As I near the end of my junior year here at W&M, I’ve started to become very nostalgic. Good friends will be leaving me soon and I’ve started coming across my “lasts.” As I look back at the incredible three years that I’ve had here, it’s tough to think back to my first memories of William & Mary. I’ve layered on so many experiences to each of those initial memories that it is hard to sort back through to the beginning. I remember driving around confusion corner when I was young and with my family on a vacation to Colonial Williamsburg. I was exhausted and it was starting to get dark, but my Dad pointed to the Wren and mentioned something about it being really old. The tired nine year old couldn’t have cared less, but now I look at the Wren building every day and smile. I remember visiting early in high school with a friend that lived in Williamsburg. We wandered around and got lost on the woods paths in the center of campus; a mind-boggling feat now as walking through the woods on campus is second nature to me.
One of the things I remember best about my first time interactions with William & Mary was visiting a friend who was a senior when I was a junior in high school. It was October of my junior year and I had just submitted my early decision application. I hopped into the car and traveled by myself down to Williamsburg to live as a college student for a weekend. It was perfect. I met up with my friend and another mutual friend of ours and dined at the Caf. I enjoyed what I thought was the typical college diet of pizza and cereal (in reality the college diet is a little bit healthier). Afterwards we walked down to the magical lake Matoka Amphitheater and sat on the dock. We discussed history and the College as the sunset and the stars started to appear in the sky. Any doubts in my mind that William & Mary wasn’t the place for me had vanished and I prayed harder than ever that my early decision application would turn back an acceptance letter.
After our time on the lake we headed back to my friend’s apartment. It was ten o’clock and I was exhausted, having been up at 6:30 for school that morning. But the day was far from over. We turned down an invitation to go to a zombie apocalypse Nerf war in Sadler and instead chose to get a late night snack from WaWa. This snack was followed by two hours of Fifa playing back at my friend’s apartment and finally, at 2AM, it was time for sleep.
Looking back, this weekend was the perfect beginning to my time at William & Mary. What is even cooler is some of my last experiences as an undergraduate student at the College will be in the very same apartment that I stayed in four years ago. I will be living as an RA next year. As you start to build your memories of your time here, record the early ones. Remember what it’s like to get lost on campus. Remember what it’s like to be exhausted from Orientation yet still so excited. Remember what the campus looks like with your fresh eyes. Years down the road you will look back and smile at your own first glimpses of home.
Welcome to the Tribe.
– Will Cumbia