By Josie Adolf
As someone who never really found a niche on this campus (and I’m still very happy here!), my biggest piece of advice to any students (new or continuing) is to join something new every year. I know you may think you have found your niche, or that your friend group is perfect as it is, but hear me out:
- Things change! I say this from personal experience. I absolutely loved my first semester freshman year and developed a great, close friendship with my hallmates. When the second semester started, however, people changed and dynamics changed. I quickly found myself distraught and without a bubble. What helped me through it all was joining a new group and meeting new people– a buffer and some space is almost always what new friendships need.
- New friends and things to do are good for even well established friendships. I found that by joining a new group (I became an Orientation Aide and joined an improv group at the beginning of my sophomore year), it gave me a greater appreciation for the friends I already had. I found that I was able to look at everything with more perspective, and I realized that the world is much bigger than any small group you find yourself in.
- It combats X year slump. Sophomore slump is what I was worried about when I started my second year on campus, but it can happen any year. Your life on campus feels different and you don’t know why– it could be that the excitement of being in a new place has faded. Joining a new group allows you to meet people and always have something that you haven’t tired of yet. It sounds pessimistic, but I need consistent change! Especially due to burnout which is common in any college, having a new set of activities and people to focus on can help improve every aspect of a returning year.
- It connects you to new students. One of the most surprising and rewarding moments of joining an improv group my sophomore year was becoming friends with the other “newbies” who were freshman. All of a sudden, my college friend group spanned years, older and younger. I had a reason to still be present on New Campus, even though all of my classes and friends were near the Sunken Gardens. Don’t underestimate the benefits of leveling yourself with other people– me and the other new members were on the same playing field! Which is a good thing!
- Very humbling, very humbling. My roommate and I have decided to say this whenever something bad happens to us, and while I find it comical, it is also SO helpful. When you feel like you have already reached your potential, there’s a lot of room for burnout. Join something new, create a new challenge for yourself, and remember: very humbling, very humbling (abbreviated VHVH). <3
Josie is a junior at William & Mary, studying Linguistics and Arabic. She is from Brunswick, Maine, so she’s a pro in the cold weather and thinks that rocks and trees belong on beaches. She plans on going to graduate school for a masters in Education so she can eventually teach middle or elementary school. Around campus, you can find her playing bass in a few student groups, doing improv with Dad Jeans Improv, or hanging out on any of the benches around the Sunken Gardens. She spends her free time crafting, playing music, taking frequent naps, and dragging her friends into doing painting nights with her.
Josie was an OA for the past two years for LR’HunTAL & Co. (now known as BLR’HunTAL & Co) and GGV. She is beyond excited to welcome in the next group of incoming students as an Orientation Area Director, and can’t wait to meet you all in the fall!