an in-state student, I figured I would end up at
William and Mary (based on size and location alone).
And I haven't regretted my decision at all. At any
rate, here are some factors/issues with William and Mary:
Good luck with the car situation...and it really helps
to have one in Williamsburg. There isn't much to
do here, but Richmond, DC, and Virginia Beach are all
within a reasonable drive, providing many more activites for students
on the weekend. If you can't make your own fun
and have to have a major concert going on every
weekend, Williamsburg isn't the place for you.
hear a lot of students complain about this. To
be honest, this is an issue with nearly every school.
The fact that so many students actually want to
stay on campus (thus making on-campus housing somewhat competitive -
although almost everyone gets to live on campus) speaks volumes
about the closeness of the community here.
thing that is a problem at almost any other school.
Yet it can be a pain. We just
implemented a new registration system, so that might help...I'm not
holding my breath...
-Diversity. Don't come here if you're
looking to go home with a student from some exotic
location for spring breaks. Granted, the school isn't entirley
lilly-white, but you would certainly think so from walking around
campus. The multi-cultural organizations lead to some self-segregation amonst
minorities, but by the same token, different racial groups get
along without any problems.
-Social Life. Believe it or
not, some of us have one! William and Mary
is not known for its rockin party scene. If
you're dead-set on that, go to UVA. The greeks
certainly dominate it, a party can be found going on
Friday and Saturday on frat row. A wide variety
of people tend to go to the frats because they're
pretty laid back - if you just want to go
and dance, that's fine. If you want to get
drunk off of cheap beer, that's fine. Most people
do both. Not to mention that the frats aren't
all cookie-cutter examples of your typical greek organization. There
are some alternative ones that provide variety to the typical
party scene. The best way to describe the type
of people socially here at W&M would be to divide
them into thirds. About 1/3 have no social life
whatsoever, by typical standards. They could live on your
hall and you'd never know their name. They study
obsessively, and find joy in getting their mid-term back.
Their best friend is their computer. If magic or
dungeon and dragons is your gig, you'll find some life-long
friends here. The next 1/3 would be the crowd
that goes out and parties, but not to the extent
that most frat people do. They like to have
fun, can be found playing frisbee in the sunken gardens
as often as they can be found playing drinking games
at the delis (a group of delis that turn into
bars on the weekend - popular place for many students
to go). A lot of non-drinkers are in this
crowd as well. The final 1/3 would be the
hard-core partiers. If you fall into this group, join
a frat or sorority. You'll have a good time.
These three groups interact pretty well and aren't entirely
segregated from each other. Everyone at W&M is pretty
accepting, really. Different organizations provide a great deal of
different activites. No matter what your interest, there is
an organization here for it. TRUST ME.
of “community”. You'll hear them talk a lot
of this on tours, admissions, ect. I thought it
was crap to be honest, until I came here.
There really is a sense of community, and you feel
as if you can relate to every student here on
one level or another. People are friendly and open,
and like I said before, different social groups interact frequently.
The school's size is one if its best features,
being right around 5,500. It is big enough so
that there is a good variety of people, and it
won't feel like high school all over again. By
the same token, it is small enough that can't walk
across campus without running into 5 people you know.
I seriously believe it is “2 degrees of separation” here.
The countless traditions and campus-wide events (such as King
and Queens, a campus-wide formal, to Wren at 10, where
the a capella groups perform for free in the Wren
courtyard every Wednesday at 10) really bring everyone together here.
Campus organizations work hard to bring interesting events to campus,
and they do a good job of it.
Unfortunately, there isn't one single sports team the entire
school gathers behind and supports. We have strong soccer,
tennis, and cross country programs (but those aren't quite on
the same level as basketball or football). There is
a club team for almost every single sports team you
could think of, and intramurals are extremely popular as well.
We have a good rec center, they're even going
to expand it soon. It is kind of far
from old campus, but also close to most of the
-Campus. You can walk from
one end to the other in about 15 min.
Getting to class on time isn't a problem. Not
to mention this place is absolutely gorgeous. The sunken
gardens is a great place to hang out: people go
there for everything from practicing musical instruments, laying out, playing
sports, or studying.
-Academics. Umm, they are pretty
difficult. Expect to work more than you ever did
in high school. But grad schools recognize this and
the William and Mary name will take you far.
in all, benefits outweigh the costs(by a good amount).
For in-state students: William and Mary is the smaller, more
laid-back (and not nearly as conforming) version of UVA.