I want to tell the story of why I chose William & Mary (and why I chose the St Andrews Joint Degree Programme!)
My first official tour of William & Mary was during my sophomore year of high school. I loved it and it quickly became my dream school. It was my greatest goal to be accepted into William & Mary, and I worked really hard to achieve it.
I visited almost 20 other colleges around Virginia and the East Coast. Since my sister is one grade above me, we toured many colleges throughout the years. So, what was different about William & Mary?
I liked that William & Mary was close to where I lived (Chesapeake). It felt familiar, but also new and exciting. I had visited Colonial Williamsburg before and liked it. I thought it would be so fun to live there! Also, I love history and Williamsburg is an important historical landmark. (I study Ancient History, but Colonial Era is cool, too!)
The William & Mary campus itself is beautiful. I felt comfortable and happy being there. The ageless beauty of the Old Campus brick buildings really appealed to me and, of course, I was amazed by the Wren Building! And I found the rest of campus to be particularly charming and picturesque.
A major factor was my impression of the students. I always took note of students when visiting campuses. Did they stop and say hi? Smile? Offer to give directions when I was definitely looking lost? (I have the worst map reading skills!) From my interactions and observations, I could tell that students at W&M were kind and accepting, and I wanted to be part of their community.
Lastly, William & Mary was my favorite college because of its academic rigor. While I was looking forward to having fun in college, I also wanted to be surrounded by students who had a similar work ethic and desire for success.
I found out that I was accepted into the St Andrews Joint Degree Programme months after I had initially been accepted and committed to W&M. I had to decide whether I would attend my dream school for four years, or participate in the Programme, where I would go to St Andrews in Scotland for two whole years.
I hadn’t visited St Andrews, nor had I ever been to Europe. I knew I loved William & Mary. Should I play it safe or take a risk?
Ultimately, my reason for doing the Programme was that I couldn’t turn it down. I had always wanted to see Europe and this unique program was my chance. Meeting the professors at the Joint Degree Admitted Students Day reception helped solidify my decision. They were so wonderful and excited at the possibility of working with us.
Choosing William & Mary was an easy decision but choosing to be in the Joint Degree Programme was a harder one. Looking back, I’m grateful I chose the Programme because my experiences at both William & Mary and St. Andrews have been amazing. Although the Programme is an uncommon path, I couldn’t imagine college any other way.