Making himself at home on my couch, Brandon Nichols immediately started chatting with my housemates who were busy doing their own thing. He offered me a piece of his bagel and we started chatting about my past interviews for the column — the pressure was on. Brandon has been involved in so much at the College from Alpha Pi Omega and Honor Council to the Senior Gift Committee. Within minutes, he had me laughing and forgetting this was an interview.
It’s your senior year. What are you most looking forward to doing this year?
There’s so much to do. There’s the prospect of what I’ll be doing after graduation, but also I’m looking forward to the good times with my friends and the W&M community. [It’s] the whole idea of spending time reinforcing the times we’ve had, reminiscing, jumping the wall and going to football games together. [I’m] getting excited for the next part of my life.
Speaking of jumping the wall, have you done the triathlon?
I have done one leg of the triathalon, but hopefully I will complete it by the end of this month. I almost did another part of it this past weekend, but didn’t. I intend to finish the rest of it before the semester is over.
What’s been your favorite activity you’ve been involved with on campus?
Even though I’ve only been in it for a little bit of time, I’d say Honor Council because I like the idea of something that binds us all together. I feel like a lot of schools don’t have that same kind of commitment to honor and the community understanding that we are all connected. I feel like it’s an important thing to know and understand when you leave William and Mary to realize that you did have a connection, not just to one person or the group you knew, but to the community as a whole.
That’s one of the reasons I came here; I realized the campus was small and it was a community. That’s something that you can feel during the summer session. Even when there’s no one here you can feel that strong sense of community.
Everyone who knows you says you have a deadpan sense of humor. What really makes you laugh?
The one thing that will make me laugh no matter what [is] “Can I have Your Number?” It’s a great YouTube video of a skit from “MadTV.” This guy is trying to get this girl’s number at the movie theater. He’s being really obnoxious and asking for it, and she’s like “No, can I just watch my movie?” It’s hilarious.
What do you want to be doing in the future?
After I graduate, I’m going to New Orleans for a little bit, hopefully, because this winter break I’m working for a legal group that helps low-income people who have been affected by Hurricane Katrina. I hope to do more Katrina legal work when I go there. I’d like to spend a few months there and then I’m trying to work in South Africa for a legal organization. I have yet to contact them, but I’m in the process of finishing that letter. I want to go there for a year then apply to law school in New York or Chicago.
Do you have any hobbies that most people wouldn’t know about?
I love video games. Right now I’m really in to Super Smash Brothers Brawl for Wii.
I also like to play the piano a little bit. I’m not really good, but I’m trying to teach myself more. I took group lessons here because I didn’t have time for private lessons, so I decided to continue to play and try and teach myself a little bit. I like long walks on the beach, watching the sunset — you know, those types of things.
What’s one thing that you haven’t done yet at the College that you really want to do?
Something that I really want to do is experience the United States and go on a road trip. I’m kind of a military brat, and I’ve moved a lot, but I still feel like I haven’t seen much of the U.S. I haven’t been to California. I’ve never seen the flyover states and whatnot. I feel like there’s so much to this country. There’s so much to experience; I love experiencing things. I love meeting people — people who are different, who have different thoughts and ideas. There are so many things I want to see; I want to go to Chicago and I want to go back to Houston, Texas. That’s where I was born. I like to say it was a birth and run: I was born and then we moved two weeks later.
If you could rename yourself, what would you change your name to?
I’ve actually thought about this a lot. I really like my middle name. It’s Jaston and there’s a wonderful story behind it. When I was born and they were trying to pick out names, my mom had been watching a lot of horror movies, so she wanted to name me Damien or Jason, and my dad was like, “No, we don’t want to do that to our child.” So they named me Brandon after one of my dad’s good friends. My mom was still determined to get her way so she put a “T” in Jason and made Jaston and that became my middle name. I really like that name a lot, so I would rename myself my middle name and I don’t know what I’d do with my middle name. Maybe I wouldn’t have one so that I could have an X in my W&M ID. I gave props to my mom even though she was a little insane.
After an hour and 45 minutes of chatting, we realized it was getting late. In typical Brandon style, he invited me to eat dinner with him, but, unfortunately, I already had plans. On his way out, talking about how proud we are to be members of the Class of 2009, Brandon only had to say a few words to convince me to donate to the class gift. We told a few more jokes before busy Brandon ran off to grab Quizno’s and indulge himself in a little “Gossip Girl” before yet another busy night.