August 28, 2012 by Elizabeth Miller
It’s W&M Orientation time which means a campus and staff focused on the incoming students—freshmen mostly—for the next few days. Freshman year, and particularly the early transition to college, deserves a lot of attention and is quite an incredible experience. A year of firsts, new friends and adventures, and lots to figure out.
But this post is for the sophomores of William and Mary, who for the first time are coming to campus without a staff of brightly dressed students teaching them the alma mater and dorm cheers.
As I remember it, sophomore year was my all-around best in college:
I had friends to return to.
I picked where I lived (with said friends).
Some of my friends moved to the Ludwell Apartments which made us feel grown up, even though we mostly just hung out eating cake and playing board games.
I knew all the campus short-cuts (or at least I thought I did).
I figured out how to work Banner (as much as one can) and add/drop period and RateMyProfessor so I was taking classes that were interesting to me and well suited for my academic strengths.
I found a major and the accompanying group of students that became peers and friends.
I was old enough to transition better from home to college (unlike the first Sunday of freshman year where I found myself homesick, sobbing in the parking garage).
But not so old that I began to have the panic of “WHAT ARE YOU DOING AFTER YOU GRADUATE! HAVE YOU HEARD ABOUT THIS ECONOMY?” (Sorry, Seniors—I know what that feels like too.)
I had a basic grasp of the Swem floor plan, including my favorite places to nap and study.
I finally figured out where the Dodge Room is hidden and ate an increasing number of meals in the Marketplace.
I survived reading Michele Foucalt which built character and a strong bond with some of my fellow sufferers/classmates.
I found another home on campus in OCES, which remains my home today.