I can’t help but feel an unmatched maternal-type love for my campus whenever I set foot on the $50,000-a-year grass that the University of Richmond would insist we only touch wearing Tory Burch shoes if they could. I think everyone should deeply believe that their campus is unsurpassed, but in this case, my school actually is the best, and any thought to the contrary is blasphemous and just plain wrong. If you are honestly brazen enough to suggest that another school could go head-to-head with U of R and win, it’s because you haven’t spent a day walking around with the over-priveleged, silken-haired gods and goddesses I call my brothers and sisters on the Barbie doll campus that makes all the other campuses want to find a bathroom and immediately purge their lunches.
- Let’s begin with the D-Hall dessert island. A few years back, U of R was given an endowment specifically for the desserts. (It is rumored that someone affiliated with Auntie Anne’s pretzels made this donation, but such claims have never been verified.) Now there is an entire island dedicated to at least 10 different types of desserts that change nearly every meal. I don’t care what you think you know about U of R, but the chocolate chip cookies are bangin’.
- Continuing with food (who’s surprised?) D-Hall also offers something like more than 15 different types of cereal that the students vote on each year. This is a point of pride for me, and a shining example of how my school stands out among the breakfast-barren rest.
- There is no better place to be than Richmond in the fall except Richmond in the spring. I’m pretty sure U of R develops special species of trees that change to unnaturally beautiful hues of orange and red and heads the funding to have them planted all over the entire city. (VCU, feel free to thank us any time.) And the temperature in the spring is so perfect you’ll think you’ve died and gone to heaven, but the grass is much more lush and green on campus than it is beyond the pearly white gates.
- At senior socials, the school orders a beer truck that serves draught beer beyond your typical frat party Miller Light (although they have that too because U of R doesn’t discriminate between those of us with more evolved palates and those of us without).
- During graduation weekend, U of R hosts a candlelight ceremony where all the students are presented with a single candle and line the lake on campus (that’s right, add the beautiful Westhampton Lake – complete with gazebo – to this list) to watch the fireworks show the night before commencement.
- The study abroad program is highly encouraged from your first pre-application tour to your last graduation speech. You do not come to U of R without already planning what country you want to visit.
- I need to give a plug for financial aid here because without it, I’d have been slumming at some other state university for four years.
- Helloooo, we are the only school with Spiders as a mascot. If you don’t get why this is awesome, you weren’t meant to.
- Free laundry, 400 free print credits per semester, $800 dining dollars that come with the meal plan. It’s the little things that count, people, and usually the ones that add up really quickly, too.
Real talk, though, I could keep listing the amenities and quirks and traditions that make U of R the best, but all that means is they did their job: when I stepped back on Spider turf for Homecoming this weekend – as a visitor, no less – it still felt like home.