Arts at W&M 

The new Phi Beta Kappa Memorial Hall and arts quarter was recently unveiled to the public. This new section of campus houses all arts programs including dance, music, and theater. The two buildings  contain many studios, practice rooms, costume shop, offices, and more. Here are a few photos I captured of the new Phi Beta Kappa Memorial Hall! 

Dance warmup studio

Dance recital studio

Acting lab 

Dance classroom 

The ABC’s of William & Mary

From A to Z, William & Mary is composed of a multitude of organizations, events, opportunities, buildings, and more. Enjoy this list of the ABC’s of William & Mary. 

Academics – first and foremost the most important letter of W&M. Academics are the core purpose of the university. William & Mary offers over 115 majors in undergraduate arts & sciences as well as graduate programs. 

Bookstore – The bookstore is your one stop shop for textbooks, recreational reading, spiritwear, and more! 

Charter day – Charter day celebrates the awarding of the Royal Charter from King William III and Queen Mary II of England!

DC Semester program – A full time internship and academic semester held in Washington DC!

Entrepreneurship Hub – Home of resources, events, and programs intended to boost your entrepreneurial skills 

Family Weekend – A weekend to invite your family to experience life at William & Mary! This year it will be held October 27-29th

Global Research Institute – Brings together staff and students to apply research to real world problems!

Hearth: Memorial to the Enslaved – A memorial dedicated to the enslaved who helped build the university

Institute for Integrative Conservation – The institute devoted to solving critical conservation issues through research and education

Joint Degree Programme – The Joint Degree Program with the University of St Andrews that allows students to spend two years at both institutions!

Keck Lab – The Keck Lab holds various environmental courses and labs on the shore of Lake Matoaka 

Lemon Project – The Lemon Project builds bridges between William & Mary and African American communities through research, programming, and supporting students, faculty, and staff.

Mason School of Business – Home of the William & Mary business curriculum!

NATO Youth Summit – A worldwide transatlantic conversation that W&M students can attend

Orientation – Your first introduction to your W&M experience!

Pet therapy – Offered at the Wellness Center, therapy pets visit for students to unwind around a furry friend 

Queen Mary – How William & Mary got its name! Queen Mary II of England was a founder along with King William III

Recreational sports – Club and intramural sports for those looking to have some fun while staying fit!

Sunken Garden – the center of campus and a great place to relax with friends!

TWAMP – Typical William & Mary Student!

University Advancement – An arm of the university dedicated to continuing community and philanthropy among alumni, students, parents, and friends

Virginia Institute of Marine Science – Center for research and graduate studies relating to Marine Science!

Wren Building – The oldest university building still in use in the United States!

X-ray crystallography – A unique lab technique used by Professor Pike!

Yule Log Celebration – A winter celebration where students and staff share their traditions and beliefs
Zable Stadium – Home to Tribe football games!

Survival guide to exams 

While it feels like the semester just began, we’re actually already three weeks in! This means that exam season is closing in just as quick as the semester started. There are a few ways to alleviate stress and cramming before they arrive. Now’s a great time to start studying! Here’s a few tips to surviving exams:

  • Spread out study tasks 

Spreading out your tasks helps alleviate anxiety and avoid cramming. Try spreading out your study blocks and assignments not only throughout the day, but also throughout a week. This avoids overloading yourself and your schedule, so tasks seem more manageable. 

  • Study group

A good way to study for exams can be with a group. Getting together with other students from your class to study for the exam together can help you gain new perspectives and possibly catch something you might’ve missed. 

  • Take care of yourself 

Maintaining adequate sleep, self-care habits, drinking lots of water, and setting aside time for decompression are key elements to supporting energy levels when studying for exams. Don’t forget to take some time for yourself!

  • Take the result with a grain of salt 

No matter the outcome of your exam, no grade defines you as a person. Use any mistakes as a way to grow for the next exam.

Choosing a major at W&M

Choosing a major might seem like a daunting task going into college, so taking the time to think about your interests and familiarizing yourself with resources can help you figure out which major to choose!

Step 1: Researching potential options 

The first step is to research potential majors. Think about what you enjoyed in high school and what your career aspirations may be. What majors fit into those categories? 

Step 2: Look into major requirements and offerings 

Each department should have a website with requirements for each major/minor and other useful information like experimental and volunteer opportunities, events, and more to help you get a feel for what each program is like!

Step 3: Narrow down your search

Once you have eliminated some options, you can narrow down your search to a few that best suit you. Consider the requirements, time commitments, and program offerings to narrow down even more to possibly two or three majors. 

Step 4: “Undeclared major”

Once you have narrowed down your options to two, consider picking one to be your primary undeclared major. You could also potentially choose to double major, or have one major and one minor! 

Step 5: Declaring your major 

Once you’ve reached a certain amount of credits (usually during or after your sophomore year), you can declare your major. Keep in mind that you can change your major, but the requirements will also change. 

Tips on Creating A Study Schedule 

Welcome or welcome back to William & Mary! The fall 2023 semester is in full swing and classes are starting to increase their workloads. With the upcoming assignments, labs, quizzes, exams, and more, it is extremely important to be organizing your schedule. Here are a few tips on how to create a study schedule:

  1. Plan out commitments 

Classes, clubs, sports, jobs, events, and other activities take up a good portion of a schedule. Putting them on your schedule first is a good reminder of times that are already taken. 

  1. Figure out your learning style 

Things like how difficult your work is, how long it usually takes to complete, and how much work each class has are also helpful when considering how much time you alot to studying 

  1. Creating a schedule 

Try scheduling times around your commitments that would best fit your learning style and needs. Using the information gathered above, schedule in times that would be good for studying! Don’t forget about scheduling breaks!

  1. Sticking to your schedule 

What’s the point of a schedule if it’s not followed? Being consistent with studying and sticking to a schedule is the best way to make sure you’re getting the most out of each day. If your schedule becomes too overwhelming, try altering it! Making and sticking to study schedules can be a bit of trial and error, but finding a system that works for you will greatly help with consistency and efficiency.

Staying in Touch: Campus Communication 

Communication around campus is vital towards staying connected and up-to-date. There are a few ways William & Mary undertakes communication and additional ways you can stay in the loop. 


Everything from important updates to giveaways to internship opportunities are communicated by the many different emails you’ll receive. 

Student Happenings: 

Student Happenings emails contain information on upcoming events and announcements semi-weekly. They can be extremely helpful for finding research and job opportunities, being reminded of upcoming events, finding new clubs, and more!

Campus Corner by Auxiliary Services: 

Auxiliary Services are in charge of dining, transportation, spirit, and tribe card services. Campus Corner emails are sent out monthly and contain updates on mostly dining events & changes and parking & transportation information. 

William & Mary Athletics: 

Emails from William & Mary Athletics contain the latest information on sporting events and games!

Career Conversations:

Career Conversations by Tribe Careers contain information on job and career opportunities personalized to your interests. Signing up for their email list will introduce you to career advancement opportunities like resume building workshops, and also deliver information on new job opportunities and recruitment events!

Student Affairs:

Student Affairs email when there’s important information on anything that concerns students. For a better example, Student Affairs have sent emails on last day of class activities, graduating surveys, campus policies, and construction updates. 

Social Media 

While you’re automatically enrolled in most emails, you can gain additional information on the latest news, upcoming events, free giveaways, and more from following these social media accounts:





And club and organization accounts!

Why You Should Attend Office Hours 

  • What are office hours

Office hours are an opportunity to discuss course content, academic goals, research opportunities, and more. Each professor states or lists their office hours in the course syllabus and are usually a couple hours per week. 

  • How to prepare

Make sure you are prepared before attending by identifying specific questions and/or problems ahead of time. Avoid waiting until exam season to attend as it can become very busy and stressful for both the professor and you.  

  • When should you attend office hours?

There are a variety of reasons to attend office hours. If you’re struggling with the material, it might be helpful to ask your professor or TA for help understanding. If you’re in need of accommodations, talking to your professor during office hours is a good way to make sure they’re aware of your situation. Research opportunities can become available through attending office hours. If you’re looking for a research project, office hours can be the first step in building a connection with your professor. Similarly, professors can offer professional advice on your field of study or prospective career. With this being said, it’s best to attend office hours when you are in need of clarifications or genuine questions. 

  • Why you should attend 

Office hours can be valuable time to make connections with your professors and gain a better understanding of the material you’re learning in class. You can use this time to ask questions about what you’re learning in class, get ideas on how you should study the material, or review past assessments, which will all help create a professional relationship between you and your professor. Even if you’re just asking for help on a homework question, professors will appreciate you putting in the effort to succeed in class. 

How To Overcome Failure 

Failure is something that everyone comes in contact with at least once in their life. The word failure is primarily associated with negative connotations, though put in a new perspective, failure can be seen as an opportunity to grow. During college, failure is inevitable, but using it to reflect and re-evaluate can ultimately lead to success. There are a few things that can help shift perspective around failure:

  • Detaching self worth from success

 It’s easy to become overly self-critical, especially as college students strive for high grades and extracurricular accomplishments. Working towards detaching your self worth from success can set you up for more growth towards your goals. Once you realize that the outcome of an event isn’t correlated with the image of yourself, it can become easier to accept failure and use it as building blocks to more progress. One mistake doesn’t define who you are as a person, even if it seems that way in the moment. If you feel failure taking over your self worth, remember all of the amazing accomplishments you have already achieved.

  • Focusing on what you CAN control

Separate between what you can and can’t control. What you can’t control is out of your power, so focus on what you CAN control. You can’t influence outside factors, but what’s in your control can be changed for the better. 

  • Finding the cause of failure and own your mistakes 

The first step in transitioning from failure to growth is identifying the cause of failure. The best way to learn from failure is to own your mistakes. If you can accept what went wrong and analyze it, there’s a better chance that you can grow from a mistake instead of denying that something went wrong. 

  • Using failure as an opportunity to grow

Instead of viewing failure as defeat, use it as an opportunity to reflect on what you could change in order to try again. After detaching your self worth, focusing on what you can control, and owning your mistakes, you can separate failure from its negative connotations. Failure can teach us what doesn’t work, and sometimes how you can fix a situation. 

College is a time for exploration and discovery filled with various successes and failures. It’s important to remember that it’s OK to fail!

 What’s the absolute worst that could happen? And how could you handle that situation if you do fail? Most times, when putting the absolute worst into perspective, you can realize that the outcome of failure is reasonable, but heightened by anxiety.  

It’s easier said than done, but overcoming a fear of failure and taking full advantage of each outcome of opportunities can set a strong foundation for future growth!

Why To Not Study At The Library And Where To Study Instead 

Not studying in the library can be a hot take, but there are a couple reasons that make the library not the best option for every study session. The environment you study in can greatly impact your concentration and productivity. Because the library is the default study spot for most students, it can get crowded and loud, especially during exam weeks. It can be easy to get distracted while studying at the library with tour groups filtering in and out, friends popping up, and loud study groups even on the upper floors. Similarly, finding a seat in the library is time consuming during peak hours and exam seasons. Whether you’re looking for a fresh space or secret spots, there are a variety of options of where to study instead.

  • When the weather is nice, William & Mary’s campus has many outdoor areas that are favorable to studying. Swem patio tables (with umbrellas!), the Sunken Garden chairs, Sadler Terrace, and the various benches, tables, and chairs around campus are perfect spots to enjoy the outdoors while getting work done! 
  • Another great idea for a study spot are the meeting rooms in ISC. Similar to the study rooms in Swem, there are a number of small meeting rooms in ISC that have whiteboard walls and comfy chairs that are perfect for small groups or a quiet concentration spot. 
  • The Wellness Center is a serene spot to study if you’re looking for nature views and a quiet, air-conditioned environment. They even have comfy chairs and couches surrounded by walls of glass outlooking the trails. 
  • After classes conclude in the academic buildings, classrooms are open for studying. If you have a favorite classroom, consider making it your next study area! 
  • If you have the ability to travel off campus, there are many coffee shops and restaurants where you can study. Aromas is within walking distance from campus, and is a great study spot for those who work well in cafe environments. Restaurants like Panera and Starbucks are farther, but also serve as good places to work!

William & Mary Students Favorite Classes 

There are so many interesting classes to choose from at William & Mary. To get a sense of how many awesome subjects there are to learn about here, I asked a couple William & Mary students what their favorite classes have been: 

Alena Jones ‘26

Mermaid Tales with Professor Francessca Sawaya and Capitalism and Revolution with Professor Elliot Warren

“I would say Mermaid Tales was a really good class while transitioning into W&M because it’s the type of class that similar types of people enroll in. Professor Sawaya also does an incredible job of helping us make personal connections with other class members with collaborative assignments that help us build off each other’s ideas. Capitalism and Revolution helped me confirm my decision to want to major in history at William & Mary and made me completely rethink the importance of European history in the broader global context.” 

Emma Dunlop ‘26

Social Psychology with Dr. Moloney 

“Her lessons were engaging and always connected to relevant, present-day topics. Also, the assignments were fun and thought-provoking. It was a great way to spend my mornings!”

Audrey Rasmussen ‘26

Emerging Diseases with Dr. Sher

“We talked about major diseases in history and public health response to these diseases, as well as current outbreaks around the world. The scientific journal articles we read were super interesting, and I enjoyed my research for our final paper. My writing and presentation skills improved because of this class and Dr. Sher’s excellent feedback!” 

Mia Honda ‘26

Books and Biases with Professor Conradi Smith

“We got to do some cool research about children’s books that we all most likely read as kids!”

Arleigh Wagoner ‘26

History of Western Music with Professor La Barre

“I enjoyed listening to and learning about music and how its changed over time. Plus, as someone who reads/plays music, I learned a lot about the history of notation, the development of instruments, and how the broad term ‘classical music’ is divided into categories I’d never known before! The professor was fantastic and I loved the required concert assignments and listening maps!” 

Aneesa Parish ‘24

Evolution of Organisms with Professor Murphy 

When it comes to the course, I believe that was the best evolution class I’ve ever taken, and I am not a theory-based biology student. I was nervous at first, but the way she structured her lectures, she gives breaks where you can ask her to repeat something even if you’re a tad bit confused. Coming from that 300 level course, I knew everything so much more in depth. The environment is great and Professor Murphy really cares for her students as far as understanding as well as mentally, especially when you’re taking orgo and physics together along with her class (most of us were in Junior fall semester). For reference, I was really struggling mentally with everything going on towards the end of the semester and broke down in her office over a quiz I didn’t think I’d have time to take. She laughed, offered tissues, and just said, ‘take an extra day or don’t take it.’ She has her class structured for students like me with extra assignments just in case you aren’t able to get to one later in the semester.” 

Sarah Callahan ‘26

American Medical History 1750-1950 with Professor Brennan 

“I’m not even a STEM major, I just took it for fun and she made it very accessible by explaining how the US perception of the body changed over time. We also took a field trip to the exhibit in Williamsburg where the public hospital used to be, which was essentially a mental asylum that sanctioned questionable treatment methods using 18th and 19th century medical knowledge.” 

Chiara Leupke ‘25

History of Christianity with Professor Angelov 

“It was a fascinating, thought-provoking class that left me talking and thinking about the topics outside of class. The course focuses on how Christian theology developed and spans from ancient Greco-Roman society to the current state of religion post-Reformation. As an economics major, this class gave me the liberal arts experience that W&M is known for. 

Josep Ocampo ‘25

Nation, Race, & Gender in South Asia with Professor Zutshi

“Last year, I took a class about a region I had little to no knowledge of. The course was Nation, Race, & Gender in South Asia taught by Professor Zutshi. Learning about how the interplay between race and gender shaped the nation and its evolution from the Mughal period up to the present was truly fascinating. Prior to this class, I hadn’t envisioned studying gender to be as insightful as it was. It changed the way that I viewed society and made me notice the similarities and differences in what a nation means/meant across different geopolitical regions. I gained a new way to look at the world and I expect I’ll take many more eye-opening classes during my time here.”