Nearly three years ago on a fateful afternoon in July, the class of 2018 received our freshman dorm assignments. I remember opening the email from Residence Life and calling into the kitchen to let my mom know that I would be living in Taliaferro Hall! I was not expecting her reaction. She swooped into our living room and excitedly informed me that Taliaferro (pronounced “Tolliver”) was, in fact, the same dorm she had lived in as a freshman at William & Mary! Upon further investigation, we determined that not only would I be living in the same dorm, but I was also on the same floor and just down the hall from where she had lived. This funny coincidence only increased my excitement as I prepared to move to Williamsburg and begin my own adventure.
Taliaferro Hall after a snow storm!
Move-in day was both exciting and hectic, yet between the many trips that it took to lug all of my stuff up two flights of stairs, I didn’t have time to be nervous. It wasn’t until my family was getting ready to leave, and I was being shuffled off to our first orientation activity, that my nerves set in. What would dorm life be like? Would I make friends? And most importantly, how in the world was I supposed to function in an entirely new environment? I was so nervous about the new year in front of me.
Looking back on it today, those worries that once seemed so paramount now just sound silly. My first year at William & Mary was an amazing start to what have been some of the best years of my life. (so far!) My roommate and I took on our freshman year together and quickly formed friendships within our tiny dorm. (Including RAs, Taliaferro had a whopping 52 residents!) Today, I still find myself starting out stories with the phrase “remember that time in Taliaferro when…” When a huge group of us went to the movies, and we practically filled the Williamsburg Trolley? When we built snowmen (and a snow narwhal) in the Sunken Garden? When we spent too many nights to count gathered around a table playing cards? And how when hanging out as a group, someone always seemed to ask “You’re all from Taliaferro?” As freshman year drew to a close, those memories were bittersweet. I was happy that I had survived my first year at college, but I was worried about what would happen as my dorm mates and I went our separate ways.
Taliaferro class of ’18 taking advantage of the snow day! (photo from the Humans of William & Mary Facebook page.)
Once again, hindsight is 20/20. Over the past 2 1/2 years at William & Mary, I’ve made new memories with those same friends that I first met in my freshman dorm. We still hang out at movie nights and have frequent group study sessions in Swem. I am still living with my freshman roommate, and three of our good friends from Taliaferro live right next door! Although we’ve all become involved in different organizations and have made new friends over the years, these experiences have allowed us to grow separately without growing apart. Regardless of what dorm I end up in senior year, I know that I’ll be heading into the future with some great friends by my side!