7 Things I Love About My University

I am currently a senior at the University of Arizona in Tucson, Ariz., studying science journalism and environmental studies. Over the past four years, I have grown to appreciate and adore my university. Why? For several reasons, but here are just a few of many. This is why I love my university…

1) It’s in my hometown, Tucson. I use the term “hometown” loosely because I have two hometowns. I was born and raised in Redlands, California, but most of my teens were in Tucson, hence my two hometowns. When I first moved to Tucson, I absolutely hated it. Now, I’ve come to appreciate this little city in a dry patch of desert and having my university close to my family has been really nice.

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Views from my university’s ecological reserve south of campus, Tumamoc Hill

2) Plenty of astronomy, telescopes, observatories, and a huge astronomy department. My university has one of the best astronomy departments in the entire world. Tucson is one of the astronomy capitals of the world and for good reason — with clear skies and amazing weather for most of the year, it’s the perfect place to observe. I love being able to go outside and find the Milky Way, or visit a telescope and see Jupiter and it’s moons.

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Steward Observatory on campus

3) Sports! I love sports. Football, basketball, baseball, anything. My university has a huge sports culture and I’ve always gotten season tickets to our sports events.. My mom once told me that she was jealous because I had the perfect college experience, meaning that I went to a large university with exciting sports events and a college-town environment (she went to school in southern California, where not all universities are like my university).

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Wilbur the Wildcat, UA’s mascot at a basketball game

4) Food! Tucson is the only city in the entire United States with a UNESCO “City of Gastronomy” certification. It stems from our upbringing from Native American culture and their use of agriculture in the desert. We also have a variety of other types of food and the quality of the food only grows as our little city expands. Without a doubt, Tucson has the best Mexican food ever and when I lived in Houston and Washington D.C., I missed the easy access to incredible Mexican food. We have delicious Indian, Italian, Chinese, American, and vegan options throughout the city.

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Local agriculture in Arizona

5) Opportunity for science journalism. Without my university’s rich history in science and astronomy, I doubt that I would have received my internships at NASA. The University of Arizona is a top research institution of all types of sciences. Astronomy, optical science, engineering, aerospace, ecology, environment, conservation, neuroscience, medical stuff, psychology, and many more. It’s so easy to discover a new story idea from the plentiful amount of research conducted on my university. I’ve really loved and appreciated the opportunities that my university has provided me in regards to talking to scientists and writing about their science.

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Here is me with a video I produced for Hubble’s 28th anniversary plays in front of the space telescope’s control center!

6) Conservation and environmental-based lifestyle and mentality. Tying into my previous comments about the University of Arizona being a top research institution, there has been millions of dollars dedicated to conservation and sustainable living. There are literally thousands of people researching conservation and sustainability, and thousands more students and individuals on campus who support these researchers. We implement sustainable living in all areas of campus, from composting in the cafeteria to the “greening the game” initiative at sports events to having native plants around campus. It’s always inspired me to live a more eco-friendly lifestyle.

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Native plants can be found all around campus

7) ASU vs. UA. The Arizona State University versus University of Arizona rivalry has been alive from the very beginning. ASU is in Phoenix, Arizona, and UA is in Tucson. I’ve heard that UA is more obsessed with the rivalry than ASU but that’s honestly probably because ASU is like the big brother to UA. It’s much larger than UA, but that doesn’t stop UA from being competitive with ASU in every aspect — sports, research, funding, etc. Regardless, I’m proud that I’m a Wildcat and not a Sun (or *scum*) Devil. Xoxo.

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This is the meme photo that everyone at my university absolutely loves

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Thank you for reading! What do you think of my university? Let me know in the comments below and like this post if you want more like it!

Xoxo’s

Emmalee

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Instagram Twitter@emmaleemauldin

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