A few years ago as one of my friends was waiting to hear back from grad schools, I told her “no matter what happens, you are a successful human being.” (She’s at Stanford now and rocking it!)
The thing about William and Mary is it’s a place full of success, ready and waiting to share that with you. Yes, I’ve written before about the challenges of William and Mary and the reality that you don’t succeed at everything here, as it should be, but truly, this College will help you find your own success.
As I think of all the amazing people I know here, I realize how much success they have found. Whether it’s becoming a director of a student organization, surviving the defense of your Honors thesis, finding the relationship you’ve wanted, gaining friends you never expected, realizing your career aspirations, developing a superb sense of style–it’s possible here.
How does this success come to all of us? In part it’s the resources of the College: the programs, professors, organizations, staff, and more. Beyond that it’s life at William and Mary. It is living in a place where you are constantly challenged and offered opportunities. You won’t always hear “yes” or “you’re the best!” but this College will always give you new ways to succeed and encouragement to fulfill your goals.
Be aware though that success may come to you in ways you don’t expect. And that in itself is a blessing. You may come here with a plan and a list of achievements you crave. Perhaps you will fulfill that. But more than likely, you will wander off your intended path. Maybe you’ll declare a few different majors. Maybe you’ll lose interest in one activity and find yourself the leader of another you never even considered. Perhaps at the end of four years you will realize you are nowhere you intended to be on that first move-in day. Where you will be, however, will be your own.
And that’s one of the secrets. Your time at William and Mary is all about you. Part of that is learning to live with and care for others, but much of it is figuring out your own story or at least a some of it. And at William and Mary yours will be a success story. It’s here, whatever you need (even if it’s not what you’re looking for), just waiting for you to arrive and begin your journey.
I’m sitting here during my final Finals Period and as filled with doubt about the future as I am, I am overjoyed and so proud of my time here at William and Mary. I am proud of what I have accomplished in the classroom, in the community, among my friends, and for myself. On this beautiful campus overflowing with incredible opportunities, I have found success. I am so impressed by my fellow Tribe members who have done the same and even more excited for the future Tribe members who will find it as well.
It may not be in the form you expected, but know that success is waiting for you here.