Mollie Shiflett ’26 is an undecided major who will probably end up majoring in History. She plays on the Gold Women’s Club Soccer team for the College of William and Mary and is an avid fan of most sports — except golf. Email Mollie at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Avi Joshi ’26 is a prospective English and Education major. He is a member of the Alpha Tau Omega fraternity and Wind Ensemble. He loves to play drums and cook. Contact him at email@example.com.
The views expressed in the article are the authors’ own.
On August 30, the first day of classes — otherwise known as FDOC — commences, and with it, a new class of freshmen joins the student body. We here at The Flat Hat welcome you to the family. The class of 2027 has arrived amidst heavy campus evolution — everything from changes in campus dining to mass construction. We, The Flat Hat opinion editors, are going to do our best to offer some advice for incoming freshmen as well as clarify expectations.
The College of William and Mary has always been known for its beautiful campus, and it’s easy to see why. Intricate architecture, an abundance of lush foliage and a comforting atmosphere that reigns over all of Williamsburg. We recommend not just looking on campus for study spots; Colonial Williamsburg, just steps away from campus, has an abundance of cozy study spots. However, it is important to note that the campus has changed in quite a few ways over the past few years. One: construction is here, and it’s here to stay. The College’s Vision 2026 plan projects to change 80% of dorms and dining halls on campus by 2032, meaning new housing facilities will soon be built where freshman dorm Yates once stood, and large swathes of campus are closed off for the construction of a fourth Integrated Science Center building. While construction does mean progress in the future, for right now it is going to pervade much of everyday campus life. The construction has forced main routes on campus to be entirely blocked off, so be ready to get your steps in. A lot of steps.
Another topic we have to mention is freshman dorms. We all know about them, and we all (mostly) like them. However, there are some big drawbacks, especially if you are unlucky enough to be in an older freshman dorm like Green and Gold Village, where small, sweaty rooms with cockroaches running amok create less than ideal living conditions. You’ve all heard about the lack of air conditioning in freshman halls, and by now you’ve (almost) all experienced it. At least there are some happy side effects to this: everyone will be forced into the air-conditioned lounges, which does lead to some good bonding time, and rooms cool off quickly with high-powered fans from Target. And then there are those of you who have been moved into what used to be upperclassmen dorms due to construction or were lucky enough to be placed into Lemon for non-medical reasons. Our only advice to you is to enjoy what the majority of your peers don’t have and soak up the A/C while it lasts.
Another big topic when it comes to the class of 2027 is the first year that the College will be switching its main food provider from Sodexo to Aramark. We join you in praying that this year will be an improvement on last year’s food (although we maintain that it wasn’t that bad, just way too repetitive). The best way to battle the food fatigue that will inevitably arise from rotating between only three on-campus dining halls is to just switch it up. Don’t eat the same thing every time. There will be a week (or two and a half, if we’re being honest) where you will love the pizza, and then, one day, you’ll show up, ready for another slice, and looking at the pizza counter will make you want to puke. Just spare yourself the pain, especially as new dining options like Column 15 and Starbucks are coming to campus. Too much of a good thing is never a good thing and all those other cliches.
Also, be wise with your dining dollars; $400 seems like a lot, but it goes fast — especially since Griffin Deals are a thing of the past. Hold onto those. You’re gonna need all you can get when you inevitably end up living off energy drinks and bags of chips during finals. The food at the College has always been a unique part about the entire experience, and we hope that a new era of quality has started.
So far, we’ve been going on and on about what you’re going to have to deal with as an incoming freshman — it’s a lot, but the same is true for any college or university. Amidst the negatives, there’s also so much to look forward to. We believe that the College offers one of the most inviting student communities around. It is constantly said during orientation that there is a place for you at the College, and we really believe so. Whether it’s through student-run organizations (like yours truly), Fraternity and Sorority Life, sports, faith, multicultural communities or music, you will find a group of people you connect with. It is one of the most rewarding parts about coming to the College.
We here at The Flat Hat invite the Class of 2027 to embrace the power of student media. The Flat Hat offers ways to let students say what they want and invoke the freedom of the press. Every new year brings both good and bad changes, and it is important for students to be able to discuss those changes. That’s what publications and media are for: to give your voice a platform. So despite the problems that the College presents, it is up to us as students to make our community aware of our thoughts and feelings. Our opinions section is always open to new writers and guest submissions via email — we exist to let you express yourself to the fullest extent.
Welcome Class of 2027. We hope you find the things about the College that make you proud to be here.