Confusion Corner: A tribe is a family you can rely on

You may have noticed upon your arrival to campus that a certain phrase is the particular favorite of William and Mary students. No doubt the Orientation Aides shouted it at you while they offered candy and gave you an early start on the Freshmen Fifteen. It is “One Tribe, One Family.”

It’s one of the many unique catchphrases at the College, and seems to be applied to virtually any situation. Accidentally put your shirt on backwards, and a kind soul points it out? One Tribe, One Family. A classmate empathizes after you don’t receive the result you wanted on Buzzfeed’s “Which British Hunk Should You Marry?” quiz? One Tribe, One Family. Your roommate tolerates hours of your obsessive tirades about The Bachelor? Most definitely One Tribe, One Family.

You’re probably going to get tired of hearing the phrase – perhaps you already are after that last paragraph – but either way, my dear freshmen, its underlying meaning holds true. It’s the best expression we have to signify how wonderful and loving William and Mary’s community is. To explain it succinctly, William and Mary is like Canada, only instead of moose, we have squirrels. Here, people will look out for you. Ladies, when you inevitably forget your iPhone 6+ at a frat house because there are no girl pockets in existence big enough to hold it, do not be alarmed. Rather than steal it, another member of the Tribe will post about it in the Facebook lost and found page and return it in pristine condition. Fellas, when you leave your super fly fedora in Swem after a late night study sesh, you too will receive the Tribe lost and found treatment. Unless I see it, in which case, I will keep it and wear it ironically.

You freshmen are the snot-nosed, little siblings we pretend are annoying when in reality, we love you already.

“One Tribe, One Family” exists for more serious matters too — if you’re homesick, or stressed, or lonely, rest assured that you will always have shoulders to cry on and ears ready to listen. Being a student at the College means being a member of the Tribe family, for better or worse. You freshmen are the snot-nosed, little siblings we pretend are annoying when in reality, we love you already. This family will push you to get through that statistics final you think you’re going to fail; it will encourage you to consume copious amounts of Wawa mac and cheese; it will dissuade you when you convince yourself that cutting your own hair is a great, economical idea. (No, you can’t pull off Taylor Swift’s bangs, and yes, a real haircut is worth the forty bucks.) Most of all, the Tribe family will help you grow into the person you’re meant to be, and we’re so happy you’ve joined us here in Canada…I mean Williamsburg.

Cameron Murphy is a Confusion Corner columnist whose favorite activities include watching The Bachelor and all of its spinoffs while eating Wawa mac and cheese.


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