It is no secret that College of William and Mary has a reputation for being an academically rigorous school attended by students who have the tendency to place a huge emphasis on their GPA. And it is difficult not to develop this attitude as well, especially as an impressionable freshman. However, while grades are important, there is more to your freshman year and to the College.
It might sound cliché, but college really is one of the best times to get out of your comfort zone. To make the most out of your freshman year, you have to put yourself out there, and one of the best ways to do that is through the College’s many clubs and organizations. We have anything from ballroom dance to Quidditch. During my freshman year, I signed up for a ton of different clubs, but I never went through with attending the meetings because the thought of stepping into a room full of strangers by myself was terrifying. If that thought also terrifies you, do not let it. Go anyway, because you might really find your niche.
Although the freshmen dorms aren’t the nicest on campus, they provide a sense of community like no other, where you and your hallmates will bond over the unfortunate lack of AC and abundance of creepy crawlers. Again, if you are anything like I was, social interaction will be a battle. Forcing conversations with your hall might be scary, but it will be one of the best decisions of your life. Two of my closest friends at the College are both from my freshman hall and I could not imagine my college experience thus far without them.
One of the most underrated tools for non-academic activities are the student happenings emails. These list multiple things to do around campus, such as concerts, stand-up comedy shows, Screen on the Green and other cool events that cater to the broke college student, because they are usually either free or cost a couple of dollars. If you find yourself with nothing to do and want to take a break from studying with something other than Netflix, come out to one of these events.
In an academically intense environment, it is easy to put too much pressure on your academic achievements and put aside your social life. However, you can only experience your first year of college once, and it is crucial to make the most of the non-academic side of college. So, even if your GPA is not as high as you wanted it to be, remember that you will still have three more years to bring it up. Also try to get out of your comfort zone and most importantly, have fun.
Email Sierra Anderson at firstname.lastname@example.org.