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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at VCU chapter.

I came to Virginia Commonwealth University as a freshman not knowing anything about Richmond. I had never actually visited Richmond before visiting VCU. So far, I’ve noticed that this city is a totally different world than any I have ever lived in. I’m from up north and this town is very different compared to that. Richmond has its ups and downs, but I will always hold the quirks of it close to my heart. Living in the city has changed my perspective of life for the better. There are new, random things I see every day; some I can appreciate and some I can learn from.


  1. There is always something to do. Just walk down the street and you’ll see a thousand flyers of events going on around town and on campus. Some of the best places to check for events is the VCU telegram and the “events” page on Facebook. So many cool festivals and more are always happening here in Richmond.

  2. There are 100 different sirens. The first week I lived in Richmond I was very confused. How could there possibly be so many different siren combinations? And why do they all have to go off at the ass-crack of dawn or when you’re trying to sleep?

  3. The roads and sidewalks are horrible. If you go to VCU, then you know you’ve tripped over a brick on the sidewalk before. You’ve seen at least three other people trip, too. If you also have a car, then you know to watch out for potholes in the city.

  4. There are can-collectors. Ever walk outside to see a homeless person digging through your garbage? Most likely they are trying to find aluminum cans. They collect them and turn them in for change. Don’t be too alarmed. 

  5. There are stickers everywhere. From light posts to laptops, you’ll see a cool sticker somewhere here in Richmond. People like to express themselves here.

  6. Graffiti and murals. You’ll see them in every alley or street you walk through. Sometimes the messages can be random or inappropriate, but that’s the hilarious part. On the other hand, the murals are all beautiful. We have some serious artwork in this city.  

  7. People dress to impress. I was so excited to come to college and wear sweatpants with no makeup every day. I thought it would be a place where no one cares about the way you look. However, since VCU’s campus is smack dab in the middle of the city, it always feels like you’re going out into the real world. You’ve gotta look good.

  8. The city is kind of unsafe sometimes. When I first got here, the VCU alerts weren’t as bad. Over the years, however, they have gotten more frequent and sometimes right across the street from the places I’ve lived at. It’s always important to have a pal and pepper spray on hand at all times.

  9. People are really active. You’ll always see someone jogging down the street or laying on a hammock somewhere. People even walk on ropes in the middle of campus by the library. Richmond provides such beautiful spots for people to nestle into and explore.  

  10. Most importantly, I’ve realized that people are pretty friendly. Most people will hold the door open. There have also been many times I’ve exchanged friendly smiles when walking past a stranger down the street. It’s nice to know people here are still human despite all the weirdness. 

Photo Credit: Cover by Jasmine Medrano-Guevara, 1 by Hailey McQuiller, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 by Maelyn Platon, 7 by Chelsea Schmidt, 8, 9, 10

Jasmine Medrano-Guevara is a senior studying print and online journalism at Virginia Commonwealth University. She enjoys laughing at corny jokes, trying new recipes on Pinterest, makeup and writing reviews on Yelp. Jasmine hopes to work for a women's magazine after college. You can follow her on Instagram @jasminemedrano_ !
Keziah is a writer for Her Campus. She is majoring in Fashion Design with a minor in Fashion Merchandising. HCXO!