Welcome to Virginia Tech: Cody Lopez
Written by Cody Lopez.
There are so many moving pieces that it can really overwhelm you. That’s not to say it’s not exciting, but you’re about to move to a new town (for some, a new state or even new country), live in a new home, surround yourself with new people, and gain a new level of independence. Some of you have been Hokies your entire lives; to some of you, it’s brand new – but we’re all Hokies now.
When you move into your residence hall, talk to your hallmates. Get to know your RA. They’re not out to get you, and they all have really interesting and inspiring stories (and yes, before you ask, I may have been an RA for a couple years), not to mention they can really help make this transition a breeze. Embrace the fact that you don’t have – or need to use – a car. Blacksburg is a beautiful place to explore and we couldn’t ask for a more aesthetically pleasing campus, so enjoy a walk to the Duck Pond, downtown (to DP Dough for a delicious calzone), or just across the Drillfield. Take pictures, share memories, and tweet at President Sands while you’re at it (he’ll tweet back, right @VTSandsman?). Get used to the buses you see all over the place. They can be your best friend and your worst enemy, but use them and return the “thank you” that your driver will inevitably shout to you as you step off. They’ll take you anywhere you want to go and they’re free with a Hokie Passport.
Go to residence hall events. Are they always the “coolest” thing you could be doing? Maybe not, but they’re social and your RAs worked hard to put them together (and you’ll more than likely get some free food out of it, too). Speaking of, enjoy our on-campus dining; we literally have the best food in the country, and have been nationally ranked as “#1 Campus Dining” for I don’t know how many years at this point. Take a hike – if you’re like me, hiking is not a common thing where you’re from, but you’ll grow to love all the spots – and good photo-ops – in the New River Valley (be sure to at least do the basics while you’re here: McAfee’s Knob, Dragon’s Tooth, and The Cascades). Go to as many VT Athletics events as possible (most of these are also free). We are known to be a bit of a “football school,” but have you seen the work that Coach Williams and Coach Brooks have been putting in to transform us into a “basketball school,” too? Baseball, softball, wrestling, soccer… there are endless events to choose from, and even if you’re not the biggest sports fan, it’s the community that you’re really experiencing (not only the Virginia Tech Community, but the Blacksburg community, as well). Go play intramural sports and/or join a student organization! There are literally hundreds of choices for any number of interests – some of my favorites include College Mentors for Kids, The Big Event, Relay for Life, Collegiate 4-H, and the Quidditch Team (yes, you read that correctly… QUIDDITCH!).
There is no limit to what you can achieve, learn, and experience during your time here. Everything you try won’t be for you, and everyone you meet won’t be your best friend, but that’s the beauty of it… you can try anything you want; you never know who you will meet. I almost didn’t even apply to this school, and now you couldn’t get me to leave Blacksburg if you tried. So jump to Enter Sandman, scarf down that slice of Benny’s Pizza, and get the education that you’ve earned. I can promise you that there is nothing quite like being a part of the Hokie Nation, so love it and let it love you back.