October 16, 2012 by Erin Spencer
Every once in a while, something unexpected happens that inspires you. It comes out of nowhere, changes your perspective, and reminds you why you do what you do.
For me, that something came in the form of a blog comment.
I’ve been a blogger for W&M since my freshman year, and I love it. It’s a way for me to reflect on my experiences here, to share life lessons, and essentially show everyone just how passionate I am about this school. But, I’m going to be honest; I’m not always the best at keeping up with posts. I get in ruts where the rest of life gets in the way and the blog gets pushed aside.
This hasn’t been the easiest semester—I’m a junior now, and that means getting serious about my major and looking towards the real world. I’m working in a lab, taking two graduate level classes (which seemed like a good idea at the time), and writing my first big research proposal. I spend my evenings curled up in my study room in Swem, downing large coffees and Wawa sandwiches and commiserating with other students about my workload. I figured that this would be one of those semesters I just had to put my head down, shuffle through, and hope that winter break comes quickly.
But then, last weekend, something changed. I got an email that someone had commented on my most recent blog post. It was a father from Chicago who’s daughter was interested in William & Mary; they were making the college tour rounds through Virginia and he hoped I could show her around. Never one to miss out on talking to a perspective student, I gave her a call. Unfortunately, the timing didn’t quite work out, and we weren’t able to meet. But before we stopped chatting, she said one thing that caught me totally off-guard.
Loved your blog, it made me want to come there.
I was shocked. That was incredibly nice of her to say, and it’s always exciting to know that someone actually reads the posts. Her comment inspired me to look back through my previous entries, and it was like reading a journal that documented my experiences at school. I revisited posts about my internship, my work at the Admission office, summer classes, and freshmen adventures. I read about taking advantage of warm days and exploring the campus. And I read about making mistakes, about learning the hard way and moving on. With each post, I realized how far I’ve come since I stepped foot on campus as an eager freshman, and how lucky I am to be a part of the William & Mary community.
That one comment helped put my whole semester in perspective. Sure, this is a challenging semester academically, and there will still be plenty of late nights in Swem to come. But despite that, I would be crazy to simply “shuffle through” the semester—I only have a few precious semesters left at W&M, and I need to take advantage of every single moment. I needed a reality check to recapture that enthusiasm I felt as an underclassman.
I became a William & Mary blogger to share my passion for the school with friends, alumni, and perspective students. But I never thought that my own words would serve as a reminder for me about the bigger picture: I may get bogged down with work, but that will never change my love for this school. And I am grateful to one girl from Chicago, who reminded me that sometimes I need to take a step back and look at the bigger picture. For me, that means a little more reflecting, and a little more blogging.