That may sound a little apocalyptic, but I’m getting down to the two-week mark left in my college career, so forgive me. We’ve just finished our last week of classes, which usually is a happy moment, and this year it was happy but also tinged with nostalgia. “This is the last time I’m going to have a class in Morton.” “This is the last time I’m going to have to wake up at 7:30 for a class.” “This is the last time I’ll get my post-science class hot chocolate and scone.” Dramatic? Yes. Warranted? Absolutely. I love William & Mary and I’m so glad I transferred here. This place immediately became my home away from home and the people I get to surround myself with blow me away every day.
On your first day of classes, you participate in the Convocation ceremony where important people wish you well on your college career at William & Mary, you get your class pin, there is a free all-school picnic, and you are officially welcomed to the Tribe. The welcome isn’t like most welcomes though. You walk through the Wren building towards the Sunken Garden and all of the returning students are on the other side, cheering for you and what lies ahead for you at the College. You get to walk Super Bowl style down a “tunnel” of high-fives from the Wren building to the Sunken Garden and it is the most reassuring feeling in the world, knowing that your university is just as excited that you’re there as you are.
The bookend to this is your Commencement ceremony, where you begin a tour of campus by walking the opposite way through the Wren building. It’s W&M’s way of letting you go and encouraging you to put your skills to the test and take on the world. Whether it’s through science, art, or government, William & Mary students have been killing it for 321 years and you are a brand new part of that legacy. This used to just be something I would talk about on my tours, but I just gave my last tour this week and now I know far too many details about the time and place of that walk. Commencement and graduation are looming on the not too distant horizon and it’s getting hard for me to deny it now. I’m going to have to leave William & Mary very soon, but before I go I’m going to make sure that the new students, particularly you transfers, know that this is the best place there could possibly be.
– Kate Fitzgerald