fun school. Pretty respectable name. You'll surf vb a lot if you go there and on days you dont have a lotta work, go to the outerbanks. 1 and a half hours away to kitty hawk, another hour to the better waves further south.
Yeah I'd say it's only 10-15 min from VB if you take the back way through the higher streets. I go to VCU and make it down to surf whenever there's waves, takes exactly 1.5 hours. So if you're gonna go to ODU and really want to score, just make the trip down to OBX. It's a nice drive.
Alot of people complain about the surrounding city being awful with crime and what not
Anybody know if its really that bad?
No. Well, I guess it depends where you're coming from, but I never had any issues living in ghetto-fab Norfolk for a year. You can also live in the Ghent area aka "Whitey Land" and not ever worry, though you'll pay obsene rent for the "peace of mind".
As for the surf, VB friggen sucks. I'm not trying to bash any locals, but this area is by far the worst setup I've experienced. I do not know much about ODU, but I will say two things:
1. Norfolk is okay. Not the best place in the world, but not the worst either. It's fairly bike friendly, if that's a big deal to you. It has it's fair share of crime, just like any city, but compared to, say, west side B-more, it ain't that bad.
2. Please don't go there "for the surf". Just to get to the beach, you have to crawl through a maze of traffic, suburban sprawl, soccer moms, and military convoys. It's a headache. I dealt with that crap in Oahu every day and at least got rewarded. I'll sit in traffic any day to go surf Rocky Point, but to roll up to the 1st St Jetty and see it chest high and....flat, contrary to the forecast, again. It's super frustrating and even worse when you settle for waist high dribble and then see some doofus post a video of Frisco pier firing like friggen Pipeline on the same damn swell...it's a pattern you experience over and over and it'll make you CRAZY. Perhaps you'll deal better. Maybe you'll have a flexible schedule and be able to drive to Hatteras when it gets good. Personally, I didn't have that luxury. End result: 2 years with maybe a half dozen sessions of decent waves.
I went there/live in Norfolk now, and my gf currently goes to school there. If you are walking around late at night in some of the surrounding areas you might get into a sticky situation but I guess it's a good school and vb isn't far away - although I'll have to admit there are MUCH cooler places you could go. Norfolk is a piece of sh*t for the most part with a few diamond in the rough areas. I know it isn't what you asked, but what are your other options??