The other day, I received a strange request on Facebook: a friend had invited me to like a fan page for…himself? It’s early November, not the start of student assembly campaign season, so I was confused until I took a look. Turns out, this friend is applying for Masters of Music programs, and created a Facebook page and website to promote his skills to conservatories around the country. This episode made me think about the power of the individual at W&M, especially those individuals I get to learn from and grow with on a daily basis. So, here and now on campus, here is what a few of my friends are up to!
My big sister in Women’s Chorus is making progress on her thesis in the English department, and just got accepted to a Master of Library and Information Science program! As vice president of Women’s Chorus, she put in a lot of work into our concert this past weekend in Colonial Williamsburg, and she’s already back at it, helping organize our holiday concert in early December. In addition, she happens to be the president of our very active Harry Potter club, among other things, and happens to be the most upbeat person I’ve met this year.
One of my best friends from high school, who coincidentally ended up at W&M with me, is involved with NARAL Pro-Choice America and VOX: Voices for Planned Parenthood, and is currently organizing a talk in which women who have had abortions share their personal stories. Her passion for reproductive rights is tireless, and I am so proud to go to college with educated, open-minded students like her. Besides this, she’s also incredibly dedicated to fitness and gets amazing grades—and she still finds time to get coffee with me and talk feminism, literature, travel, and music until we’ve consumed all the caffeine in Aromas and call it a night.
My closest friend from my freshman dorm has his sights set on law school, and recently found himself drawn to a specialization: environmental law. Last summer, he worked as a canvasser for an NGO, Clean Water Action, and helped raise money for research and lobbying. This year, he’s looked to W&M sustainability groups, including SEAC and AMP, to keep learning about grassroots organizing and environmental education. We’re definitely both invested in our time on campus, but whenever we study together, we always end up exploring graduate program websites and hunting for apartments in New York City. No matter where we end up, it’s so nice to dream big with someone.
Last but definitely not least, another of my closest friends has found ways to pursue his passion for music, in and outside of a classroom. Within the first month of freshman year, he joined a chamber ensemble and a cappella group, taking full advantage of the amazing performance groups on campus, and has decided to keep going with a music major as well. So now, in addition to voice, he is putting a ton of energy into exploring musicology and departmental research, and has also found a job as a choral scholar at a nearby church. His dedication, focus, and self-awareness are really inspiring to me, and I’m always looking forward to spending time with him and his music.
We may be in the middle of a semester, but W&M students don’t wait around for summer break or until after graduation to pursue their goals and make things happen. These four friends are just the start; all the individuals in our Tribe are constantly showing me, whether through a Facebook page or otherwise, that they are doing amazing things, here and now.