__Sarah Rojas has only been back on campus for three days, but she’s already thrilled to see the College of William and Mary blossoming into a new semester. Fresh from a summer spent working for the New Jersey Democratic State Committee, the ambitious Student Assembly president is busy settling into her new place in Williamsburg, catching up with friends and participating in semester kick-off meetings for the SA. She found time to discuss her college memories and summer experiences and offer up some advice to the Class of 2013.__
*What’s your favorite part of the freshman orientation experience?*
I think how close you get to your freshman hall. I remember walking in, and you don’t know what to do with yourself — you came from a place where you have a good set of friends; and you really knew who you were; and you come to college; and you’re just not sure of anything. To have that great group of friends right off the bat is something I really valued. I think orientation really capitalizes on that, and it’s great that you have that group of kids to fall back on right away.
*What do you think is the best way to spend the beautiful fall afternoons we have ahead of us?*
This is what I’m going to be doing all this semester when I have free time: First I’ll be waking up, going to the farmer’s market and talking to the people [there] because the people who open the stands always have amazing stories, and they’re so interesting and friendly. Then, getting just little treats from a couple of the stands and taking them to the back of the Governor’s Palace where there’s this gorgeous lake and eating them. Then coming back to campus and stopping by the Sunken Garden for Frisbee or just to lay out because you always have to be on the Sunken Garden on any great fall day. And then just hanging out on the [Sadler Center] Terrace in the late afternoon. It’s one of my favorite places on campus.
*You’ve been involved in a lot of different activities and leadership positions at the College, ranging from the Sharpe program to Inter-Sorority Council to Student Assembly. How do you think the experiences have impacted your time here at the College?*
One of the most amazing things about William and Mary is how open everyone is to meeting new people and helping them get involved in whatever they’re involved in on campus. I think that the activities fair is one of the most amazing things that happens at orientation because you can really just go around and see all the different interests on campus and meet people who are involved in so many different things. I think taking advantage of that influenced me because once you get involved in an organization, it’s not just something that you’re passionate about —you meet people who are also passionate about that.
*What’s your favorite tradition at the College?*
I’m a big fan of all of the traditions, but I guess one of the big ones that sticks out to me is opening Convocation just because I feel like it’s the first time everyone’s together formally. Your parents aren’t there, you’re just as a class, you have alums there, and it’s that first introduction to the William and Mary community. Once opening Convocation happens, you know you’re a part of the Tribe.
*What’s your favorite campus meal?*
So no offense to any dining services, but for the longest time I was afraid to eat the meat just because of all those horror stories I heard. I started eating it, and it’s good. So now whenever they have the chicken fingers with the honey mustard, I get excited.
*Did you read any good books this summer?*
I read a couple this summer. I read “Eat, Pray, Love,” which was good and relaxing beach reading, and I read “Walden,” which I have been meaning to read forever. My little sister had to read “Great Expectations” for high school, so I also reread that because I didn’t really remember it. I read a couple of Flannery O’Connor books, too. I love reading; reading is the best. That’s the thing; I never have time to read at school. I don’t think anyone at William and Mary does though.
*What sticks out in your mind as the song of the summer?*
Anything by Owl City. Owl City has been my summer favorite for the past two summers.
*What’s your ideal summer vacation?*
Lake Placid, NY, in the Adirondack Mountains. I go there every year with my family for my parent’s anniversary.
*Any good movies you’ve seen lately, or ones you’re looking forward to seeing when they come out?*
I’m excited to see the “Time Traveler’s Wife” because I’m a sucker for those movies, but my favorite movie I saw this summer, even though it’s not new, is “Big Fish.”
*If you were to give a shout-out to the class of 2013, what would you tell them?*
Alright, two things: One, make the most of your freshman year because it will really define your time at the College. You can always change and be different things, but if you just get out there and meet people and really experience this place, it will make the next three years amazing. Okay, so there are actually three things [laughs]. Second thing, when you’re arriving on campus, understand that you’re going to be on campus for four years but you’re going to be a member of the Tribe forever, and that involves coming back for Homecoming, supporting the College financially and being a good ambassador for this school. It’s a lifelong commitment so don’t forget that. And third, it’s a beautiful day, so get your Terrace seat early — because they fill up and you won’t have anywhere to sit.
*Any last comments?*
To all you freshmen out there, somehow get involved in service during your time at the College, whether it is in Williamsburg or an international or domestic service trip; my time spent with service has made me realize how giving and genuine this campus really is.
__Sarah certainly embodies what many of us at the College strive to be: passionate, involved and fun-loving. Though a campus leader, she’s also a regular student just like us. She likes to lie out on the Sunken Garden not doing homework and ordering mac and cheese — in “the largest size there is” — during late-night Wawa runs. Say hello to Sarah when you see her around campus, because aside from being able to answer questions about new SA initiatives, you’ll see that she’s full of the energy that makes being a part of the Tribe so great.__