It seems to me that there are countless articles dedicated to advice for incoming freshmen. They are, after all, the bright-eyed, promising new additions to our college family and a lot of them need guidance (especially you, freshman boy I saw peeing on the side of Yates at 11 p.m. on a Thursday night last year. You probably really needed any and all pieces of advice). But I’m here to try something slightly different. I want to pass on some advice to those of us who have already been in the ’Burg for some time.
I know, I know. You’ve been at the College of William and Mary forever. You have a favorite study spot, you crush Banner every registration, and you refuse to call The Units anything but that. You even, albeit begrudgingly, use the words “NOVA” and “CW” in regular conversation. Do you really need any beginning-of-the-year advice?
Answer: Probably not. But sometimes College students get too caught up in worrying about the future (specifically that orgo test next Tuesday) and don’t enjoy the present as much as possible. College is supposed to be one of the best times in our lives. Here are a few reminders that might help you better appreciate the College as your time in the ‘Burg grows shorter:
Be kind to the clueless freshmen at those open parties we will be attending in the next few weeks. Even if one of them corners you and brags to you about how much he looks like Ryan Gosling. (Apparently, the correct response to this is not, “If you’re a Gosling, I’m a Gosling.” Oops.)
Seniors: don’t dismiss said open parties. Yeah, it might be a little weird getting jiggy with a freshman on the dance floor, but it’s the last time you’ll be able to go to a frat party without being that random old person in the room. That is, unless you plan to spend your post-grad Fridays watching Animal House.
Appreciate Colonial Williamsburg. No, running into a colonial reenactor in their full garb at Chipotle doesn’t count. We live right next to a wealth of historical knowledge that people travel to from all over the country. You don’t have to get your free College student pass and go on every tour, but the cider runs you go on this semester might stick with you a little more knowing how few opportunities you have left.
Take part in all of the College’s traditions, no matter what. Events like Charter Day and Blowout make our college experience unique to the College. Standing in the rain to attend the Yule Log Ceremony may sound awful, but College President Taylor Reveley’s voice will surely warm your soul.
Don’t waste away in silence on the third floor of Earl Gregg Swem Library. That isn’t to say don’t study — you should do that. But we all know the type: the TWAMPS that spend all weekend in the library, from opening to closing. Of course we’re at college to learn, but learning is more than just books. You have to supplement that with adventures and life experiences (and fun).
Did this list seem a little obvious? That’s because it’s all stuff we know we should do: live life to the fullest, take part in every experience you can, and be nice to the new kids on the block. But I know I frequently need a reminder that “swemming” isn’t everything and that college is much shorter than we think it will be at the start of freshman year. The College gives us the opportunity to push ourselves to grow and prepare ourselves for our futures. But don’t forget to enjoy what it has to offer in the moment.
Sky Sprayberry is a Confusion Corner columnist who will be scouting out potential freshmen men to get jiggy with on the dance floor this weekend – being kind to clueless freshmen, indeed.