Exploring Future Options: Winterim College Tours

Tuesday, March 16, 2021

During Winterim week 2021, several Heathwood families elected to explore future options by touring colleges. We asked junior and sophomore sisters Adelaide and Adair Wood to fill us in on the details of their Winterim college trip, and here's what they had to report.

 

Washington and Lee

On our first day of college tours, we visited Washington and Lee in Lexington, Virginia.  It was a cloudy and overcast day; however, the campus was still beautiful with unique architecture and lots of history surrounding the school.  Before walking around campus, we grabbed lunch at Taps, a delicious lunch option in the George’s Hotel.  After lunch, we arrived at the campus and stopped by the admissions office to scan a barcode for a self-guided tour around the school.  We walked around a little bit and then met up with a family friend who is currently a freshman at W&L.  She showed us around campus and told us everything we needed to know about Washington and Lee.  During our tour, we met the president of the school outside of the cafeteria where a few staff members were passing out W&L t-shirts, cookies, and merchandise to students passing by.  Even though COVID has limited the functioning of schools all over the country, W&L was definitely adapting and the students were still happy throughout the entire campus.  We walked into a few buildings such as the science building, a freshman dorm, and the library, and were also able to look into multiple other academic buildings and common student spaces.

 

University of Virginia

After visiting Washington and Lee, we traveled to Charlottesville so that we could tour the University of Virginia the next day.  We woke up in Charlottesville (and were lucky enough to spend 2 nights here!) and went to breakfast at a place called Farm Bell that was amazing. We were able to walk around Charlottesville before and after we did our own walking tour at the school, and it was definitely a favorite part about UVA. Charlottesville was very busy with places on every corner to eat, exercise, get coffee, etc. It was also right next to the UVA campus; they almost flowed into each other with little separation. Unfortunately, we did not have an unofficial tour guide when we visited UVA, but this did not make our experience any less special. The campus was gorgeous, students were walking around going to class, eating, and enjoying the perfect weather. Both of us really, really loved UVA and will definitely be going back to visit again once COVID is not as strong and the school offers official tours. 

 

University of Richmond

The University of Richmond was one of our favorite schools that we visited during our Winterim College visits. Rated the #1 most beautiful campus by Princeton Review, the University of Richmond has some of the most beautiful architecture and green spaces we saw all week and certainly lived up to the Princeton Review (in our opinion)! We toured the school with another Heathwood family, the Roberts family, and were able to have an unofficial tour with them and a freshman at the college. Our tour guide was very well-spoken and took us on a full 2-hour tour of the amazing campus in Richmond. While we were lucky enough to have had a contact with the school, if we hadn’t, the University of Richmond offered a driving tour resource and a walking tour resource, which would have been super helpful if we had needed to use them. During our tour we saw a lot of students going to sports practice, eating at the multiple cafes located all around the campus, or studying. We also saw the outdoor classrooms and even an outdoor dining hall that was put up this year because of COVID. Overall, the school adapted really well to COVID as they had new isolation/quarantine units built on the campus that looked really nice and provided a safe environment during this pandemic. Thanks to our tour guide and the naturally gorgeous campus of the University of Richmond, the school was definitely one of our favorites. 

 

Davidson College

Our day at Davidson began with us driving around the outside of the campus as our dad, an alum, pointed-out buildings from the car. We parked after driving around a little and headed to the admissions office where we scanned a barcode on the door which then took us to a campus map and a suggested walking tour guide. We walked on the campus right at the president’s house which overlooks the grassy quads and main part of the campus from the back. We had a great day to walk around, the weather was perfect, and the students thought so too because many of them were outside having picnics, eating, and hanging out or studying on the quad directly in front of the main academic building, the Chambers building. We walked down to the athletic fields and saw the whole football team having practice and runners scattered on the surrounding track, which was really cool because we could see how active a lot of the students were. The student center overlooks the football field, something that we all loved because it made the athletes and non-athletes feel more connected. Overall, Davidson was one of the top three prettiest campuses that we walked on during our Winterim week- we all noticed the big, beautiful, old architecture in the buildings and how the structure of the campus complimented them. Davidson was definitely another favorite this week! 

 

Furman University

After our self guided tour at Davidson, we traveled to Greenville, South Carolina where we ate a delicious and healthy dinner at Core Life Eatery and then went back to our hotel to get a good night of rest before our tour at Furman University the next day.  In the morning, we woke up around 8AM and headed to Furman where we met with Nan Perry, a family friend, who had offered to give us a tour around the campus.  We first stopped by the school bookstore and grabbed some coffee and breakfast sandwiches from an on-campus Starbucks.  Nan then started our tour around Furman.  We were able to walk into the library, cafeteria, the science building, the main gym, and lastly, Nan’s Senior house / apartment.  The campus was beautiful with lots of pretty fountains, green grass, and nice academic buildings.  There were a good amount of students on campus, so we were able to observe bits and pieces of the social aspect at Furman.  Throughout the tour, Nan told us about all her positive experiences at Furman, along with how Furman University stood out to her from all of the colleges she toured as a high schooler.  By the end of our tour, it was easy to say that Furman was another great school option!