T'is the season for touring schools. Every year, around this time, it seems there is a mass migration of all prospective students and their families to campuses worldwide as if they are all some sort of prehistoric species looking for a warmer climate. However, rain or shine they make their way from campus to campus on the hunt for the perfect fit. It seems like just yesterday my family and I were partaking in this journey. It is a scary place out there on the "wild" unknown college campuses. I remember from my touring days, I was so overwhelmed by the vast amounts of people- all types- and they towered above me in a way that made them seem more like giants and less like college students. To say the least, it was overwhelming, but when you find that perfect school and everything clicks- it makes the journey worth it.
I remember the first time I entered UMW's campus: it was like someone came and knocked the wind right out of my chest- and oddly I didn't mind at all. It was like that feeling people often describe when you find the perfect wedding dress- that serendipitous "you just know" feeling. The beautiful campus, the small class sizes everything just clicked. Finding the perfect school can be hard, but I hope this article reaches some nervous high school Junior out there, who doesn't know where to start on their search for a home away from home. Take the leap, tour Mary Washington, become an Eagle, and learn how to fly.
1. Thank You for Taking Me Out of My Comfort Zone
I was an insecure, sheltered, small town girl when we first met. I left my mountains for you, in search of myself. It was between your old brick buildings and cast iron gate that I found opportunity, and with this opportunity, I work (to this day) on perfecting who I knew I was. It was hard trusting you. You were nothing like I had known before- fast cars, big roads and people using slang like "a brick" or "what a sice." It was not always easy either, there were times I wanted nothing more but to return to my mountains, but looking back now I'm sure glad I didn't.
2. Thank You for Introducing Me to the Love of a Life Time
I sure have met a number of amazing people since I stepped foot on this magical campus, but never in my life have I met someone like him. College is supposed to be a time to figure out who you are, but it seems he came here already knowing. Not only does he seem to know just who he is, but those times where I felt most overwhelmed- he helped me remember who I was. He is my best friend and perfect compliment; tackling college may be our first adventure, but, with a partner like him, I know there will be many more to come.
3. Thank You for Giving Me the Perfect Roommate
It may have taken a year to meet her, but she was 100% worth the wait. She is one of those people you meet, and can't help but love. It's like we were cut from the same cloth, her and I. Whether it is binge watching Pokemon on a Saturday night, or making Mc. Donald's runs- in just one year we have made some of the most memorable moments of my time here at UMW. She is the Bonnie to my Clyde, the Pikachu to my Ash and someday a future bridesmaid. She is my adopted sister in my home away from home and I couldn't be more thankful to have her.
4. Thank You for My Second Family
A second home isn't home without a family, and I am lucky enough to call these crazy people OHANA. We are all different, but somehow it just works. I feel extremely blessed to have them as my support system, and I know they will always be there. Whether we are cramming for finals or having a League of Legends marathon, I know I can count on them to be there- with their sassy comebacks too.
5. Finally, Thank You for Your Many Lessons
In and out of the classroom, UMW, you are constantly teaching me things. I came to you a shy, sheltered small town girl but every day, through the many blessings you brought me, I emerge a better version of myself- and that is why UMW is the best choice I ever made.
A Verry Happy and Blessed Eagle