December 12, 2011 by Elizabeth Miller
A little less than a year ago, I wrote a post as an almost second-semester Senior about all the amazing things about William and Mary for which I was thankful. On my most nostalgic days, I often re-read that post and all of it still rings true—I remain incredibly thankful for my four years at William and Mary. It’s hard to imagine another place and time that will be more empowering, challenging, transformative, and absolutely amazing than my undergraduate life on this old campus.
I still spend five days a week on campus and while there is much to learn, gain, and give during my year here as an Americorps VISTA in the Office of Community Engagement, being professional staff at William and Mary is not the same as going to college here. So while I still walk across the same old bricks each morning, I find myself missing college sometimes, and as I talk to other members of the Class of 2011 scattered across the globe, I know they are missing the College as well.
Recently, I sent an email to a few of my Class of 2011 friends spreading some Tribe love and asking them to send me a list of things they love and miss about William & Mary. Below is a collection of our responses.
To the current William & Mary undergrads and the Class of 2016 that recently gained its first members I say: get to work collecting as many memories as you can. I promise you will cherish them.
We miss …
Starting off the day right by saying hi to the sheep in CW on my morning run.
Being able to go to lots of random talks and events that are completely unrelated to what I am studying.
Spending two hours trying to travel a few hundred yards because I would let me myself get caught up in a conversation with any and every friend who strolled by the Terrace.
Being able to use [W&M E]xpress for laundry!!!!!!! The things I do these days to obtain quarters…
Last day trips to the campus-convience stores to buy an assortment of junk food side dishes to accompany the massive amount of pizza you just ordered just to use up your Flex points for the semester.
The Wawa Gobbler sandwich at 4AM.
Seeing Colonials out and about in the real world, like at Five Guys or Nawab.
Deep, philosophical discussions that often took place in quaint, ‘collegiate’ places and also often degenerated into/incorporated really absurd, ridiculous, hilarious topics.
Using [W&M] Express to buy a late-night snacks from the vending machines.
The professors who genuinely care about their students.
Hanging out at the Matoaka docks.
Effortless friendship.I felt like some of my best memories with friends in college started as or consisted completely of doing nothing together. The beauty of living together on a tight-knit campus is that you don’t mind going over to someone’s place without any specific plans.
Club meetings.The full moon over the Sunken Gardens.
The waffle bar in the dining halls.
Attempts (and sometimes success) at humor from professors who played Youtube videos, tried out jokes, and even danced on tables sometimes.
Spending Saturday mornings wandering the farmer’s market with a cup of coffee.
Interacting with people outside of your major.
Obligatory birthday scavenger hunt.
If you smile, people will smile back whether they know you or not.
The ability to wear jeans (or even sweats) whenever I wanted.
Quidditch games on Barksdale Field.
Going on Cheese Shop & free cider runs during lunch breaks with my lovely friends.
Being totally accepted for having academic conversations at parties (or other social environments).
Tripping on bricks daily (kept me humble).
The juvenile literature section of Swem and the bay windows overlooking campus.
Having all my friends within a 5-10 minute walk.
Doing things with professors outside of class, such as going to dinner or being invited to their houses.
Having free time.
The couches in the lobby of OD.
Meeting a different friend for lunch every day.
Climbing trees on campus and in Colonial Williamsburg.
Having so many people around willing to believe in you and support you as you tried to turn your crazy dreams and ideas into reality.
Lots of people to share & discuss with when I look at every single thing that happens critically/analytically.
Free entertainment every weekend!
Frisbee on the Sunken Gardens.
The smell of the Wren.
Always being encouraged to ask questions.
Courses that challenged everything I believed to be true.
People understanding my love for W&M.