November 1, 2010 by Kris Lim
So, I’m a senior.
It’s still a bit of a shock, actually. I mean, I’m waiting for this big, huge, transformation where I’m going to suddenly look like a grown-up, not a little kid (I mean, surely there’s an indicator other than height? I’ve given up on breaking 5 feet…). When I was a senior in high school, I had it all figured out. I knew where I wanted to go (incidentally, I got into William and Mary early decision; it was the only school I applied to), and I knew what I wanted to do with the rest of my life. Then, around my sophomore year here, the panic set in. I realized that to go on and get a job in the “real world,” I had to make more decisions, and take more tests, and get even better grades. It was a huge shock. Graduate School is something that the high school guidance counselor doesn’t tell you about at all…and once you hit college, you’re expected to figure out the whole application/decision process on your own.
But I figured things out, and I’m really glad for it. I took the LSATs, and I’ll be applying to law schools this semester. I’m not naive enough to think that I know exactly what I’m going to do with the rest of my life, but I’m hopeful that I at least have a pretty good idea as to where I’m going and what I’m going to do when I get there.
Anyways, being a senior, I can look back on my college experience (I mean, I’m 90% done, right?) with both nostalgia and regret. That being said, I have a couple of lists:
The Top Three Things I Regret (Doing and Not Doing)
[three]: Not Trying Out For a Main-Stage Play: I was a theater person in high school, but more of a backstage, pit orchestra theater person. I didn’t really act all that much until I came to William and Mary. While I’ve been in several student-run productions (“the Vagina Monologues” and the bi-annual Director’s Workshop are two of my favorites), I never got up the courage (or made the time) to try out for a main-stage production. I wish I had. College is about getting the courage to try new things, and I had an amazing support system of friends and family. The only thing holding me back was myself.
[two]: Not Really Planning Out my Post-Graduate Career Until Later: While it is incredibly naive to assume that as a freshman, you can plan absolutely everything in terms of your academic goals and aspirations, I wish I had the gumption to realize that I could be a double major (English and Music) before my junior year. As a result, I didn’t have enough time to complete a second major. I have a music minor, but I think I would have been happier if I had just decided earlier. Also, I wish I had started prepping for the LSATs sooner, to allow myself multiple attempts. I’m happy with my results, but I wish I had the chance to see if I could do better. I feel like you need to assess your future at the beginning AND the end of each academic year. Otherwise, you’ll end up panicking and unsure.
[one]: Not Instituting a Work-Out Routine for Myself Throughout All Four Years: In college, you gain weight; it’s pretty standard and expected. A lot of people here did sports in high school, but then didn’t have the time to go to club practices or even intramural games. I was one of those people. Thankfully, I lived in Botetourt my freshman year, so I was really close to the gym…but then it got harder (the only really bad thing about living in Jamestown is that it’s a little bit far from the gym). I’m working out now, but those two years in between were really rough on my body. Walking/Biking everywhere just isn’t enough. If you don’t want to gain those “freshman fifteen,” then you really have to go out and exercise. Also, Wawa is NOT a healthy choice for every single meal. Unfortunate, but true.
Now, on to the AWESOME part
Top Three Things I’m Glad I Did
[three]: Took a dance class. Taking a dance class is something that I feel like everyone should do. It’s a great way to express yourself, AND work out. Also, dance classes are INCREDIBLY fun. I only wish I had taken more than Modern I. In general, I feel like you should take at least one “fun” class per semester–a class that doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with your major, but that focuses on something that you’re interested in, and that you know you’ll enjoy.
[two]: Went Greek. My sophomore year, I rushed Phi Mu informally. Greek life at William and Mary is amazing. Each sorority and fraternity is unique in its own way, and the entire recruitment process is much more low key than at other colleges. Each Greek organization attends each other’s philanthropy events, and you meet people that you never would have met just going to classes. Coming into William and Mary, I never would have pegged myself as a “sorority chick,” but that was just because I had a stereotype in my mind as to what being in a sorority meant. That changed immediately. Phi Mu has been an amazing support system for me, socially and academically. If you’re a girl, I would definitely recommend going through Formal Recruitment in the fall. It allows you to visit each one of the houses, and you have recruitment counselors to answer your questions and guide you throughout the entire process.
[one]: Applied to live in Mosaic House. Special-interest housing is a great way to avoid the whole housing panic. After freshman year, it’s possible that you’ll be forced to live off-campus if you’re a sophomore or a junior. If that’s not really an option you want to consider, then apply for Special-Interest housing AS SOON AS POSSIBLE. Deadlines vary from house to house, as does the application process, but it means that you have guaranteed housing with people that share your interests. I’ve been living in Jamestown North for the past two years, because I applied and got into Mosaic House. And you don’t need to worry if you don’t get in immediately–I was actually wait-listed my junior year, but managed to get in at the last moment, and then became the Mosaic House Chair last year. You can apply to multiple houses, and you can decide from there. It means you can still maintain close-knit hall-mate relationships throughout your entire time at William and Mary.
January 20, 2010 by Kris Lim
One of the most important aspects of campus life is definitely food. Where to eat, what to eat, and most importantly (but totally overlooked): When to eat-all of these are essential questions you have to ask yourself. So, here it goes: an impromptu guide to What’s Cookin’ at W&M:
Where: This depends on if you have a meal plan, or if you’ve decided to rough it for a semester. If you do have a meal plan, what type of meal plan is also important, as well as what type of dietary restrictions you have. If you don’t eat meat, if you’re a strict vegan, or even if you have some religious temporary restriction (like say, Passover), you need to take into account what’s available at each dining hall.
If you have a Block plan, chances are, you’ve got an excess of flex points at the end of the semester. This is great, because it means you can buy a LOT of food for what my friends like to call “free money.” The exchange rate is $1 to 1 flex point, so it’s pretty easy to manage things. There’s lots of choices on and off campus-in the Marketplace, there’s Chick-Fil-A (a personal favorite of just about everyone who eats fried chicken), and a decent sushi bar. At the SC, there’s Quiznos, and at the Caf, there’s that cool Java place right next to the entrance. Additionally, there’s Dominos, so you can order a late night pizza or cheesey bread. And if you just want a normal meal with your friends, every single place takes flex in exchange for a meal (but that’s also really expensive-it’s $9.50 for each meal).
If you have a Gold plan, you should probably try to eat at least one meal in a dining hall a day, or else it’s a waste of money. The Caf and the Marketplace are generally accepted as the reliable places to eat on campus-the SC has a tendency to be hit or miss (especially in terms of seafood and Asian food-never, under ANY circumstances, attempt to eat the grilled tofu at the SC. Such is the pathway to strained jaw muscles). Vegetarian food is found at all three places, but since the Marketplace is the same stuff, every day, more variety is found at the Caf and the SC. This means if you want to be sure you’re getting good vegetarian, you go to the Marketplace, but if you just want something different, take a chance at the SC or the Caf. The SC tends to have a ton of fried/grilled vegetarian food, the Caf has a lot of “home-style” cooking. I prefer the Caf, but then again, I’m not a vegetarian, and I’m definitely not a strict vegan. Being a strict vegan can be hard, because occasionally, there are some misunderstandings about what counts as an animal by-product (for example, I had a friend who was served “vegan” pasta, but it
was served in clam sauce).
What to Eat: Each place has special meals that are absolutely delicious and reliable. The Marketplace has Chick-Fil-A, where you can get the best fries in town, and it has Zocas, which has decent Mexican. The Marketplace is also home to Homezone, where you can get an overstuffed sandwich (chicken, stuffing, cranberry sauce, lettuce, and tomato) anytime from lunch to dinner. The SC has pretty good sautéed veggies, and they almost always have toppings for the soft serve ice cream. The Caf has the best meatloaf, and when the visiting chefs come by, or when there’s a celebration, the food is definitely the best. I’ve had poached salmon in parchment and molten chocolate cake that would make the snootiest gourmet food critic weep in pleasure…and it’s been served at the Caf. Keep in mind, though, that’s not all the time. There are occasional bad days when the only reliable food to get is a burger and fries, or the pizza.
When to Eat: This is something most people overlook, which means sometimes you’ll be waiting in line for food that’s run out by the time you get to the front. The trick is to avoid peak times, especially when visiting chefs are serving food at the Caf. Getting there earlier than six is generally pretty good, because it means you’ve avoided lines AND the food is still fresh. If you get there later than six, there’s a chance that the best stuff is already gone, and there probably isn’t any new stuff cooking. The SC is open till late, but they stop serving hot food at around 7:30. After that, it’s just cold sandwiches-you might as well go to Quiznos. Sure, you’ll have to pay a little extra, but it’s probably better than wrestling with the Panini machine and some wilted lettuce.
Of course, this is only the food on campus. Williamsburg is a veritable cornucopia of delicious food within walking distance-and honestly, if most students gotta have a choice, they’ve gotta have a WaWa.