It is hard (for me) to believe, but we are quickly approaching the halfway point of my last semester of undergrad! The past few months have been about 50% schoolwork and 50% planning for postgrad, which requires a lot of thinking back. It’s strange to think about it this way, but every past organization, project, and class, from first semester freshman year to right now, has helped me get to where I am. It’s been a fun challenge to take these experiences and build them into a professional and personal vision for what I want my life to be like after I leave William & Mary, one cover letter and tailored resume at a time.
As much as I’ve been compiling and analyzing my past experiences, I also wanted to find some new, future-oriented way to be involved in my final semester. About a month ago, I saw the perfect opportunity in Student Happenings: William & Mary Library Ambassadors. A few other colleges around the country have a similar program that teaches student representatives about their campus library system through workshops, speakers, and meetings with faculty and staff. With this newfound knowledge, student ambassadors can then work more efficiently to engage the rest of campus (and the community!) with library events, resources, and opportunities. William & Mary’s program is especially great because it began not with a faculty or staff member, but with a student, a fellow senior.
We had our first meeting on Friday and as soon as we did introductions — name, year, major, and what you’re currently reading — I knew that I was in the right place. Any first meeting of an organization feels like a lot of information at once, but I felt energized, not overwhelmed, hearing about the program’s current structure, mission, and initiatives. At one point, Ann Marie Stock, Professor of Hispanic Studies / Film and Media Studies and W&M Libraries Faculty Scholar, mentioned the upcoming hundredth anniversary of coeducation for white women. The anniversary falls during the 2018-2019 academic year. This means some current members of the Library Ambassador program will be around to help plan the associated events, but who knows where I’ll be and what I’ll be doing then! At first, the thought was terrifying, but I realized that was exactly the point of finding something new as a second-semester senior.
I could write a long post about how much Swem has meant to me, what I think the W&M library system does for campus and the community, and how much I value libraries in general, especially the vision set out by the American Library Association of intellectual freedom and equitable access to services. After all, I am planning to apply to graduate school in library and information science a few years down the road and have been giving these questions serious thought. For now, though, I am excited to have found an organization that is on my wavelength. It’s a good feeling to be balancing the job search, which is intensely personal, with work that will help William & Mary be an even better — more connected, more critical — place to learn for years after I am gone.