If there’s one occasion that should make every College of William and Mary student smile, it’s the release of Taylor Swift’s new album Oct. 27, because nothing says “typical William and Mary person” quite like T-Swift dancing to her own beat, am I right? Okay, so I’m joking … kind of. The one occasion we should really appreciate is Homecoming.
I would ask each of you what Homecoming means to you, but that sounds both physically and emotionally exhausting, and I know that I would probably get a different answer from all 14,000 of you. That’s a rough estimate. I’m unsure how many people go here. Anyway, that’s the magic, if you will, of Homecoming — there’s no correct answer for how to properly celebrate our school or each other, and I love experiencing all 10,000 of your ways. Again, rough estimate.
Since by now you all are clearly clinging to your chairs, desperate to know, I will describe two of my favorite things about Homecoming. Yes, only two, because although the list is lengthy and worthy, I only have about 700 words to convey these things to you. The first is that, ironically enough, just in time for Halloween, Williamsburg turns itself into a bumping college town for everyone from babies to Olde Guarde alums. That’s right, babies, I saw you turning up in that jumpy castle at the Alumni House, so take that denial elsewhere. It seems like Williamsburg’s tagline changes from “Home of Colonial Williamsburg and Other Historical Artifacts You May or May Not Care About” to “The Proud Home of William and Mary’s Tribe.” History-buff tourists visiting Colonial Williamsburg during Homecoming, for a trip completely unrelated to the College, have no choice but to celebrate with us and get behind the Tribe.
For Homecoming, College students know what it’s like to attend a school where the campus happenings outshine the history of the town. Let’s face it, because even with award-winning faculty, amazingly intelligent students and a dime piece of a campus, it’s pretty tough to compete with Colonial Williamsburg. I mean, it is literally part of the foundation of the United States. However, on Homecoming, we make Colonial Williamsburg look like Katy Perry when Taylor Swift’s album drops — so bitter! Those two have drama, if you didn’t know. Google it.
The second reason Homecoming takes the award for “best weekend ever” is because it reminds me that there is a life beyond our four or five (or six?) years here and the best is yet to come. While talking with older alumni, the common theme throughout our conversations was that, yes, they do indeed miss the College, but what they gained from this school is far greater than what they left behind. Well, let me explain. I wasn’t just walking up to random alumni on campus begging them to impart some grand wisdom on me. In fact, most of them came up to me to talk about their time here and to learn more about the current student body. That fact alone speaks volumes about the power of Homecoming.
Where else will you find wise people in their 50s who willingly talk to know-it-all teenagers and young 20-somethings for free? Where I’m from, in New York City, older adults walk quickly in the opposite direction from any event heavily attended by people our age. Trust me, I have been scolded by many an older lady for speaking loudly on a subway. To have older alumni want to speak with me is both shocking and wonderful. Even if our alumni are not yet in the careers of their dreams, they all exude a confidence of knowing that they did and will always have the College as a support system. Homecoming is a wonderful reminder that as big or as little an impact you feel you have made on the College, and whether or not you are recognized for it, the College will always be your home.
I hope that for those of you who weren’t in the Homecoming spirit, for whatever reason, you can still appreciate the amount of respect which thousands of people who went here, and survived, still have for our school. It’s almost like they love this place or something? I don’t really know. I do know, however, that you should all check your mysterious “other” Facebook Messenger inboxes for a petition I’m creating to make Homecoming every weekend. Looking forward to all 1 million of your signatures. Again, I am only estimating that number.
Zoe Johnson is Confusion Corner columnist who will be tailgating this weekend to celebrate Homecoming part two of 52. Come join in!