It was almost time for me to leave the building. “Hey everyone, let’s take photos before we head out.” I heard someone say. I finished getting ready for the event and went downstairs. After I left the building, I met everyone outside. “Hey, you look amazing! Can’t wait to walk through the Wren Building.” I am currently a sophomore, class of 2024, and I was experiencing Opening Convocation for the first time with the freshmen, the class of 2025. Our Convocation had been pushed three times already. Traditionally, Convocation is a celebration meant for the new class to walk through the Sir Christopher Wren Building to signify the beginning of the academic year and to officially welcome all of the entering College of William and Mary students.
At first, I was very confused about why the Convocation date kept on getting postponed and why students were notified towards the end of the day rather than the beginning. My plans would constantly get changed. It was continuously postponed due to weather conditions, which was understandable since it’s Williamsburg. While walking toward the Sir Christopher Wren Building with other students, I noticed there were green and yellow lights. This was perfect and contrasted the night sky well. Although the light complemented the scenery, the seating area that I was in was very dim. It was hard to hear the president, along with other speakers. I felt like I kept on getting distracted by all the things going on around me. When all the students got up to sing the Alma Mater out loud, it was so dark that many people began to take out their phones and turned on the flashlight to read what was on the pamphlet. I wish that they put lights out in the back because it would have made the experience much better.
One of the highlights from the ceremony was speaker Justice John Charles Thomas. I was moved by his speech, in terms of how he described our community and all the hardships we have been through. He was very inspirational, bringing back how consistently we are tested in our daily lives. He described the world as “ fragmented” and how all have different world views that surround us and confront us. Toward the end of the ceremony, the different classes began to walk through Wren. The class of 2024 went through the building first. However, unfortunately, I was not aware of this and ended up walking through the building with the Class of 2025. At the end of the walk, we were greeted by the upperclassmen, but since the event was prolonged, I could sense low-drained energy from the crowds on the sidelines.
At the end of the Convocation, which lasted roughly from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m., I felt hungry and went to Wawa and got a late dinner. Overall, I am glad that I was able to experience Convocation, even though I had different expectations of how things played out.
Bushra Bablu ‘24 is planning to double major in government and economics. Bushra serves as an Associate Opinions Editor for The Flat Hat Newspaper and the Business Manager for Flat Hat Magazine. Outside of The Flat Hat, Bushra is also involved with One for the World and Women in Business. Email Bushra at firstname.lastname@example.org.