Make New Friends, but Keep the Old

I’m sad to say that the 2012-2013 school year was definitely my hardest at W&M. It wasn’t because of my rigorous course load, my TWAMPy habit of overcommitting, or any of the problems life threw at me. It was because when May rolled around I had to say goodbye to some of the best people I have ever had the pleasure to call friends. Graduation this year was terrible. It didn’t help that spring 2013 was the best of all of my W&M spring semesters. The school activities in the spring are among the best, including Holi, a Hindu festival where you throw paint powder at each other, and Campus Golf, a philanthropy even thrown by a social sorority, for which I may have wandered campus in a blow-up blueberry suit (it was very Violet Beuregarde). Spring in Williamsburg is beautiful, which meant frequent trips to College Creek, a local beach loved by students, and Jamestown Pie (I’m telling you it’s amazing!!).

It all made graduation so much harder. The very people who had made William & Mary my home for the past three years were leaving me for bigger things and I desperately wanted to be among them. It was a wake-up call. As I heard more and more people focussing on the future—grad schools, interviews, jobs, Fulbrights, Teach for America—and going out on their own in the real world, I realized that it was almost time for me to do the same. The future is scary, and as students began returning to campus that fall I realized that another year at home was a good thing.

In my opinion, Convocation is one of the College’s finest traditions. For those of you who are unaware, let me enlighten you: Convocation occurs at the end of the first day of classes, when the new students are officially welcomed into the Tribe. The incoming freshmen and transfers get all dressed up with their hall-mates and Orientation Aids to listen to the President’s welcoming address, and an angelic rendition by the choir of our Alma Mater. Once it’s all over they are ushered through the Wren Building and beyond, where they are greeted by the rest of the Tribe. I will warn you—it’s overwhelming. The upperclassmen are waiting on the opposite side of the Wren, chanting “freshmen!” and raining down high fives as the newest members of the Tribe arrive. I remember walking through that crowd almost four years ago with an unmistakable sense of belonging. Random strangers, soon to be my new family, fought for a chance to be part of my own beginning. It’s amazing being welcomed into the community with your new friends at your side, excited to see what lies ahead—in this case, a never ending line of hands and a picnic on the Sunken Garden.

As it was our last Convocation together, my freshman hall-mates met up and reminisced about the weird times in Gooch Hall, and what was to come. It reminded me that I have to take full advantage of this final year. To me, the worst part of graduating is not being able to walk across campus to see your best friends, but instead having to fly across the county, if not the world. So this fall I spent time reconnecting with old friends, making tons of new ones, and going on all of my favorite Williamsburg adventures.

Now it’s time for the end: senior spring.

My Goal for 2014: figure out what to do with the rest of my life! It’s a lofty one I know, but I have to do it sometime—ideally before I’m forced to move back in with my parents…

– Devyn Harris

Categories: Campus Life, Convocation, Student Blogs, Student Clubs & Orgs, Traditions & Events Tags:

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