Over the glorious Fall Break that should have never ended, I had the chance to visit a school with a population nearly eight times larger than that of the College of William and Mary, where a Saturday morning fundraiser had more runners in attendance than our entire undergraduate body. I was amazed at the sheer size of it all — a 40,000 student body population could not have been more impressive at first sight. Unfortunately for the Penn State University Nittany Lions — after four wonderful years at the College — the most valuable lesson this member of the Tribe learned from her visit is that she loves her future alma mater above any and all others.
Don’t get me wrong — Penn State did have wonderful qualities. After seeing an efficient and timely bus system, a glorious Waffle House and an incredible football stadium, I could imagine how exciting a school like that could be. With a student on every corner and more Panera restaurants and pizza places than I could count, Penn State appeared to have huge possibilities. But within the first day on their campus, I was also able to see how my own small, quirky and loose-bricked college — filled with historic traditions and colonial carriages — was better than any other campus I have seen.
At no other school is the student population quite as close and as open as ours. From Fridays at Five and the Sadler Center Terrace to the wee hours of the morning in Swem during exam period, the spirit of the College could not be stronger, and our student body could not be kinder. We can stop any student at any time and know that we can count on him or her for help no matter the situation. I know and trust my fellow Tribe Members, and I could not imagine a better environment in which we could spend our college years.
I know that upon graduation, I will be able to take the College with me no matter where I go: The alumni will welcome me with open arms no matter the circumstances and many employers love reading “the College of William and Mary” on any resume. The experiences I have had and the lessons I have gained during my time here could not have been more incredible. From undergraduate research to study abroad opportunities to the 400 student and sports clubs, no other college could have offered us the same breadth of passion and opportunities.
My everyday experience here has made me realize how lucky I am to have called the College my home for the last four years. There has not been a single day when I have woken up and doubted my decision to come here. Instead, each morning, I choose to smile at the fact that I still have another glorious — and potentially rainy — day to spend in the City of Williamsburg. My only other hope is to have many more Saturday and Sunday mornings and fewer 8 a.m. mornings to enjoy in the future.
Despite its quirks and our witty jokes about the College, we are one unified student body, one group of incredible and passionate individuals; we are the Tribe. We are the College, and what we do with our time here will resonate for years with future members of the Tribe. Most importantly, there is no other group of 6,000 individuals who I would have rather spent the past four years with.
Now go forth, my little ones. This article may have had no humor, no facts and especially no logic, but if it inspired just one person today to love our school a little more, I would consider my time here a success.
Dasha Godunova is a Confusion Corner columnist and hopes that you can convince your Penn State friends that the College is older, wiser and will one day be superior in all facets, even football.