I had this concept before entering W&M that in college I would become a completely different person. My annoying habit of over-thinking things? Gone. My inability to get up early? I’d be up at 7 a.m. cheerfully getting in a morning run before heading to class. My fear of science? In college, chemistry would be my best friend…
None of this happened. I’m still me. Surprising, I know. I guess my belief was a little naïve considering close to 70 students from my high school took the great leap to college with me at W&M. It’s hard to reinvent yourself when there are ten people in your freshmen dorm who spent the last four years with you. Even more than that, I realized that I am me. My personality, preferences, fears, goals – they are all shaped by the experiences in my life. My history is no less a part of me than my arm is. (And let’s be honest, who is really able to cheerfully jog in the pre-dawn hours of the morning?)
For me, college has been an opportunity not to completely change, but to explore different sides of myself. During Freshmen Orientation I was talked into singing “Sweet Child of Mine” karaoke-style with a group of new friends. If you know me at all, you would know that I don’t sing in public, ever. One of my first weekends on campus, I spent the greater part of an evening lying on a blanket on the Sunken Gardens chatting with new friends about difficult times in our lives. These new friends saw a glimpse of the real me because I felt comfortable being vulnerable in their presence.
I know that high school can be a place that encourages us to blend in. From what I’ve experienced so far, that’s simply not the case at the College. I’m here to both challenge my perspective as well as feel comfortable sharing my perspective with the W&M community.
[By the way, this is my first day as an official W&M blogger and I’m excited to share with you my college experience. I’m hoping to update weekly…so be on the lookout for more!]