In the spirit of the upcoming holiday (which actually isn’t Christmas, despite what the radio is playing and the decorations already consuming literally every store I’ve been in over the past few days) I thought I would give a list of a few things William & Mary has made me thankful for. I’m not going to lie, this school has some tough classes and even tougher professors BUT in my 4 years of being a college student I have learned that it’s important to look at the happy side and not the stressful one (or to look at the roses and not the thorns). Well, now that I’ve gotten all of the cheesy, lifetime-movie stuff out of the way, here are 5 things William & Mary has made me thankful for.
1. Tough Graders
I know it’s super TWAMP-y of me to say but I’m actually thankful for the professors that have been tough on me. Recently, one of my professors gave me a grade that, while a fine grade, wasn’t really what I wanted. He told me that he knew I could do better, and that if I just took a step back and really looked at my paper, I could create a masterpiece. (Well, a masterpiece as far as college-level political theory course papers go.) I’m grateful because he not only boosted my self-confidence in my writing ability by telling me he knew, without a doubt, I could create a great paper, but he helped me realize that pushing myself is never not worth it. There’s always room for improvement.
2. Complex Readings
Again, I know I’m a super TWAMP but, I love reading things that make me really think. I know in the real world I’m not going to have someone who will give a lecture about whatever it is that I need to understand, so it’s important I get this skill down-pat now.
3. Participation Grades
Participation has never really been a struggle for me, but I like the added incentive to speak up in class. Sure, you might be wrong but, when you’re right, it feels great. Plus, who doesn’t like an easy grade? All you have to do is go to class, do the homework and raise your hand every once in a while.
4. Real Conversations
Like I said earlier, there is always room for improvement. Although we all love William & Mary, sometimes we need to have those tough conversations about sexual assault, race or mental health. It’s important to know when to speak up and that just because you speak up doesn’t mean you don’t love whatever your speaking up against. Just because I talk to my peers and professors about the issues that I see doesn’t mean I love W&M any less. Personally, I think those who stand up for these issues are just showing how much they love the W&M, because they’re trying to make it a better and safer place. I’m thankful to live in a place where I’m around people who are strong and inspire me to stand up for what I believe in.
There’s one professor on campus who has been not just a teacher to me, but a mentor, friend and kitchen sink. Whenever I’m struggling with a decision or just plain stressed out, she’s always there to offer me support (and snacks, lots of snacks). I hope that everyone has someone here like that, whether it’s a friend, professor or councilor. Having a support system has been a huge part of what has made my college experience great.
*Quote by Alphonse Karr
**Image thanks to staugustine.com