So here I am in Crystal City….I am loving my new digs so far. Yesterday was move-in day, which started at 8:30 with a four-hour drive from Virginia Beach to Crystal City. After I checked in with the program directors (Morgan, Adam and Roxane), I lugged boxes upon boxes of my stuff from my car and my dad’s van to my room with the help of my uncle and everyone else who had a free set of arms (thankfully!). My uncle and Dad left at around 4, which gave me an hour to try and put things in a semblance of order.
After failing at speed-unpacking, I headed to the Buchanan’s Great Room for our first program meeting, which served as a “meet-n-greet” for families who chose to stay for pizza and all the new W&M in DC students. Adam led a short walking tour of Crystal City after the session, which left a few hours to try and get things situated until our first student-only session that night. My room was still a disaster by the time I left for our meeting, which was probably because I brought way too much with me from home….what a rookie mistake!
During the student meeting, the group of 15 people from William & Mary and one lone Virginia student talked about our career goals and ourselves for a bit and watched part of Cruel Intentions. I couldn’t make it through the whole movie, because I had a lot to still unpack and situate. I was one of the few people who opted for a single room, mainly because I wanted a big bed. After pushing my two twins together, rearranging my furniture a little, and unpacking a few more boxes, I was completely exhausted, and having flashbacks of freshman orientation.
The next morning, Morgan and Roxane met us in the Great Room with coffee, donuts and bagels, along with their usual excitement to share DC with us. We started out the day with a trip to Metro Center so that everyone could get a Smartrip pass, which is definitely the most convenient way to get around DC. Right away, you could distinguish all the Northern Virginia kids from the others by who knew how to navigate the metro. I am most certainly a non-NoVa individual…but following the crowd worked just fine for me. After our Metro Center detour, we all headed to Foggy Bottom and walked to the Georgetown waterfront, which was absolutely amazing. At the waterfront, we took a boat to Alexandria and got two hours to explore. Most of the group decided to go to Bilbo Baggins, a small tavern/bar off of Queen Street. A friend from school told me they had great beer from all over the world. (This friend and I both recently celebrated our twenty-first birthdays, so we share an inherent interest in beer, taverns and bars) The place was great, and after eating there, the group walked around historic Alexandria, and visited the local candy shop. The two hours went by quickly, but I think most people realized that Alexandria was a great place to visit for a taste of history and culture…or a fun night on the town!
Next on the agenda was a meeting with Professor Pickering in the W&M in DC office, which is in the Carnegie Endowment for Peace building off of Dupont Circle. After the shock of going over our syllabi, which were slightly intimidating, as syllabi tend to be, it was only appropriate that the group have some fun – and most of us definitely did. There was a mixer at the Buchanan’s pool between the W&M in DC group and the Texas
A&M DC Program that night where we got to meet all sorts of fun kids from a different college. (At this point, I was really feeling the nostalgia of freshman orientation.) Despite the male to female ratio being in the favor of the males, it was a really great time. It was fun to meet with people from a different college who have a program similar to ours. Sometimes, though, it’s time to stop the fun and take a break – and my room still needs unpacking, so off I go!