Finals can be an excruciating time for students. Two weeks of grueling exams and term papers wearing you down as you wait with anticipation to the light at the end of the tunnel: concluding your final assignment. During my first semester as a transfer, Spring 2014, I had tests until the last possible day of the exam period. Luckily, many of my friends did as well. Many all-nighters were spent in side-by-side cubicles at Swem. Procrastination eventually gave way to working until finally, we were free. Our last tests were taken, all papers were submitted. For at least the rest of the day, we had absolutely no pending responsibilities.
Calls were made to Domino’s and China King. Bags were emptied of notebooks and laptops and filled with Sunchips and Cheetos. Blankets were draped over shoulders and pillows were tucked under arms. We journeyed to the Sunken Garden, where we celebrated the end of the semester with a feast under the stars.
There was a moment, amongst the laughing and the joking and the eating, that I realized what an incredible situation I had found myself in. At W&M, I was able to find like-minded, kind, intelligent people that I could truly connect with. And it was here, on the Sunken Garden, just after my first semester had ended, that I understood why people call this place home.
-Casey Neary ’17