July 28, 2011 by Billy Kopp
Last semester I moved into an off-campus house with a few of my friends. While it was great living in the fraternity complex with brothers around all the time, a house definitely has its advantages. One of the many benefits included a well-stocked, relatively large kitchen. Almost right away, my roommates and I started taking turns cooking for the four of us. We found it much easier to cook for four people rather than just one, and it turned out to be much more cost efficient to have communal groceries. Most of the people who come over find it a little odd that we share food, but it works well for us. We enjoy eating together on a regular basis. I like our set-up because it reminds me a bit of home and it’s just a lot of fun to cook. Sometimes meetings come up so whoever is making dinner that night tries to work around everyone’s schedules so we can all eat around the same time.
We started another tradition at the house: Sunday night family dinners. Our motley crew of close friends is composed of sophomores, juniors, and seniors who are a mixture of scholars, athletes, and Greek members. The eleven of us would gather at my house Sunday evenings to spend time together and enjoy good food. We all took turns making dinner to help split the cost of feeding that many people and to try different foods. We have cooked a variety of things like beef chili, grilled salmon, lasagna, spaghetti and meatballs, grilled chicken, shrimp scampi, and more. Salad, bread, and/or vegetables usually accompany the main courses to round out the meal. Before we eat at the same table, we all hold hands and say some kind of prayer. It isn’t so that anyone is particularly religious but to symbolize being together and being a family of sorts. I’m hoping that once school starts again, we will fall back into the habit of making home cooked family meals at school.
July 26, 2011 by Billy Kopp
This summer is going to be my first almost full time summer spent in Williamsburg, and I’m really excited about it. After school was finished and our May beach week plans fell through (unfortunately), I headed home to Cincinnati for three weeks to spend some time with family and friends. It’s always nice to catch up at home since I don’t make it back very frequently anymore given the 9-10 hour drive. This visit back was a little different though. Hopefully, I’ll either have a job by graduation or find one soon after, which means those three weeks could have been my last summer at home. It’s just kind of weird to think about.
Anyway, my roommates and I have taken several weekend trips this summer. We have been all up and down the East Coast from New Jersey to the North Carolina. We started mid-June when we went up to Herndon for my roommate’s brother’s high school graduation party.
It was great spending time with his family, meeting all his friends, and taking part in the celebrations. The following weekend, we drove up to New Jersey for a college graduation party. This experience was a little different given the average age of friends in attendance but just as fun. We ate some delicious Polish food, met some interesting relatives, and created unforgettable memories among our friend group. During these trips, we made various pit stops in Fredericksburg, Herndon, and Maryland.
Moving into July, the trips have been mainly focused on the Outer Banks in North Carolina.
One of my roommates’ families owns a house and spends a month down at the beach every summer. They have family and friends come visit every weekend. We were fortunate enough to make two trips down there. Besides spending all day at the beach, one of my favorite parts has been the delicious food. People have prepared a range of things like homemade guacamole and fish tacos to gumbo, shrimp creole, and a crawfish boil to a full pig roast. Everything has been delicious! Since it is only a three-hour drive from Williamsburg to OBX, it makes for a great weekend escape.
The other weekends have been spent having fun in Williamsburg and entertaining visitors, but I’ll save those weekends for another blog post. We still have a few trips planned though. This weekend we are off to NoVA for a 21st birthday party Friday and another college graduation party on Saturday then next weekend the summer interns are headed to Virginia Beach. The summer is rapidly coming to an end but I plan on making the most of the weeks left before class.
July 7, 2011 by Billy Kopp
“Hello, my name is Billy Kopp. I am a rising senior from Cincinnati, OH. I am double majoring in Finance and History along with a Marketing concentration. A fun fact about me is that…” I know that was kind of an odd introduction to a blog but that is the little schpeel we had to give all week during training and before every tour. So I figured why not start off my blog with the same thing. Now, I’ll go into a little more background detail about me and my time so far at William & Mary.
Not being from Virginia, the 2/3 in-state and 1/3 out-of-state ratio of students seemed a little intimidating at first. I was somewhat anxious about not knowing anyone at the school or anyone in the Virginia area while being 9-10 hours driving away from home. Would it be easy to make friends, would I be overwhelmed by NoVA kids, would I meet other out-of-state people? Luckily, freshman orientation calmed all those nerves. During those five days, I met people from all over Virginia as well as people from all over the east coast. Now, going into my senior year, my best friends are from Virginia as well as Boston, Jersey, and California. Being an out-of-state student, it’s great meeting Virginia people because you can go home with them for short breaks and long weekends. Sophomore year I went to DC for Fall Break with a hallmate and then for Easter weekend I went to Virginia Beach with a different friend. It’s little trips like these that make being far from home much easier.
Along with making all new friends, I also had to explain to most people about the single-sexed high school experience. There are several all-male and all-female high schools in Cincinnati (I went to St. Xavier) so for me it was totally normal not to go to a co-ed school. I quickly learned that my norm did not hold true for most of the people I met. They typically thought it was “weird” or that “they could never go to school with just boys/girls.” I thought it was a great experience: there was almost no drama, the teachers could say pretty much whatever they wanted, and we had an awesome student section of 700+ guys at football/basketball games (“No Girls Allowed”). It’s always fun to meet someone else who shared a similar high school experience, particularly the all-male Jesuit kind. Whether they went to school in Cincinnati, Cleveland, or Baltimore, a common bond exists among us all. I am happy to say that I now share another common thread with the William & Mary community.