Given the title of this post, you’ve probably already guessed that this post will be about Opening Convocation. I know, I know. Convocation happened a long time ago. So long ago that you might wonder why it has taken me so long to write this post. The truth is that being a senior is a lot busier than I expected, especially since I am planning to go to law school. As I have explained to countless friends, the first six weeks of this semester were a blur becaue the LSATs took over my life. Thankfully, the LSATs are officially behind me, and I can enjoy the rest of my senior year. Now that that’s out of the way, let’s get back to what this post it really about – Opening Convocation.
Opening Convocation is one of my favorite William and Mary traditions. If you are scratching your head wandering what Opening Convocation is, I will give you a quick synopsis. Opening Convocation is the unique way that we at William and Mary welcome new students. At Opening Convocation, students are led through the doors of the Wren building in the direction of Colonial Williamsburg. On the other side, faculty, staff, and students are assembled, ready to cheer them on as they process through the crowd.
Since this year was my last Opening Convocation, I made sure that I was there early so I could get a prime spot near the front. As new students walked passed me, I cheered as loud as I could and gave the occasional high five. The energy was palpable, and in that moment, I could not help but feel that I was experiencing William and Mary at its finest. Did I know everyone around me personally? No. But somehow, I felt an affinity towards those around me in a way that one only feels when surrounded by members of the Tribe.
So to the future class of 2016, wherever you may be, I have one piece of advice: enjoy Opening Convocation. Allow yourself to be excited and don’t be so shy about giving high fives to strangers. Above all, realize that we are celebrating you and the fact that you are officially part of the William and Mary Tribe. For those of you who have already experienced Opening Convocation, take time to remember what it felt like to walk through those doors and what it meant to you. Realize that, at that moment, you became part of the Tribe family, a family you will be part of for the rest of your life.
The next time I walk through those Wren doors will be bitter sweet. I will be wearing a cap and gown, and my journey at William and Mary will be coming to a close. But, as I walk through those doors, I have a feeling that memories of my own experience at Opening Convocation will not be too far away.