10 Unconventional Things I Love about William & Mary

While everyone has heard about the fantastic walk through the Wren Building at Convocation, our amazingly knowledgeable and helpful professors, and the feeling of true community on campus, today I wanted to tell you about some of my favorite things about William & Mary that are a little more off the beaten path.

  1. Southern, but not so Southern Hospitality: We are just far enough south to have all the benefits of the infamous hospitality, without actually having the weather and stereotypes of the deep south. It’s more uncommon to have to open a door yourself than it is to have it held for you by the person in front of you on campus. And knowing that I can stop and ask anyone for directions or help is a pretty special and underrated quality of our community.
  2. Greek Life that functions as a close community within a community: I think that Greek Life on campus is pretty unique when compared with the typical stereotype of Greek students. All of the Greek organizations work together and support one another in a way that only members of the Tribe can understand. There is none of the catty, dramatic exclusion between chapters that one might imagine when thinking about Greek Life. All of the Greek organizations on campus work together each year on several giant philanthropic events such as ARC Carnival and ARC Arts and Crafts which assist with local community members with special needs. To have almost 1/3 of the campus in 30 different Greek organizations all come together for a common cause speaks pretty loudly for how important community and philanthropy are to our campus as a whole.
  3. Walkability of campus: Everyone knows that William & Mary’s campus is unbelievably beautiful. What you don’t hear about as often is that, in my opinion, it’s also the perfect size. You can get to anywhere, from anywhere on campus in 15 minutes or less. The ability to sleep in, wake up, and leave class 7 minutes before it starts is a beautiful thing!
  4. Crim Dell ducks: There is an adorable family of four ducks that live on the Crim Dell. Nothing turns a bad day around as quickly as grabbing a few slices of bread on the way out of Sadler at lunch and feeding those adorable little guys on the way to class. Enough said.
  5. Abundance of coffee locations per capita: Considering that we are a fairly small campus of around 6,000 undergraduates, there are numerous locations to get your morning caffeine boost all over campus. You’ve got the Daily Grind in the center of campus, Aromas, Starbucks in the Bookstore, and a coffee shop in the Business School all around the edges. Of course, all of the dining halls and Student Xchange serve coffee. Finally, there is a brand new branch of student-favorite cafe Aromas in Swem Library (one of my fave new things W&M has provided this semester!) Basically, no matter where you are, you’re not very far from caffeine which can be a lifesaver.
  6. Echo wall: The coolest, most unknown location on campus is hands down the Tyler Gardens on the left side of James Blair Hall, more commonly known as the Echo Wall. I don’t want to completely ruin the surprise, but if you stand in the center of the circular monument where the two lines of bricks connect, turn towards the outside wall of Blair, and speak: your mind explodes. No, really. Go try it after your tour. It’s pretty cool. Something about the acoustics and angles of the building and statues of the Tyler family that is too scientific for my history major mind to gather creates a pretty awesome experience.
  7. Free access to all of the Colonial American history that you could ever ask for: Students get in free to all of the Colonial Williamsburg buildings and attractions, Jamestown Settlement, Historic Jamestowne, and Yorktown Settlement. The beginning of our country is literally on our doorstep and completely up for the taking. Normally, to go to all of these living museums would cost several hundred dollars all together so definitely take advantage of this commonly overlooked perk!
  8. Incredible Class Options: In addition to your general Bio 101 and World History courses, William & Mary has a fantastic range of very unique and specialized classes. Many of the professors at W&M are experts in very particular fields and teach a class or two based off their research and expertise in that area. These classes are often extremely interesting because the topic is something the professor is incredibly passionate and knowledgable about. For example, this semester alone I am taking a history class on gender, military, and war which focuses on 20th century American military history, how the military serves as an enforcer of masculinity, and why men and women choose to serve in each war. I’m also enrolled in Colonial and Revolutionary Williamsburg History which is fascinating because we often will hold class in Colonial Williamsburg where the event we are studying actually took place. These kinds of exclusive seminar classes make an incredibly interesting supplement to our liberal arts education here at William & Mary.
  9. President Taylor Reveley: Our president is arguably the coolest person on this campus, ask anyone. It’s actually pretty indescribable. He just exudes this aura of awesome in everything he does, especially his oh so elegant speeches. He is also enormously open to the campus, considering how busy he is, you know, running W&M. He holds a lunch every month in his house which is open to students on a first come, first serve sign up basis (I’ve gone twice and it’s the coolest thing ever. Seriously. Do this. If you do nothing else during your time at W&M, have lunch with President Reveley!). Not to mention that he dresses up as Santa and reads How the Grinch Stole Christmas at the Yule Log ceremony and that they make Taylor tees with his face on them to give out during the Homecoming Parade. Seriously, I am humbled daily in the presence of his awesomeness.
  10. Lake Matoaka in the Fall: You haven’t seen beautiful until you’ve been out to Matoaka in late October. I think that the Matoaka Amphitheater is one of the hidden gems of campus on any day, but in autumn it really becomes magical. The view of the lake that bears Pocahontas’s original name surrounded by brilliant shades of orange, red, yellow and brown is definitely a sight to see (and take selfies with!)
Categories: Academics, Arts & Culture, Campus Life, Fraternity & Sorority Life, Student Blogs, Williamsburg Tags: , , , , , , ,
  1. Kimberly Savage
  2. Karen Schultz

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