The stats don’t lie, but they don’t tell the whole truth either. I’ve read them on William & Mary’s website dozens of times. What the website should really tell you is how interesting and different the students are here, beyond skin colors and home locations. It would have been nice to know that your peers will play every instrument known to man or that they will have visited countries you probably couldn’t even find on a map. I would have liked to know that everyone’s passionate about something, but I had to wait until I came to Williamsburg for this discovery.
It was a pleasant surprise to see for myself how interesting my fellow students are, but some forewarning would have been appreciated, especially for Orientation. Orientation features a lot of getting-to-know-you and fun fact games. Normally for these games, I just say that I lived in Germany for a few years because my dad is in the Army. That fact usually did the trick, as it usually seemed completely fascinating to whomever I was playing with. William & Mary’s Orientation was different, though. After my Orientation Aide said he backpacked through China and my hallmate said she interviewed Daniel Radcliffe at a journalism camp, I knew I needed to up my game. Suddenly, it was my turn, but how could I have simply said “Oh, I lived in Germany for a few years”? There’s no way that could be the extent of my fun fact, not when the kid on my left spoke five languages fluently and the one on my right used to work for Justin Bieber.
Fortunately for me, when I did say I had lived in Germany, everyone was just as interested as I was in them. It turns out being interesting here isn’t limited to doing crazy adventurous things. Everyone’s interesting simply because they have totally different ambitions, interests, and experiences. Still, it would have been nice to know this before I came to school here. Maybe then I could have kept my composure and not dropped my jaw in amazement every time someone spoke about his or her life. Then again, I probably would have anyway.
– Mary Kate Adgie