My First Weeks: College of William & Mary

August 03, 2015

From the day the newest batch of freshmen first step onto campus to when we don our senior graduation stoles, William and Mary does an incredible job of integrating its students into the larger W&M community and making us feel at home. I took a less conventional route to get to where I am today, having transferred to W&M from another college in the fall of 2014. As a sophomore, I was a bit nervous because I wasn’t sure if I would be welcomed with as much enthusiasm as the incoming freshman class. However, I was delighted to find out that William and Mary has orientation for both freshmen and transfer students before the semester begins.

Image by Rowan via Flickr
Image by Rowan via Flickr

Orientation is five days long and begins as soon as the new students arrive on campus, as they are greeted by a group of student volunteers who help everyone bring their belongings into their dorms. Once the new students have had a chance to get unpacked, they’re divvied up into small groups for different activities and events for the rest of the five days.

I wondered if the friendliness would die away once classes started and everyone was busy doing their own thing, but I soon discovered that my fears were unfounded. I was the stereotypical lost newcomer during the first few days of the semester, but it seemed like every person I ran into on campus was eager to help me find my way around and give me directions. There is truly a sense of community at W&M that made me feel at home immediately; everyone genuinely cares about the well-being of their fellow students and is willing to go out of their way to help them.

This sense of community I felt was taken to another level when all the new students had to make a formal pledge in front of the honor council to abide by the code of conduct and represent the William and Mary community positively. This meant no lying, cheating, stealing, etc. Though it seemed daunting and intimidating while it was happening, as I reflect upon it, I am so glad that this is a part of the newcomer experience because it contributes to the emphasis on honesty and integrity on the campus.

In terms of class rigor for the first few weeks, I thought my professors did a great job on pacing the material appropriately and allowing us a week or so to get adjusted before diving into the coursework (although I only know this to be true for classes that I specifically have taken). 

In summation, I felt welcomed, comfortable ,and at ease during my time on campus, from the first few moments to first few weeks to first year.   

How were your first weeks of college? Comment below and let us know!

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William & Mary ‘18

Accepted to William & Mary

I'm a sophomore at the College of William & Mary. I like reading, writing, cooking, and eating. I'm undeclared but have several majors in mind.
William & Mary ‘18

Accepted to William & Mary

I'm a rising sophomore double majoring in Biology and Environmental Science, and am involved in a plant ecology research lab.
William & Mary ‘18

Accepted to William & Mary

I am a member of the College of William and Mary Class of 2018.
William & Mary ‘17

Accepted to William & Mary, Wesleyan, UVA

Studying music, math, and finance

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