Welcoming tour groups to campus is unique joy

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GRAPHIC BY KAYLA SHIRLEY / THE FLAT HAT

As spring begins, flowers start to blossom around campus and students emerge from their winter hibernations. Almost overnight, campus becomes filled with tour groups. Studying near the center of campus, you can be passed by five or six tours in the span of a few minutes. Many students love to complain about the density of tour groups, which is certainly understandable when you are running late to class and have to squeeze through 40 people in the Integrated Science Center or Tucker Hall.

However, I love the joy and enthusiasm that tour groups bring to campus, and I think that it is important to welcome them here. Spring break of my junior year of high school, I toured several Virginia schools, trying to figure out what made all of these colleges different. On my tour, the College of William and Mary stood out to me as incredibly different in a good way, so much so that I decided to apply early decision.

The reason I loved the College was because of how welcoming the campus was to tour groups. At other schools, the students seemed annoyed by tour groups, and it seemed that they didn’t particularly want new students at their school. I noticed on my tour that students here seemed happy walking around their campus, and enthusiastic about welcoming new students. Everyone, not just the tour guide, seemed like they cared about me and genuinely wanted me and the other members of my tour group to come to their school.

While I understand that we are not always in the mood to welcome languid teenagers and their inquisitive parents to campus, I firmly believe it is important to appreciate both tour guides and their tour groups. I am thrilled about the idea of an upcoming class of freshmen, bringing new ideas and experiences to make our campus even better. I chose to come here because of the welcoming atmosphere during my tour, and these tours are what will showcase our school in the best light.

I personally am thrilled when someone who has finished their tour of campus asks me a question or two about my experience, or when one of my friends still in high school wants to learn more about the College. New students coming here to share their diverse perspectives and help us all grow toward a better future is something we all can and should be happy about.

Tours are beneficial for tour guides themselves as well. Jaya Uppal ’18, a tour guide, said that giving tours is a reminder of how much she loves the College and has grown since coming here. Even students who aren’t official tour guides for the Office of Undergraduate Admission can share their love for the campus and be encouraged by the young tour participants.

After all, if we, the student body, are not excited or happy to see tour groups, no one is going to want to come here. I firmly believe that we attend one of the best schools in the world, and since the College is the perfect place for me, I am so excited about new students coming here and potentially discovering their perfect place.

Email Anna Boustany at [email protected]

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