Learning to be thankful

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April 27, 2015

10:29 PM

This week, I’ll have my last class as an undergraduate. My mind is blown. I feel as if I just began my journey at the College of William and Mary, and now it’s almost over. Sometimes I even forget I’m graduating. Someone will tell me about a class I should take next semester, and I’ll think, “Yeah, that sounds really interesting! Oh, but no. I can’t. I’m graduating.” I’ve taken all the classes I need. From my first class in the Sir Christopher Wren Building to what will be my last class in St. George Tucker Hall, I’ve made it (as long as I pass my finals).

When I look back at what I did as an undergraduate, I’m thankful for the opportunities I had, but I also wonder why I didn’t do certain things. Why didn’t I study abroad for a semester? Or why didn’t I take more creative writing classes? Why didn’t I join a sorority? Why didn’t I become friends with more people? Or on the other hand, why did I get so involved in some things? Why did I invest so much of my time into one club and not others? I question what I did with my time here and past decisions that I have no power to change. The College often reminds me of Hogwarts, but unfortunately, there are no Time-Turners here.

These questions can be overwhelming, but I’ve realized that I did what I was supposed to do in my time here. Personally, I don’t believe in chance, so what I did here had a purpose— even if it often appears at first glance that I could have done more or made better decisions. Once I grasp the idea that there is a reason for everything I did in college, life becomes a lot less confusing, and I realize that a Time-Turner is unnecessary and could even be bad.

Last Friday, one of my meetings ended early and I had some free time, so I went to the Wren Building and sat on the steps facing Colonial Williamsburg. As I peered down Duke of Gloucester Street and examined the front yard of the Wren, I became incredibly thankful for my time here at the College. Being an undergraduate here has been a privilege, and I’ve gained so much — a well-rounded education, practical skills for future jobs, friends who have become like family and even a better perspective on the world at large.

My roommate’s goal has been to be more thankful and appreciate how thankfulness brings us joy and peace. As I sat on those steps, I finally realized that she is right. The future may look uncertain for the Class of 2015, and we may often look back and think we should have done this or that. But instead, if we’re thankful for the experiences we’ve had, then we will have a greater sense of peace about the past and the future. And so, I’d like to thank my family back home and the people at the College — professors, friends, classmates, and others — who have challenged me and guided me and supported me during my time at the College. Because of all of them, I’m ready for the next chapter of my life. I did what I could with my years as an undergraduate, and now it’s time to turn the page.

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About Author

Rachel Brown
  • Rachel Brown

Rachel Brown '15 is a psychology and English double major from Danville, Va. She was previously Associate Variety Editor.