To the Class of 2020

When I left school for Spring Break I was brain-storming drafts of advice I wanted to give to current seniors. I wanted to summarize the beginning half of my freshmen year and provide hindsight on my senior year college process. However, due to recent circumstances, your college process will be unlike anyone else’s. I understand how this makes going off to a new place that much more difficult and scary. Some of you may be attending a school you’ve only seen through a computer screen. That has made this blog post even more imperative and important to me. In this blog post, I want to provide insights on major areas of the university offers students and my experience with them.

Academics

William & Mary is a liberal arts-based school; meaning over your four years here you’ll take classes in every subject. Through my application process, liberal arts educations scared me. I’m not the strongest in every subject. What if I was putting myself in situations where I wouldn’t be as equipped as other students to succeed. News flash: nobody is good at every subject. In my time here I’ve found that liberal arts education encourages interdisciplinary learning and camaraderie among students. I never knew a math class could trail off into a philosophy discussion but that’s what happens here at William & Mary. It makes the class more interesting, allows students with strengths in all subject areas to take part and helps professors to gear the class towards a learning style that benefits all the students.

Here at William & Mary, everyone is here to learn – professors as well. This kind of environment stimulates a trusting relationship between students and faculty that allow classes to grow and evolve into something new and high-quality each semester. No class at William & Mary will ever be the exact same even if you have the same semester because the community of students is changing. The faculty’s goal here is to make learning challenging and push students to accomplish more than they believed they could. We are not in the business of making failing students, but rather students who can face adversity, make improvements and continue to push to succeed. We are in the business of bettering you as an individual, not as a test taker.

Research, Internships, and Study Abroad Opportunities

On my college journey, this wasn’t anything that was at the forefront of my mind when considering schools so, I’ll be keeping this section brief. Long story short, yes, you want it, we have it. William & Mary prides itself on a commitment to undergraduate research opportunities. Research is always happening on campus every single semester. We have plenty of fair and interview opportunities to get involved and helping with research can even count for class credit. As for internships, many William & Mary alumni work for major companies or own their own businesses and come back to give opportunities to William & Mary students. If you’re interested, William & Mary has many great resources to help you find opportunities that you’re interested in. Study Abroad is in our COLL requirement system. We want every student to have the opportunity to go abroad if that’s in their personal education plan. Through the Reves Center, we have many opportunities for financial aid as well as scholarships to help finance students that wish to take their education global.

Residence Life

I’ll be foregoing figures and stats in this section and more so highlighting my personal experience with on-campus living. For additional more traditional information please visit the William & Mary housing page. During my freshman year, I lived in Hunt Hall. It is one of the smallest, if not the smallest, freshman dormitories on campus. It sits right on the edge of campus near Colonial Williamsburg. I was lucky enough to have a private suite-style bathroom and shared a room with a roommate; who was selected randomly. I loved my roommate. She is going to be a good friend to me for a long time. I couldn’t have picked anyone better myself so, thank you William & Mary Resident Life. My dorm, while it was a little small, was fine to me the entire year. I had no problem with insects or rodents, I barely had any fire alarms go off, and it was a peaceful sanctuary for me on campus. My on-campus living experience was very positive; any issues I did have were quickly resolved and my dorm did become my second home. I keep this section brief because I don’t have much to say besides good things. Please feel free to leave questions down below and I’d be happy to go into more detail about anything.

Campus Culture and the Town of Williamsburg

My dorm was right on the edge of campus near Colonial Williamsburg. I was very fortunate in my freshman year to spend a lot of time in the town. Besides having a bunch of great restaurants, ice cream shops and bakeries in town, Williamsburg also provides a great area to take long jogs, run into friendly pet owners whose dogs love to be pet, provides great benches to study outside. Every Thursday night my hallmates and I would travel into town to eat at one of the fancier restaurants that would offer students $40 meals for 10 bucks. I spent many cram sessions at the Starbucks in Barns & Noble taking advantage of the super-fast wifi and the quietness of the store on a Wednesday morning. It was also a nice spot to take my parents too when they came to visit, there was always something new going on in town whether it be the ice skating rink set up for Christmas or the farmers market on Saturday mornings in the fall. The town of Williamsburg found a special place in my heart and I encourage students to go explore it to see all it has to offer.

Campus culture at William & Mary is vast, diverse and ever-changing. We’ve got a little bit of it all: fraternity and sorority life, international students, and sports teams. This inspires a lot of different clubs, organizations, events, and interests on campus. So, I bet if you’ve heard or seen it we have an outlet on campus for it. Now while we do have a lot of students on campus from different walks of life none of this makes the campus polarizing. We realize as a community that people don’t fit into boxes and we don’t expect you to. That’s why we offer so many outlets for students of different knowledge and experience levels. We want you to grow with us. We want to open our interests, our backgrounds, our experiences to help cultivate well rounded and knowledgeable students. Our campus culture is one of acceptance and what some may describe as an overwhelming feeling of togetherness. We take being a family, being a Tribe very seriously and we work hard to ensure that our campus is home to everyone.

These are a few of the major areas I wanted to address to help alleviate some of the questions that the class of 2020 may have going into choosing where they want to attend school for the next four years. It’s a big decision, that you’re making in a unique way this year. I hope I was able to shed some light on why I love this university and how I interacted with some of these topics in my freshman year. I wish the class of 2020 the best. When the time arrives, we can’t wait to welcome you to our family. Go, Tribe.

Categories: Academics, Admission, Campus Life, Research, Student Blogs, Student Clubs & Orgs, Study Away, Williamsburg Tags:
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