As W&M is preparing to send out their first round of admission letters, and as the end of my senior year gets closer and closer, I am considering even more how far I’ve come and what brought me here in the first place. Your journey, your story, of how you made it to the Tribe is a common past time (and not only for Tour Guides). The atmosphere of passion and hard work isn’t just sitting on the Sunken Garden waiting for students to notice. That feeling and connection is made by the students, each and every one of us, so to hear how you got here is to acknowledge how different life would be without them.
Four years ago I had already been admitted Early Decision to my school. I refrain from saying “top” here because it wasn’t the top of my list. It was the only thing on my list. I just felt that I belonged here. The kind of person and student I was, in love with learning and gaining new experiences, made me feel like there was no other place for me. I decided this the summer of my senior year of high school and told my parents I didn’t even need to tour! I was just going to go. But my parents reminded me that I wouldn’t just be going to classes and doing homework, I would be living there for four years. That was so important for me to hear. It helped me remember that college is not just about the grades and classroom time, but about so many other things that matter like friends, family, and socialization. Lucky for me, W&M united the two perfectly. I ended up touring campus on a cold, rainy, windy weekend where it seemed like the campus was completely empty. Still, though, I just had a feeling about it. I was confident in my decision until the months before Orientation. Suddenly all the nerves I had ignored in choosing and applying to W&M hit me all at once. I was so nervous and upset that I called during those first few days to tell my mom I was dropping out and that college was not the place for me. Thank goodness she told me to hold one for a few more weeks. Those weeks turned into the best few years. I have grown so much personally and academically that wouldn’t be possible without the friends I’ve made and the experiences gained on campus.
Yes, Williamsburg is a swamp and the humidity has made me question my decision many times, but we’re not just the weather, or the nerds at the library, or the public ivy, or the underestimated sports teams. We are all of those things, but we are also some of the strongest, bravest, smartest, kindest students in the world and there is a reason we are all here. Come to William & Mary! And imagine who you’ll be when you’re sitting in my seat four years later.