20 Days with the Class of 2020

With hundreds of clubs to join, schedules packed with challenging classes, and thousands of new people to meet, the start of college is one of the most riveting times in students’ lives.

“It’s insane! Sleep seems to be getting in the way,” said first year Anna Sumpter about her first weeks on grounds.

Photo courtesy Charlotte Scharfenberg
Photo courtesy Charlotte Scharfenberg

Sumpter represents a small percentage of student-athletes at the University but her struggle to find balance is consistent among many first years. The sense of community throughout grounds however, makes the transition easier.

Aneesh Reddy of Sterling, Virginia was surprised how easy it is to approach people at UVa.

“I get lost all the time” Reddy said. “That’s why I have Google Maps, but I love talking to people so a lot of times I will just stop someone.”

Reddy’s recognition of Charlottesville’s kindness is not an unusual feeling. “People here…are willing to take time out of their day to talk to you,” said first year Brian Santos of Long Valley, New Jersey.

Resident Advisor of Balz Dobie dorm Kay Khosbayar fondly recalls her first year at the University of Virginia. A time made for evolving, a student’s first two semesters of college are not what she would describe as always comfortable but they serve as a collective experience that every UVa student shares.

“I am a first generation college student– I really did not know what I was getting into, but I had a great RA my freshman year,” Khosbayar said.

She found that with the help of her RA, the UVa environment motivated her to work hard, find her niche, and ultimately excel at the University.

In Khosbayar’s words, being an RA herself is her “way of paying it forward.”

Who knows what the next twenty days and four years will hold for the Class of 2020 but one thing is for sure: “First year is exciting,” said Khosbayar. “Every single day I wish I could be a first year again.”


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