1. The Chemistry Building
Lecture hall 402 is notably one of the most popular lecture halls for large undergraduate classes at the University. In all honesty, it is a space that has stood the test of time because it probably hasn’t changed at all since the 1970s. The perpetual renovations on the Chemistry Building — which have been going on since I started at U.Va. two years ago — are both ugly and annoying. I’m just happy I don’t have to enter this building for another semester.
2. Annoying roommates and hallmates
You know who you are. Leaving the University gives us the opportunity to create a little bit of space between 15 to 20 stress-fueled young adults who are all capable of being louder than a fighter jet at 2:30 in the morning. Well, this might be a bit of an exaggeration, but it is nice to have a bit of peace and quiet. Unfortunately, peace and quiet at home may seem like a fever dream — I’m talking to you younger siblings.
3. Shower shoes
Taking a shower with something on your feet feels sinful. Let’s be real, dorm showers are not as comfortable as the ones at home, but it never hurts to equip yourself with some handy dandy flip flops that you had purchased at the dollar store. In the comfort of your own home there is luckily no need to don the good old flops, and it is a luxury that I happily accept.
4. In-person presentations
If you have serious stage fright like me, then you know that giving presentations is one of the most difficult things to ask of a college student — or maybe I should just take a public speaking class. Thanks to the remote classes being offered this semester, nobody has to step up and present through the jitters. In turn, that means there’s a lower possibility to stumble all over your script in front of a large group. All in all, it's a big win in my book.
5. Walking from Gilmer Hall to McLeod Hall in 10 minutes
Let me preface this by advising against thinking you can make the journey between these two buildings in under 10 minutes. According to Google Maps, it takes 17 minutes. Thankfully, none of us have to worry about making rapid cross-Grounds expeditions, and I will not miss the heart attack-inducing sprint between classes every Tuesday and Thursday afternoon. Those afternoons were like a race to the finish line — biology lecture — but now I can sit back and relax since my classes are just a click away.
6. Classes that meet once a week for over two hours
I have to be honest, I have never taken one of these classes. I just cannot imagine sitting in a classroom for two hours and 15 minutes straight. Thankfully, we can now take classes in the comfort of our own homes, so it is easier to have a change in scenery, if necessary. Just make sure your Zoom audio isn’t on when you’re microwaving your popcorn — that might make for a little embarrassment.
7. The Sheetz bouncers
This is one thing that has always confused me — what’s the point in having big, scary security guards outside of a convenience store? It gives off some very strict energy on a Friday or Saturday night when there are people of all types entering and exiting the midnight snack Mecca for the ordinary U.Va. student. I’m just trying to get my mac-and-cheese in peace. I promise that I am not trying to steal any frozen Hot-Pockets — even though they’d make a great snack for later.
8. Community laundry rooms
You’re entering the laundry room and someone is taking your clothes out of the washer and putting them on top, socks falling haphazardly all over the place — sound familiar? Yeah, me too. Thankfully the only people taking the laundry out from your washer at home are likely other family members. Now if it’s not someone you know, I think you might have a problem on your hands.
9. Crowded university buses
Don’t get me wrong, I love the University buses — they are a great way to get around Grounds. However, I think we can all say that the iconic overcrowding at certain times in the mornings and afternoons is pretty bad. Packing in like sardines until the bus is nearly bursting isn’t the most preferable, especially when you have the scents of Old Spice and a tuna salad sandwich simultaneously pummeling you in the face.
OK, at this point I understand that the University is the closest thing we think we have to heaven on Earth, and I too would like to be there instead of here at home. However, we have to stay safe and properly practice social distancing during these difficult times. Here’s a bit of positivity to round out this Top 10 — many of those who have decided to stay at the University have made great efforts on the COVID-19 front. In fact, U.Va. Health, which has been working with those directly affected by the virus, has been given over 20,000 masks from University parents and alumni in China.