December 7, 2012 by Danny Anderson
First off, I know you all have been anxiously awaiting my glorious return to the W&M blogosphere. I apologize for the long delay, but due to seventeen credits, an internship hunt and numerous on-campus commitments I have been beyond busy this semester. However, the wait is over because the kid is back! It’s been a great semester here at W&M with a lot going on around campus, however, I’m going to limit my post to some of my highlights.
Giving tours has been especially great this semester. I’m not sure why, but for some reason I keep getting the BEST tour groups. Every group I’ve had has been super engaged and excited to learn about W&M. The highlight of my tours this semester was hands down getting an interview for an internship from one of the mothers on my tour. Yeah, my tours are THAT good. So, if you’re ever on campus, look for me to be your tour guide because it’s so great you’ll just want to hire me when you’re done. Of course, I’m kidding but in all seriousness my tours really have been great. I’ve especially enjoyed giving them this semester and I really did get an interview.
This semester I participated for the first time as an Orientation Aide (OA) for freshman orientation and it was an incredible experience. I was assigned a men’s hall in Yates (shout out to Y2$) and had an absolutely incredible time getting to know them through the five day orientation. It was so much fun to help them get acclimated to the community that I love so much. I see those guys around campus all the time and it’s always great to check-in and see how they’re doing. Needless to say, I instantly reapplied when the application was available, and fortunately was selected to return for next year. I’m already looking forward to Orientation 2013!
All Tribe, One Family
I may have mentioned this in another post but I was fortunate enough to have my older cousin as a classmate here at William & Mary for my first two years. It was awesome to have someone that I’ve known my whole life to share the incredible experience that is William & Mary with. Because of this, it was very bittersweet to see him graduate last spring. However, this pain was eased by the incredibly awesome news I got this week. My older cousin’s little brother (so, my other cousin) just got his Early Decision acceptance to join the Tribe and will be a member of the Class of 2017 starting next fall! This means that all the Peppe (my mother’s maiden name) grandsons will have gone to William & Mary! I am so excited to welcome my cousin, I can barely contain myself. I’m pretty sure I’ve told absolutely everyone I know. And with this blog post, I’m telling everyone I don’t know as well!
And yeah, this post is exactly 500 words.
Alma Mater Hail,
June 26, 2012 by Danny Anderson
“The Real World”. Ever since I was a little kid, I’ve been warned about its terrors. How many times have I heard “You can’t be late in the real world,” or “People won’t be as nice in the real world” or “You can’t have pizza for every meal in the real world”. It’s a place that my friends at school and I shudder to think about. Bottom line: Nothing is more of a buzzkill than when someone says “It’s gonna be awful when we have to leave here and join the real world”. Let’s face it, it’s been engrained in a lot of our minds that the “real world” is not a place you want to be. So, needless to say that when I began my internship this summer I was terrified of this “real world”.
This summer, I elected not to return to my hometown of South Burlington, Vermont, despite how beautiful New England, and especially Burlington’s Lake Champlain, is in the summer. No, this summer would not be filled with reunions and late night campfires with those I went to high school with. Instead, I headed out into the heart of the Midwest: Kansas City. Needless to say, Kansas City is a little different than Vermont. For starters, it’s hot … all the time. Second, it’s a city. To be honest, I live in the suburbs but still, between Vermont and Williamsburg, I’ve never lived this close to a metropolitan area. Overall, my entry into this real world has revealed the world’s best kept secret: it’s not that bad. Of course, I’m not fully immersed quite yet but from a working stand point, things could be a lot worse. My job has caused me to realize, the “real world” is not something to fear, but rather something to look forward to.
In terms of my job, I couldn’t be happier. I work for a small Registered Investment Advisor and have been getting a ton of exposure and real hands-on experience. I can honestly say that as an intern, I am truly contributing to their process. Remarkably, William & Mary has really helped me in the regard. The liberal arts education that I’ve undergone thus far has prepared me to be able to skillfully execute a wide variety of tasks, from computer programming to marketing. Overall, working and really contributing has been incredibly rewarding. Sure, getting an “A” on a paper feels good, but it’s nothing compared to being able to put your knowledge and skill to work to really accomplish something.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m far from wishing away the rest of my college years. I love W&M and plan to make the most of the next two years. However, this expedition into the great unknown has given me perspective on my time at the College. It’s made clear to me that W&M is preparing me for the rest of my life and it’s comforting to know that it’s doing a great job.
Alma Mater Hail,
p.s. You CAN have Pizza for every meal
May 3, 2012 by Danny Anderson
Happy Finals everyone!
Due to the need to memorize 100 terms, several readings and three essays and a desire to watch a gut-wrenching 3OT loss by the Washington Capitals last night, I finished studying for my History of Christianity final a little later than expected. Also, with the need to review before my 9 a.m. final, I was up a little earlier than I would have liked. I may hate that I slept less than desired, and I may question what I’m doing when my alarm goes off at 6 a.m., but it’s all worth it. I underwent a strange experience this morning. All the stress of finals, my annoyance with the early hour and my grief at the Capital’s loss all instantly went away as soon as I stepped outside my dorm. Yeah, campus is that beautiful. Even more so in the morning. So beautiful in fact, that I felt obligated to share my walk with all of y’all!
Alma Mater Hail!
April 25, 2012 by Danny Anderson
It’s that time of the semester yet again. Students are finishing up their last week of classes and nervously anticipating next week’s final exams. It’s times like these where all students are beginning to feel the pressure but with that pressure comes a degree of stress. Luckily for students of the College, there are countless outlets for this stress right here in Williamsburg. Here are a few of my favorite things to do when I need a break from the grind of the end of the semester:
Go for a run in Colonial Williamsburg - Once again, our proximity to America’s historical triangle proves to be an incredible resource for students. I find few better stress relievers than strapping on my running shoes and heading into the CW for a run. There’s something incredibly calming in jogging by reenactors, newborn lambs, horses and beautiful colonial architecture. I have two pieces of advice for this run. The first is leave early. Colonial Williamsburg in the morning is one of the most peaceful places I have ever encountered and the other people down there at that time are some of the most friendly in Virginia. My second piece of advice? Watch out for horse poop!
Grab some friends and head out to Jamestown Beach - With the approach of finals season comes early summer in Williamsburg. Coming from Vermont, I especially appreciate this pleasant April weather. For me, although I love lying in the sun on the Sunken Garden, sometimes, I need sand underneath me and a body of water nearby. Fortunately for me, Jamestown beach is only a short drive away from campus. Right off the Colonial Parkway and on the James River, this small beach is perfect for sunbathing and swimming out to its sandbar. My only advice here is to watch out for the tide, cause it can be strong at times.
Go Canoeing on Matoaka – There are few things more relaxing than this and with your student ID it is available to you at William & Mary. Bring some friends and have a deep conversation or head out by yourself to reflect on how quickly the year has flown by (because it always does!). The choice is up to you. If canoeing isn’t really your thing, Lake Matoaka has docks that offer an incredibly calming view. There’s also several hiking trails around the lake as well as Lake Matoaka amphitheater: a great place to relax and study.
Catch a Flick at Movie Tavern - Despite how awesome the weather here is most of the time, it does rain occasionally. In this situation, one of my favorite things to do is head over to Movie Tavern, right on Richmond Road. A very cool place that blends together a restaurant with a movie theater. So, you can grab a bite and see the new blockbuster right within walking distance of campus. I love catching movies during my study breaks as it allows me to easily focus on something other than the work I still have to do.
That’s all for now. Best of luck in beating that finals stress!
Alma Mater Hail!
April 16, 2012 by Danny Anderson
Recently a friend of mine revealed to me a very interesting hobby: people watching. She swears that she can sit in the RFOC dining hall for hours and just watch the people that walk by. So, today, in attempt to see what this bizarre hobby is all about, I left my dorm about an hour and half early for class and made my way to the Sadler Center. Here is a chronicle of my findings:
9:45-I arrive at the RFOC, grab a bowl of raisin bran, a muffin and two glasses of juice.
9:46-I clumsily drop an empty cup, causing it to break, unbeknownst to me.
9:47-I spill juice on myself.
9:48-I sit down, pull out my laptop and start watching.
9:55-I casually eavesdrop on the conversation next to me, to hear a discussion of birthdays and studying in Swem.
10:00-One of my fraternity brothers walks by sporting a W&M ultimate Frisbee t-shirt and a goofy smile.
10:03-I spot a friend of mine across the room grabbing a quick breakfast while she closely examines the book in front of her.
10:07-Several of the members of the Tribe football team enter the dining hall.
10:11-One of the workers in the cafeteria comes by to refill my napkins, we have a pleasant conversation about the beautiful weather (currently getting close to 80 degrees).
10:13-I gain a new neighbor, a man with a large plate of eggs.
10:14-My new neighbor pulls out his laptop and begins watching sports highlights.
10:17-My friend from before spots me, we exchange a wave and a smile.
10:19-A woman walks by in an extremely passionate discussion on the phone. I can only make the words “summer”.
10:25-The thought comes to mind that this is slightly creepy, I push it aside and continue on.
10:33-Incredibly loud laughter breaks out from across the room.
10:35-The laughter finally comes to an end.
10:42-I hear a passionate conversation about what meal plan to use next year, the verdict comes out that this student will switch from a gold plan to a block plan.
10:44-A man walks by with what must be his tenth slice of pizza.
10:45-I spot a friend from my freshmen hall from across the room and creepily text her: “I seeee you.”
10:46-I leave the comfort of my spot to go talk to my friend.
10:46- My walk around the cafeteria reveals several different groups huddled around phones watching the new viral video in which one of our own students invites New York Knick, Jeremy Lin to her sorority formal (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QA-Z_asGrg0)
10:46-My friend and I discuss end of the semester tests and her semester in the business block.
10:50-I realize that its 10:50 and I have class in 10 minutes. I pack up and head out.
10:51-I exit the RFOC.
Now this experience has actually taught me a lot. While many of these events may seem minor and insignificant, together they made me realize what a living, breathing place this campus is. In my short time in the dining hall I probably saw close to 500 different people, each doing their own thing with their own agenda. Some of them I was friends with, some I have never seen before in my life. Even though everyone’s busy, there’s this weird feeling of a general understanding in the dining hall. Everyone seems to know that everyone else is having a busy day as well, and respects that.
Perhaps my favorite part of this was seeing all the different types of things people are involved in, via their t-shirts. Examples: A purple shirt that reads “Gay? Fine by me.”, an Intramural Champions T-shirt, a t-shirt with a sorority’s greek letters sown on, a yellow shirt that simply reads “Tribe Pride”, several shirts advertising different band’s summer tours and countless Kappa Delta Campus Golf t-shirts just to name a few.
I need to remember to thank my friend for telling me to do this. I feel at times, I can get very caught up in all I’m doing, and now I know that the best remedy for this is to sit back and enjoy my surroundings, because honestly, they’re unlike any other.
Alma Mater Hail!
March 23, 2012 by Danny Anderson
Here on campus, I have the honor of being one of the tour guides for the Undergraduate Admission Office. This means that when you come visit our beautiful campus, I’m the one who shows you around and gives you the student perspective. So far, I have met a ton of cool people and, hopefully, have been pretty successful in showing what W&M is all about in the short amount of time given to me. My tours cover the same parts of campus but are always a little different. However, the one thing that is constant is how I end my tours. Our wonderful Deans at the admission office told us that we should end our tours by answering the question, “Why William & Mary?”. For me, there are too many reasons and addressing them all would arguably double the time of my tour. So I choose to focus on one aspect: community.
The community here at The College of William and Mary is like no other. Here, the academics bring us together initially but it is the countless other aspects that tie us together. It’s the trust that’s created through the honor code, it’s the shared passion for community service and it’s the desire to be involved outside the classroom that makes the difference at W&M. Like no other campus, W&M students respect and admire each others’ achievements. I truly believe that this community has been the primary contributor to my ability to be involved on campus. I always say, It’s not everywhere that as a student I get to advise the President on important issues facing the College and be actively involved in the judicial systems on campus (Honor and Conduct) all in the same week if not the same day! This community is exemplified in opening convocation as well as yule log and other traditions. This community is thriving at W&M and it’s waiting to welcome you!
Finally, I always sum up my tour the same way. I quote our wonderful president, Taylor Reveley and a speech he gave at opening convocation. We at William and Mary “have the brains of a large research institution and the heart of a small liberal arts college.”
Thanks for reading!
Alma Mater Hail,
November 28, 2011 by Danny Anderson
It’s that time of year again, the time of year that makes coffee and Mountain Dew sales sky rocket. It causes Swem to fill to near capacity, along with every classroom and study area on campus. It’s the time of year where everybody is concerned about what they know or, perhaps, what they don’t. It, along with spring finals, is the most stressful time of the year. But it’s not all bad. It’s also time for Grand Illumination in Colonial Williamsburg and the Yule Log ceremony at the Wren Building. It’s finals season, and everybody is looking forward longingly to Winter Break. Well, almost everybody.
For me, this semester went by way too fast. It could be because I had such an awesome time living with my fraternity brothers in our unit. Or maybe it was that I truly enjoyed all my classes this semester and was engaged by the material. Perhaps it was my extracurricular involvement that kept me busy enough to not notice the time passing. Or could it be that I’m so accustomed to campus life that I don’t even notice time passing anymore? Whatever the reason, first semester absolutely flew by. It seems like just last week, the freshmen were moving in and our professors were handing out syllabi.
William & Mary has a tendency of doing this. The students here get so involved in so many different things that there’s no time to think about leaving campus for the holidays. Even Thanksgiving break, though much appreciated, snuck up on me. I can’t believe that in two short weeks I’ll be leaving this incredible place for a month and a half. Don’t get me wrong, I’m excited to go home and spend time with my family, friends and, most importantly, my dog. However, I’m still reluctant to leave a place that can keep me occupied for 18 hours a day and happy about it. But of course, with the amount of engagement being a student here takes, I can’t waste time moping over having to leave. It’s time to buckle down like the rest of my classmates and get through this last week of classes and finals. I guess all I can do is hope that break flies by just as fast as this semester did!
Happy Holidays Everyone!
October 31, 2011 by Danny Anderson
Never has there been such a love-hate relationship than the one that every student at William & Mary shares with Earl Gregg Swem Library. Of course, we love the library itself. It’s a beautiful building with awesome resources. But the sheer number of hours one spends there add up…fast. There is certain Swem etiquette though. Here are the four things I think every student should know before embarking on a study session at Swem.
1. Do not wear flip-flops on the third floor: The three floors of Swem have different noise restrictions. On the first floor, you can throw someone a birthday party and no ones going to care. The second floor is for quiet study but if you need to ask someone a question that’s fine, just keep casual conversations to a minimum. The third floor, however, is completely silent. If you wear flip-flops or if your backpack makes a clicking noise, like mine does, you will get death glares. Before I studied up there for the first time, I questioned whether one actually needs complete silence, but then it really does promote productivity. I get more done on the third floor in much less time than it would take me on the second or first.
2. Take a break every once in a while: It’s incredibly easy to stress yourself out if you attempt to study the same thing for hours on end. It’s more than likely that several of my friends are there studying too, so my favorite thing to do as a break is to take a lap around the first and second floors to say hi them. Most of the time, they are just as relieved to have a break as I am. Another great place to take a break is The Mews (Swem spelled backwards), the 24 hour café that brews Starbucks coffee.
3. If you’re studying with a group, get there early and snag a study room: All three floors of Swem have awesome group study rooms. Because everybody at William & Mary is so intelligent, studying with peers is often the best way to prepare for an exam. The study rooms have whiteboards that you can use to draw out concepts (or doodle on when you get bored). Also, some of the rooms on the first floor have installed some stellar TV’s that allow students to display their computer screens for everyone to see.
4. Use the writing resources center: I think the writing resource center is one of the most underused resource at William & Mary. They have students that will proofread your papers and help you develop ideas to make them better. They can help you in any part of the process of writing a paper, from brain storming to final proofreads. All you need to do is make an appointment.
Hope this guide helps you in what is sure to be a large amount of studying you’ll be doing at The College!
Alma Mater Hail,
October 3, 2011 by Danny Anderson
Like almost everybody, I was an avid athlete in high school, playing as many as three sports a year. When I came to college I also came with the illusion that my athletic career was behind me. Man, was I wrong. The College has incredible opportunities for students that aren’t varsity athletes to get involved in athletics.
The first of these opportunities exists in intramural (IM) sports. Simply put, IM sports are awesome for everybody. So many people play that we have the luxury of having multiple leagues in each sport. So if you’ve never played a certain sport, you don’t have to play against the students who have been playing since they could walk. Last year, I played IM flag football, floor hockey, basketball and soccer. For me, it was the perfect balance between being competitive and just having fun. Plus, it’s always fun to brag that my fraternity won the IM cup last year.
My other athletic outlet is club sports. Remember those kids that have been playing sports since they could walk? Well, that’s me with ice hockey. Now, I’m from Vermont, and its cold there, really cold, for a long time. In Vermont, Ice Hockey is one of the most attended high school sports (if your team is good). When I chose to go to school in Virginia, I figured my hockey days were behind me. So I was pleasantly surprised by what I found at the student activities fair—a serious club ice hockey team. I immediately signed up and have loved playing ever since. We practice twice a week at a rink about twenty minutes away, and have games all over Virginia either once or twice a weekend. At times, it can be a time drain but it is completely worth it to keep doing something that I’ve always loved. The surprising thing about our team: we’re actually really good. Last year we won the Blue Ridge Hockey Conference championship.
So far it’s been great to represent the Tribe in athletics, even if it’s non-varsity status. And opportunities like this are countless at William & Mary. I have friends that play club basketball, rugby, lacrosse, swimming, soccer and several other sports. Bottom line, if you want to be athletic but you’re not a varsity athlete, you’ll have plenty of opportunities at William & Mary.
Alma Mater Hail,
August 21, 2011 by Danny Anderson
If you read my previous post, you already know that recently my friend and I were pondering the best decisions of our life. While my “best” decision came to me immediately, my “second best” took a while. First, I attempted to narrow it down. Because I wanted to choose a decision that was completely mine, I eliminated the majority of my childhood because the people around me influenced those decisions too heavily. Now, that’s not necessarily a bad thing, I just wanted a decision that I could call completely my own.
I struggled to think of this decision; all that came to mind were relatively small decisions. Like joining a new club or deciding to study with a group rather than struggle through material by myself. While many of these decisions were good ones, they weren’t monumental enough for me to rank them as one of my best. And then it hit me. All of these decisions stemmed from the same place, Beta Theta Pi. It took me a while but eventually I realized joining a fraternity was one of the best decisions of my life.
When I first got to William & Mary, I barley knew what Greek life was. I had simply heard stories from my sister about what her sorority sisters were like. So when I went to my first rush event with my freshmen hall mates I was skeptical to say the least. Even after speaking with representatives from the majority of the fraternities I was still uncertain. They all said similar things, “brotherhood is important to us”, “we take ritual seriously”, “we have brothers that do this”, “we have brothers that do that”. Only after going through the pledge process did I understand what being in a fraternity was really about and what they were trying to say during those open houses. It’s something that’s nearly impossible to explain during a short encounter at “Meet the Greeks.”
The aspect that affected me most during my freshmen year was the presence of a support system that had already been through what I was going through. Most of the fraternities are big enough that if you wanted to try something new, chances are, there’s a brother that has either already done it themselves, or knows someone that has. I specifically remember several conversations I have had with older brothers that provided me invaluable advice. I always sort of realized this truth in the back of my mind but it wasn’t until last week that I really began to appreciate it. Last week, I was admitted into a club on campus, one I didn’t know that much about. Because I involved myself in my fraternity, I knew not one, not two, but three people I could call to discuss the pros and cons of joining this club. Having a support system like that during the transition time that is freshmen year is invaluable. My friendships with upperclassmen are some of the most valuable I have, and my fraternity was the catalyst that got them started. So here’s my message to incoming students: don’t be afraid of upperclassmen, they can help you in ways you could never imagine. And don’t worry, we don’t bite.
Another aspect was the friends I made during both the rush and pledge process. I was fortunate enough to have a pledge class composed of some of the greatest guys I have ever met. These are guys that I can talk to about anything and everything, from the zombie apocalypse to the macro-econ final. Although classes are extremely important, these friendships taught me that college is about so much more than just academics. I learned just as much, if not more, from my friends as I did in any classroom. While a class may teach you about calculus or Shakespeare, your friends have the uncanny ability to teach you about yourself. Again, these are friendships I never would have formed if I hadn’t rushed.
Now, don’t get me wrong, William and Mary is definitely NOT a school dominated by Greek life. I have plenty of friends that didn’t rush and chose to remain independent. At W&M, more-so than most schools with Greek life, I feel, that choice is respected by the Greek community, rather than looked down upon. I view Greek life at William and Mary as an incredible resource that can really help you through your four years here, the choice of whether or not to use it is up to you.
My fraternity helped me in nearly every aspect of my freshmen year. It helped me in my academics, athletics (Intramural sports anyone?), extracurriculars and social life. I can honestly say that the vast majority of the good things about my freshmen year stemmed from my membership in a fraternity. My summarizing advice to you: if you’re even slightly considering rushing, come out and listen to us attempt the impossible and explain what it’s all about.