I’m sitting in The Media Center in the basement of Swem (I mean, “Ground Floor”) working on a really cool new project, The Speak Up Series, that I’ll be telling you about soon, but for now I just wanted to add a brief post. There are some really great things about moving from student to staff at William and Mary, like having the opportunity to spend my days addressing social justice and helping students develop their own skills of meaningful community engagement (and I can’t deny that the Fac/Staff parking pass is pretty awesome). Losing my status as a student, however, definitely has some drawbacks as well. I don’t spend much time in Swem anymore, but each time I come through the sliding glass doors I am always hit with a wave of nostalgia. So many hours of the past four years of my life were spent in this beautiful big building. Chapters of my thesis were written here, the literary magazine I co-edited for Women’s Studies was almost entirely created here, the TV on DVD I watched for a mental break was checked out from here, and so many books filled with such incredible information sit on Swem’s shelves. Being in Swem reminds me that one of the things I miss most about being a William and Mary student is the luxury of a life devoted to learning.
One of my favorite quotes: “Learn everything you can, anytime you can, from anyone you can—there will always come a time when you will be grateful you did.” I certainly hope to be a life-long learner, and the classroom isn’t the only place to learn, but in William and Mary classrooms the learning truly is superb. Two doors down from me at the moment is my History of American West and American Indian History professor, and I miss going to his class and spending 60 minutes of my day listening to his lectures and absorbing as much of the story as I could. I miss sitting in a Sociology classroom arguing with a classmate whether it is more important to consider education or labor markets when devising policy. I honestly miss research, and writing, and even the satisfaction of adding the last entry to a bibliography. I miss the way my brain felt after walking out of a William and Mary classroom, stretched and overflowing and yet eager to take in more.
As a student here or as an individual considering William and Mary, I urge you to learn everything you can, any time you can, and soak up as much as you can of the incredible learning that happens here at William and Mary.