Choosing which school to attend felt a lot like blindly selecting my fate. I had no way of anticipating what any given option would hold for me and simply had to rely on my judgment and intuition. Despite hours of research, my 17-year-old self still had no idea which school would be best. I decided visiting each campus one more time might help me. I hoped to experience an “Ah-ha!” moment, which would lift the veil from my eyes, providing me the answer to my fate.
Naturally, I experienced no such moment of revelation.
Frustrated at my lack of immediate instinctual knowledge (sadly, no symbol appeared in the sky informing me which school to choose and no flash from heaven momentarily blinded me with the truth), I needed to dive in to some deep, interactive research. I decided to observe interactions between students, sit in on a class and stop random students on each campus to ask them about their college experience. Of the three schools I was seriously considering, my interviews at the first two fell flat. The students lacked the enthusiasm for their schools that I hoped for and the classes I sat in on seemed to drag on for centuries, refusing to provide me with a single spark of inspiration.
However, my experience at William and Mary was completely different. People were eager to talk to me and basically praised the college. The students I talked to emphatically expressed their love for the school, encouraging me to come to their next class with them, text them with any questions I had in the future and even invited me out to dinner. The professors taught their classes passionately, engaging the room with interesting information, jokes and admirable approachability. I left the school with a sense of belonging. However momentary my interactions on campus had been, they told me that I could find a home at William & Mary.
By actively immersing myself on campus before making my life-changing decision, I ended up finding the perfect college for me, something that I would never have been able to do had I not put myself out there. Waiting to be struck by a bolt of divine revelation, a supernatural force that would point me in the direction of my future, proved futile. Yet when I carefully researched my options, I became aware of the best course of action for myself. Thankful for this lesson, I’ve attempted to apply it in other areas of my life as well.
As I enter my senior year, William & Mary continues to exceed my expectations, not only providing me with an invaluable education, but also passionate friends and professors who I can share my experience with. I have no doubt that the best friends I’ve made here will last me a lifetime and continuously impress me with their sense of adventure, loyalty and love. Whether we are laughing on long car-rides together or passionately discussing our favorite classes, I am constantly aware that I have found my people. Now, I continue to pass along the story of my discovery and love of William & Mary to potential new students as a Campus Tour Guide. In short, come to William & Mary. I promise you wont regret it.