By the Numbers

Ellen Wexler / The Flat Hat

Second semester senior: this alliterated phrase is something I’ve heard countless times in the weeks since I’ve been back at William and Mary. The “second semester” status makes graduation feel much more like an impending event. But as if that didn’t feel scary enough, a recent Facebook invite jolted me to reality about how much time I have left at the College. I was invited to the weekly Senior Class Gift Mug Night at the Green Leafe Cafe, which last week was called “101 Days Until Graduation.”

The shock came from the fact that Mug Night put into a number how long I have left at the College. When I think about a period of time in months or weeks even, it seems far away. It’s easier to clutch onto the time that I have left. But upon seeing the Facebook invite, I think I finally understood that my days at William and Mary are literally numbered.

I think I finally understood that my days at William and Mary are literally numbered.

Going off of the Senior Class Gift’s recent event, I tried to sit down and think about my time at the College numerically. I thought it would be fun experiment to see if I could successfully chart my time here by the numbers.

I have been at the College for four years. Therefore, I’ve also lived in four different places in Williamsburg — two on campus and two off campus. I’ve had a whopping sixteen roommates — (due to the fact I lived in an apartment of seven abroad and a house of six junior year). I’ve taken 40 classes in 15 different subjects. I’ve studied abroad twice. I don’t even want to write the cost of college tuition. And now I have 91 days left until graduation.

And now I have 91 days left until graduation.

But that’s about as far as I could get in terms of qualitative data of my college experience. This fact shouldn’t be surprising — math has never been my forte. I thought that I could do a fascinating “by the numbers” blog about my college experience, but I found that it is really the quantitative memories that will stay with me.

I can’t count the number of times I’ve been enthralled by a lecture, walked through Colonial Williamsburg with a mug of cider, or danced at the Green Leafe with friends. I wouldn’t even know where to begin enumerating the times I’ve eaten in dining halls, hunkered down in Swem with friends, or written an essay until the wee hours of the night. How could I count the times I’ve attended a sorority mixer, sat in a meeting for the Global Film Festival or The Flat Hat, or hung out with friends until 3:00 in the morning? And just like I don’t want to write how much college has cost, I don’t even want to know the amount of money I’ve spent at Wawa. The reason that I cannot count these things is because over the past four years, they have happened over and over again.

So instead of focusing on a number that gets lower and lower as each day passes, I’m going to content myself with the fact that I can’t put a number or a price on these experiences I’ve just enumerated. I have lived these past four years to the fullest and will now have the memories of all of these times to content me. While my little “by the numbers” experiment might have failed, it did provide me with a piece of advice that I want to give other seniors: Don’t focus on the scary numerical milestones that this semester will continue to bring. Instead, think of the bigger picture — the wonderful amount of memories that you are going to have for the rest of your life. I promise it will bring a sense of contentment and a smile to your face. It sure did for me.


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