With an acceptance rate of 56 per cent, it is an honour to be accepted at the University of Washington, writes Saurabh Singh.

I am an undergraduate student at the University of Washington studying Information Technology and Systems. This government-run university is located in Seattle, Washington.

Additionally, two more campuses are also located in the cities of Tacoma and Bothell. Founded in 1861, UW is one of the oldest universities on the West Coast of the U.S. The university is ranked 16th among the world top 500 universities by the Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU). With an acceptance rate of only 56 per cent, it is an honour to be accepted.

Not for stragglers

At University of Washington, it is difficult to predict whether a student will shine or burn when exposed to the collegiate academic spotlight. Thanks to the size of the University, students can choose from a variety of courses each quarter, and an equally impressive breadth and depth of ripe resources. And because of the size of the University, the quality of classes and the teaching styles of professors range widely.

Academics at UW undergraduation is quite rigorous. They have a quarter system with three quarters comprising an academic year. With only ten weeks in each quarter, each week is filled with assignments, tests, quizzes and mid-term exams with evaluation spread over.

And because so many students call UW home, professors do not usually cater to stragglers – most often, a student sinking in an intro-level class will not get help unless he or she asks. Intro-level classes are the initial hurdles of the race. Some find the academic isolation a veritable security blanket from the ever-looming threat of participation, while others feel at sea in the vastness of the lecture hall. However, the class size shrinks with time, and eventually upperclassmen-level courses recall the intimacy of high school. In addition, attending a large research University has perks for independently motivated students.

Nobel Laureate academia does not have to intimidate – many UW kids ask questions, go to professors during office hours and become friends with them. A motivated, proactive learner can always find his or her own niche in which to flourish.

Athletics are undeniably a huge part of the Husky experience. In fact, outside of Washington, UW is possibly more commonly referred to by its mascot.

Determination pays

At University of Washington, some people fall in love from day one and have to tear themselves away on graduation day, while others drag themselves through school as a chore and cannot wait to get out into the post-college world, but it seems, like most things at this school, that it truly is what you make of it. In all, if a student is determined to make his or her time at UW a positive social and intellectual experience, it is definitely within the realm of possibilities to do so.