Dorothy was right. There’s no place like home. But as a senior at Kellam High School in Virginia Beach, I was wondering, what if my new home would be too close to my old home? My 12th grade year was a bit challenging for me. I had my goals set on maintaining excellence in the classroom and on the basketball court, as I was intent on receiving an athletic scholarship. I was ecstatic when William & Mary coaches began recruiting me and then ultimately offered me that sought-after scholarship. As a result of growing up less than an hour away from W&M, I knew that it was a great university with superior academics and Division-1 athletics. To me, it was the best of both worlds. On the other hand, the university was only less than an hour away from my house. That would definitely be too close! I wouldn’t be able to get that wonderful college experience that all of my friends were raving about, and my parents would be visiting my dorm every other day! There was no way that W&M could be the place for me. Fortunately, I placed all of those concerns aside, took my chances, and visited the school. I had a great time! I enjoyed meeting my future teammates and coaches, as well as administrators and faculty members. The positives certainly outweighed the only huge negative of distance.
Additionally, that one huge negative became one of the best things about college for me. It turned out that my family only really visited me on our game days. This was special for me because I always had someone cheering me on during games. The distance between my new home and my old home was also convenient when I needed to make a quick trip for laundry or a good old home-cooked meal!
For those of you that live in W&M’s backyard, don’t rule out the possibility of attending one of the nation’s best institutions just because you think it’s too close. Take a trip to campus, and make your decision based on the factors that really matter. Your parents and guardians will respect your independence, and know that this is now your home away from home. And remember, there’s no place like home-whether it’s your new home or your old home!
– Kia Butts