Day for Admitted Students is an annual invasion of campus by would-be College of William and Mary students and their family members. From the time they step on campus to the time they leave, these students are treated to cheers, high-fives, goodie swag bags and a rose-tinted view of what life here will be like. And that’s not necessarily a bad thing.
And no, prospective students do not need to know these specifics of the realities of life on campus.
Yes, our campus is alive with differing opinions and protests over different issues, all with varying degrees of relevance to the world around us. Yes, this discourse is a good and healthy expression of our differing opinions. And no, prospective students do not need to know these specifics of the realities of life on campus. First of all, most of the students who come to DFAS have not committed here, and there’s no purpose to airing our “dirty laundry” to students who are not ready to become a part of this campus. Secondly, the students that do decide to join our community will be introduced to the reality of our campus in their due time. That period of adjustment is necessary for these freshmen, the majority of whom are dealing with enough change moving out on their own for the first time, meeting new people, and figuring out classes that to already be fully aware of the specific issues our community is passionate about would make their transition even more difficult.
Every college campus has discord, and prospective students should not be expecting a utopian society, but the specifics of the issues we face here at William and Mary are problems we students should face, rather than those who are not involved in our community, like non-committed prospective students.
Now, I’m not condoning any false advertising or blatant lying about what life is like here to prospective students. When I hosted a student for Autumn Blast, I made sure my hallmates and I shared our fun stories with her, as well as let her know that everything is not always fun and games. I tried not to disillusion her dreams of attending William and Mary (which she is next year), but I also didn’t want to mislead her and make her think being a part of this community is always easy. It’s a really fine balance, and it is too easy to over-emphasize either extreme. Every college campus has discord, and prospective students should not be expecting a utopian society, but the specifics of the issues we face here at William and Mary are problems we students should face, rather than those who are not involved in our community, like non-committed prospective students.
DFAS is a fun, chaotic, unrealistic day. Prospective students and their parents deserve this time to be excited about what life could be like here — from eating in the dining halls (and we all know the misrepresentations of Sodexo food when we have visitors) to playing on a sports team, or joining a club. The naivete of prospective students and new freshmen will fade with time as they discover the issues specific to their new community and figure out their own opinions.
Contact Kate Donati at firstname.lastname@example.org.