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Top 10 ways to check out U.Va. without coming to Grounds

Here are some tips to avoid the hassle of visiting the University in the age of COVID-19

Without coming to Grounds, future first-year students will be able to virtually explore the University experience through digital orientation, but there are many more ways to explore your new home in the meantime.
Without coming to Grounds, future first-year students will be able to virtually explore the University experience through digital orientation, but there are many more ways to explore your new home in the meantime.

1. View livestreams of events

On April 9, the Memorial for Enslaved Laborers was dedicated in an official ceremony aired virtually via livestream. Events such as this can be viewed online either synchronously or asynchronously through the links posted on the U.Va. website and social media pages. These events can give prospective students a view into the importance of tradition and ceremony at the University. Other events, including the annual Lighting of the Lawn, that were unable to be held in person were held virtually and are widely available to introduce prospective students to the University’s culture without needing to be on Grounds. 

2. Follow @UVA on social media

The University’s Instagram, Twitter and Facebook pages offer photos, highlights, videos and links to important websites for prospective students. Everything from articles students should read to weekly updates about life on Grounds is available on these social media platforms. Student stories and beautiful pictures of Grounds can give prospective students a glimpse into life at the University.

3. Read Cavalier Daily articles and follow us on social media

The Cavalier Daily is the longest-running newspaper in Charlottesville and is completely student-run. The Cavalier Daily publishes articles every day that relate to the lives and interests of students. Reporting on everything from sports to news updates and opinion pieces, The Cavalier Daily can help show students things about the University they wouldn’t have otherwise found without visiting Grounds. 

4. FaceTime or video call a friend who attends the University

There isn’t a better way to have a virtual tour. Call a friend, or even reach out to someone you don’t already know too well, and have them show you around Grounds. They will be able to tell you personal anecdotes about their experiences and stories about each building and you can learn their favorite spots. Learning about U.Va from someone you know is so special and can help you fall in love with the school as much as your friend did. 

5. Check the U.Va. website frequently

The University frequently updates its website with important and useful information. Here you can find out about everything from what life at the University might look like after COVID-19, the types of degree programs available and how the health system runs. If you have any questions about U.Va. that can’t be answered through pictures or social media, the website is the way to go. 

6. Follow @pupsofuva on Instagram

This is a personal favorite. With an endless stream of adorable puppies sitting on the Lawn, @pupsofuva is an instant mood booster. There’s no better way to look at the beautiful Lawn and Rotunda than with a fluffy pup sitting in front of it. Honestly, I don’t know which of the two views I prefer. 

7. Research more about Charlottesville

Charlottesville is a beautiful city with a seemingly endless amount of activities. Just starting with the restaurants alone, there is an abundance of local spots within walking distance from the Rotunda — and even more a short trolley ride away. Hiking, apple picking and exploring vineyards around Charlottesville offer even more ways to spice up any weekend at the University.

8. Watch our athletic events on TV

Athletics are very important at the University. Even if you don’t get to sing the “Good Ol’ Song” in person, watching people sing it on TV is the next best thing. Watching a University sporting event can give you a good feel for many Cavalier traditions — and seeing Cav Man dance on the sidelines will surely get you excited to go to a game in person. 

9. Read the U.Va. admissions blog

The U.Va. admissions blog answers many questions and offers a unique perspective from the admissions office. Any and all resources you need from admissions can be found on this blog. A series of posts from current students can also be found, and these offer a realistic view into life at the University as told by a fellow Hoo. 

10. Go to virtual orientation events

Orientation will be held virtually in the summer of 2021. Without coming to Grounds, future first-year students will be able to see all of the presentations that are crucial to understanding the University experience. Orientation will open your eyes to the firsthand experiences students have had and will allow you to begin your journey as a student. Academic advising, course enrollment and a presentation of the resources available at the University await you at virtual orientation this summer.