) game, it was such an amazing feeling... to proudly say that I am a part of Nova Nation! Just as a last praise for Nova, I'm excited for March Madness and I hope we make it to the final four! Go cats!