For Students By Students: Why W&M

We Admit It! The next few days leading up to May 1 are a real joy for us here in the Office of Undergraduate Admission. We jump up and down with excitement as we see the different names who have officially joined our Class of 2021. We remember your applications and your stories, and eagerly anticipate the great things you will accomplish as members of our community.

Leading up to next week’s matriculation deadline, our students wanted to share their passion for W&M with you, and explain what their W&M experience has meant to them. Today you will be hearing from Jaya Uppal, a member of the Class of 2018.

In addition to Jaya’s below post, you are welcome to watch this series of Why W&M videos in order to get a sense for what it looks, feels and sounds like to be a member of the Tribe.

We hope that you decide to join us here in Williamsburg next fall. We think the WORLD of you. But please know that no matter what decision you make, we wish you all the best moving forward, and are confident that you are going to achieve tremendous things during your college career. Given your accomplishments up to this point, for you, the sky really is the limit.

Jaya Uppal
Ardsley, New York
Major: Public Policy

Dearest newest members of our beloved community,

Welcome to your new home. We are so lucky to have all of you brilliant, kind souls at William & Mary. I know you all have worked so hard to get here, and college may seem like a big, scary place, but let me tell you – you’ve made the best decision.

When I came to William & Mary almost three years ago, I was honestly exhausted with school, and wasn’t even sure exactly why I was going to college, beyond the fact that’s what everyone did where I’m from. Now, looking back, I feel like that was a different person.

Don’t get me wrong, my time here has been anything but easy – you’re definitely going to stumble, work harder than you’ve ever worked before, and face many disappointments (shoutout to the 35 I got on a Calc exam my freshman year). You’re going to join way too many clubs (I’m still on the climbing club listserv and I have never climbed in my life), and wake up some days and wonder, what am I doing here?

But what nobody has told you about your years here is that you are going to fall in love. You are going to be absolutely humbled by all the passionate people around you, who are constantly working to make William & Mary, and the world, a better place. You are going to fall in love with your professors, who will go out of the way to send you emails of appreciation when you participate in class, and bring their two beautiful golden retrievers to their office hours. You are going to fall in love with learning, and take classes that leave you astonished, wondering how anyone goes through life without knowing these things.

You are going to fall in love with activities you’ve never tried before, like that sport where people throw discs around, and find a family like you’ve never had before. Your freshman roommate will become your closest friend, and you will learn the meaning of the words platonic soulmate.

You’re going to look back at freshman year and think about just how antiquated your views were, and about how much you have grown. You’re finally going to find a passion, and learn just how much joy you get from serving others.

Your experience is not going to be the same as mine, and you are going to doubt yourself along the way, but by deciding to come to William & Mary, you have just opened yourself to making your world a lot bigger and more beautiful than it was before.

Welcome to your Tribe. We look forward to learning and growing alongside you.

Signed,
Jaya Uppal ’18

Brad Harlan
Assistant Dean of Admission

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