Little Known Facts About W&M

As the second oldest university in the United States, William & Mary has collected a load of interesting facts and accomplishments. This blog post contains an accumulation of some little known and interesting facts about our university!

Most people know how William & Mary is the second oldest college in America, but did you know that William & Mary was planned ahead of Harvard? While Harvard opened first, original plans for the college began in 1618 for a location in Henrico, VA, but were later abandoned. With this being said, William & Mary was planned before Williamsburg was even a town. Williamsburg was developed in honor of King William III and became the new capital in 1699. 

Have you ever taken a class in the Wren Building? To put into perspective how historically significant this academic building is, construction began in 1695! While renovated to upkeep the structural integrity, The Wren Building remains the oldest American college building still in use. The Wren building housed the legislature during the construction of the new capitol. 

William & Mary went on to become the first college to have a full faculty, elective system, honor system, a fraternity (Phi Beta Kappa), programs in modern languages, political economy, and modern history. Do you live in the Botetourt complex? Did you know that Lord Botetourt donated gold medals for the college’s first collection of medallic prizes? In 1779, William & Mary was the first college in America to open a law school, making it the first university in the nation. Over its time, the university has educated three U.S. presidents including Thomas Jefferson, James Monroe, and John Tyler. George Washington also received his surveyor’s license at William & Mary! William & Mary received a statue of Thomas Jefferson as a gift from the University of Virginia, (Thomas Jefferson founded UVA!), in 1993 that can be found between Washington Hall and McGlothlin Hall. 

You might be familiar with Lodge 1 In the ground floor of the Sadler Center, but do you know where the name originated from? Lodge 1 was originally the location of an 8th lodge on campus. Since demolished for the construction and expansion of the Sadler Center, a lodge was a small house-like residential option. The Sunken Garden did not actually sink on its own, but was designed after the Chelsea Hospital gardens in London and was initially used as a campground for troops. 

More recently, William & Mary’s student body and alumni have maintained impressive accomplishments. William & Mary is considered a public ivy for its prestigious academic program. 83% of classes at W&M have fewer than 40 students and nearly 50% have fewer than 20 students! As of 2020, for 12 years in a row, William & Mary was named a top producer of Peace Corps volunteers. 


“The College of William and Mary.” Virginia Museum of History & Culture, Accessed 30 July 2023. 

“Cool Facts.” William & Mary, Accessed 30 July 2023. 

Eickel, Ryan, and Elsewhere on W&M Blogs. “Sir Christopher Wren and 5 Other Little Known Facts about the College.” The William & Mary Blogs, 10 Oct. 2014, 

Frances WongFrances was born in Hong Kong and received her bachelor’s degree from Georgetown University. She loves super sad drama television. “10 Fun Facts about the College of William and Mary.” AdmitSee, 17 Sept. 2021, “History & Traditions.” William & Mary, Accessed 30 July 2023.

Transportation In and Out of Williamsburg 

First and second year students typically don’t have access to cars on campus, however, Williamsburg has an excellent transportation system that can help students get wherever they need to be. 

Getting around Williamsburg


WATA Bus System 


Going out of town

Airport Shuttle Service 


  • The Amtrak station is located close to campus and offers transportation to various stops between Williamsburg, Richmond, Washington DC, and New York. More Information:

Getting Involved: Volunteer and Student Leadership Opportunities at W&M

Civic Leadership Program 

Alternative Breaks 

Williamsburg Engagement 

  • Williamsburg Engagement offers the opportunity to volunteer weekly in a community organization during a semester. They connect students with a nonprofit organization, where students can participate in weekly community engagement projects and reflect on their experience through conversation. Learn more here:

Service Saturdays 

Education and Youth Development Programs 

  • The Education and Youth Development Programs offer students the opportunity to support the healthy development of pre K-12 youth through academic and social-emotional programming. Students in the program provide a semester to a year of weekly mentoring, tutoring, enrichment programs and more. Learn more here:

Volunteer with Virginia Institute Of Marine Science (VIMS)

Volunteer with University Advancement 

Preparing For a New Semester 

As we near the last month of summer, consider taking the time to prepare yourself for the upcoming semester. Everyone has their unique way of greeting a new academic semester. Here are a few ideas of how to prepare yourself for a new set of courses, exams, and a new schedule. 

  1. Set up a planner or calendar 

Setting up a planner or calendar with important due dates for assignments, exam dates, social commitments, work tasks, and more will give you an overview of what your schedule looks like and help you keep track of deadlines. 

  1. Take a walk around campus 

If it’s your first semester on campus, consider taking a walk around, go inside buildings, find roughly where your classes are to familiarize yourself with where everything is so you don’t lose time on the first day. 

  1. Begin creating a steady sleep schedule 

During summer it can be easy to lose track of a steady sleep schedule, so a couple weeks before arriving on campus consider setting up a schedule as you would for school. 

  1. Familiarize yourself with available resources 

There are so many great resources around William & Mary’s campus that are there to aid your academic and well-being needs. Similar to taking a walk around campus, familiarize yourself with the campus resources like the Wellness Center, Recreation Center, Dining Halls, Writing Center, etc. 

  1. Ask Questions 

Beginning a new semester can be a confusing time especially if beginning your very first year at university. Taking the time to ask questions whether it be to professors, faculty, or other students, can help you gain a better understanding of what to expect in the upcoming semester!

Making Friends in College

By Zaria Hardy

I know, I know, you have heard it a million times, the friends you make in college are for life, but it is the truth. The friends you make in college make the experience. Friends are great allies you have in your life who realize how odd you can be, and still like you. Companions are the embodiment of our young lives, sometimes different versions of ourselves, and encompass the vast majority of our fondest memories. Most importantly, good friends are there when you need them the most. When your family tells you that friends are forever, this especially applies to college friends.

While college comes with its glitz and glam, it also comes with its challenges. Adapting to a new environment, being away from family, balancing work with play, and the obvious workload are only a few of the problems that can arise . Life is hard, especially college life. It isn’t a process that anyone should have to do alone. Having like minded people around you provides you with support, a safe space, and challenges you in ways you do not necessarily want but may need. So much happens in a college setting that no one could predict. Friends can support you through these times because they probably have experienced something similar and that makes all the difference. Friends are your home away from home.

College friendships are also important for diversifying your network and mindset. Expanding your friend circle puts you in rooms with people whom you may not already have access to. Opportunities present themselves through relationship building. Networking provides individuals with the tools and resources to advance to the next level. Additionally, college friends help to change your existing perspectives and encourage you to form new opinions. Forming intentional companionship with individuals who have similar values can shape the manner in which we see the world and the manner by which we engage in everyday life by influencing our mindset. Friends provide growth opportunities rather be it professionally or personally. Having college friends creates a community of individuals who help you see the lessons in each failure. College friends are a source of encouragement that help take you to the next level.

Additionally, friends are a vital part of life. Having college friends helps with the initial transition into adulthood. In most cases, the friends you make in college are the set of friends you do life with. They have literally seen you at your lowest and highest moments. They walked hand in hand with you while trying new things and figuring out what you do and do not like. I’m sure you’ve heard the old adage “people go to college to find themselves”. Well, finding yourself involves finding friends who enhance and sharpen who you want to be. Friendship is about getting out of your comfort zone and into the world together. Who better to do it with than your college friends?

So, don’t be afraid to shoot your friendship shot. Use the proximity of new and exciting things on the college campus to nurture and create meaningful friendships. There are plenty of opportunities to make friends on college campuses. Attend campus events, join student organizations, or talk to someone you see by themselves. You could even ask your roommate to get coffee with you. All in all, put yourself out there and watch how many worthwhile friendships will form.

About Zaria

Zaria is a first year graduate student (class of 2023) in the Clinical mental health- couples, marriage, and family counseling program. On campus, she is a reviewer for the William and Mary school of education academic journal. One fun fact about her is that she loves thought provoking conversations.

Advice I Wish I Had as a Freshman

By Callie Booth

Starting your freshman year of College can be an overwhelming experience.  There are so many people to meet, learning to live with a roommate, so many clubs to join and classes to take during this important year.  Freshman year can be a wonderful time of growth and exploration, and it’s important to try to make the most of this year. This time of your life only comes once, and to help you adjust well to William & Mary, here is some advice that I wish that I had during my freshman year.  

  1. Try everything that you are interested in. College is a time to explore your interests, and develop new passions.  Do everything that you are interested in freshman year, especially your first semester. Go to that club meeting, take that class, start going to the rec, or do any other activity that you want to try out! Freshman year is a year of exploration inside and outside of the classroom, so take advantage of the resources available to you so you can explore your interests!
  1. Don’t be afraid to reach out to other people.  Coming into college, I was a huge introvert, and was always nervous to ask someone to hang out or grab a meal together.  However, I realized that many of my fellow students also had the same nervous feeling, which allowed me to become more confident and gave me the confidence to ask other people to hang out. .  Learning how to step a little out of your comfort zone and take the initiative to ask someone to do something with you can change the trajectory of your freshman year, and might help you make some lifelong friends.  Also, almost everyone on campus loves meeting new people and would love to make new friends!
  1. Develop effective study methods early. It’s important to place a lot of emphasis on your time management and study skills throughout the first few weeks of college.  These first few weeks are a crucial time to adjust to what classes at William & Mary are like, and develop strong foundations in introductory information that you learn in your classes.  Take the trip to Swem (or wherever you study best) and develop some study strategies that will give you a good foundation for the rest of your college career.  
  1. Read the Student Happenings emails. During your first week of classes, you’ll start getting an email called “Student Happenings” in your inbox twice a week.  Although it’s easy for it to get lost in all of the other emails you receive, I’d highly recommend making sure to read through all of the student happenings emails. Included in these emails are opportunities to get on-campus jobs, upcoming events, ways to get involved around campus, and many other important announcements for students. Personally, the information in the student happenings emails have helped me get an on-campus job, find many fun events (and many of these have free giveaways!), and find scholarship opportunities. These emails are an invaluable resource for all students! 
  1. Live in the moment.  Your freshman year of college will probably be one of the most memorable years of your life.  Between making new friends, exploring a new place, and transitioning to the beginning of your adult life, this year is full of changes. Constantly thinking about the next task that you need to complete can cause a lot of unadded stress and can cause you to miss out on spending time with your friends.  Take every opportunity you can to enjoy time with your friends, live in the moment, and take a break from worrying about your next assignment.  

About Callie

Callie is a rising sophomore originally from Rustburg, Virginia. She is planning on double majoring in psychology and sociology and hopes to attend law school or pursue a career in news journalism after college.  On campus, she is the Associate News Editor with the Flat Hat, writes for the Botetourt Squat, is on the executive team for Random Acts of Kindness Club, and an incoming Resident Assistant in Hardy Hall.  During her down time, she loves reading books, listening to Taylor Swift, and crocheting.  A fun fact about her is that she is certified to drive a forklift!

Tips and Resources for Incoming LGBTQ+ Students

By Baylee Easterday

Being an incoming student is intimidating for everybody. Regardless of who you are or where you come from, starting at a new school necessarily involves meeting new people, learning the geography of a new campus, having to adjust to a new living space, and often being away from home for the first significant amount of time. College is also inherently a time for self-exploration and discovery, even for transfer students, the fresh start that William & Mary represents can serve as the perfect time to experiment with new identities and ideas. 

All of these things are exponentially more true for LGBTQ+ students. 

If you are an incoming queer student, you may be hoping your time at William & Mary will be a time to try out new names and pronouns or to connect with other queer students. Perhaps your home situation means this is the first time you have the opportunity to live as your most authentic self, or to present in a way you are most comfortable with. You are not alone. In the past decades, William & Mary has become an increasingly accepting place for LGBTQ+ students, however, that does not mean that students from this community do not still face unique challenges and difficulties. The purpose of this blog post is to point you in the direction of resources that can help you navigate your experiences as an LGBTQ+ W&M student, as well as connect with others who might share your experiences. Whether you are experimenting with new labels and methods of self-expression or you have been out and proud for years, this list can help you to get comfortable in your new community! Below are tips and resources for 8 different scenarios that apply to LGBTQ+ students on campus.

  1. If you are in the process of legally changing your name or plan to legally change your name in the future… 
  • Students who have had their legal name or legal gender marker changed may fill out the Registrar’s Change Request Form to have their name changed in the Banner self-service system. This process requires legal documentation, either a social security card or passport. See the Registrar’s page on Name, Gender Identity, Pronouns for more information on changing your name and pronouns in Banner Self-Service. 
  • Once you have gone through the process of having your name legally changed, you can also request a new Tribe Card (your William & Mary ID card)! If you have previously been issued a Tribe Card, the new card will cost $23. You can also utilize this process to get a Tribe Card with a new picture on it. If you are in the process of having your legal name changed, you can contact Tribe Card Services (by email) to obtain an “emergency card” which will have your student ID number but will not include your deadname. This will serve as an intermediary until you can get a Tribe Card with the correct information on it. You can also contact Tribe Card Services prior to move-in, so when other incoming students receive their Tribe Cards, you will receive your emergency card at the same time!
  1. If you use a different name and/or pronouns than are indicated in your records (but have not legally changed your name)… 

You have a few options!

  • It is possible to list your preferred name and pronouns in the Personal Information Questionnaire (PIQ) through Banner Self-Service on You can fill in your gender identity as well as whichever set(s) of pronouns you feel comfortable using. Staff members can see this information.
  • Unfortunately, preferred name and pronouns are not currently available on a class roster, which means that professors need to be contacted directly to ensure they use the correct name and pronouns. You can send these emails prior to the first day of class, to avoid being misgendered or dead named. You can find a professor’s email address by looking up their name in the William & Mary faculty directory for their department. Additionally, you can often find a professor’s page merely by googling their first and last name with William & Mary! 
  • Your Zoom name and email signature can also be great places to list your pronouns! These are very common places to list pronouns even among non-LGBTQ students, so you are not necessarily outing yourself by adding your pronouns to your Zoom name or email signature 🙂
  1. If you want to start presenting in a different way or expressing yourself differently… 

The Trans Locker at the Center for Student Diversity offers an excellent resource for obtaining gender affirming clothing! You can try on and browse clothing, and get items that help you feel the most like yourself. The trans locker is located in the basement of Campus Center. Donations are accepted year round!

  1. If you do not feel comfortable using the bathroom associated with the gender you were assigned at birth… 

At William & Mary everyone is free to use whichever restroom matches most closely with their gender identity. The university also offers single occupancy ALL gender restrooms and shower facilities around campus if this option feels better for you! This page from the Compliance and Equity Office contains a list of all gender neutral bathroom facilities as well as a campus map where you can find these facilities. This same page contains more information on your rights as an LGBTQ+ student at W&M.

  1. If you are feeling apprehensive about your housing assignment… 
  • First off, if for whatever reason you do not feel comfortable in your current housing assignment or with your current roommates, you do have options! For example, you can request a room change at any point in the semester. It is also possible to do what is called a person for person roommate switch if for some reason you or your assigned roommate is not comfortable with the room situation. More information on these options can be found on the Residence Life website.
  • There are a few alternative housing options that would mean you do not have to live in a strictly gender separated hall, or live in a hall that is composed of a majority of people who do not share your gender identity:
    • Adaptive housing: Residence Life provides accommodations for students with “documented needs” which can include religious reasons or gender identity. Requests are considered on a case-by-case basis and you may be required to provide supporting documents. Even if you are not in adaptive housing for Fall 2021, you can request it in future semesters or request it during this semester! Residence Life will do the best to work with you at any point and accommodate your specific needs. Check out the Residence Life page on Adaptive Housing for more information. If you have questions or concerns about your housing situation, do not hesitate to reach out to Residence Life to try to obtain Adaptive Housing! In some situations where students require a single or a private bathroom, they might end up in more expensive housing. If this is a financial burden, it is possible to obtain a doctor’s note indicating that your need for adaptive housing is a medical necessity. 
    • Flexible housing: Flexible housing allows for groups of two, three, four, or six students to elect to share space regardless of their legal gender markers or their gender identities. Check out the Residence Life page on Flexible Housing for more details. Flexible housing means you get to pick from a select list of housing locations, however it does not give you priority housing, it is on a first come, first serve basis out of the options available. Flexible housing is also available in Living Learning Communities such as the Mosaic house, the Africana House, and Language Houses.
  1. If you are looking to connect with other queer students on campus…

There are two primary LGBTQ+ student groups: 

  • LAMBDA Alliance works to create safe spaces for LGBTQ+ students to connect on campus, and host events for members of the community. You can find more information by visiting their Tribelink Page.
  • The Rainbow Coalition is another organization on campus dedicated to LGBTQ students. They host educational events and campaigns, including queer sex ed opportunities and promote activism opportunities. More information can be found on their Tribelink page.
  1. If you are struggling and looking for resources… 

The William & Mary counseling center is designed to serve all populations at William & Mary, including LGBTQ+ students. In fact, roughly 13% of the students who utilize the counseling center resources identify as LGBTQ+.

  • There are staff members who specifically have experience working with queer students who can help you to explore and address the ways that your identity and mental health intersect. See the Counseling Center’s About Us page for more information on the Counseling Center and information on how to make an appointment. 
  • The Counseling Center also offers rotating group therapy options, including groups designed specifically for LGBTQ+ students so that you can connect with other students who may be having similar experiences. Currently, the Counseling Center offers a Trans Support Outreach Group for trans, non-binary, and GNC students to get together and share experiences. Information on groups and contacts for more information can be found on this page
  • The Counseling Center also offers educational opportunities in conjunction with Rainbow Coalition such as queer sex ed workshops hosted by counseling center staff members and LGBT+ Mental Health Panels. These are advertised on the Rainbow Coalition Facebook page and can be found on the Counseling Center webpage under the “Workshops and Resources” tab.
  • LGBTQ+ individuals also deal with relationship struggles, sexual trauma, and relationship violence. William & Mary campus resources for survivors of sexual assault and harassment such as the Haven (which is a confidential peer counseling resource) welcome LGBTQ+ students. These resources are available to you regardless of your gender or sexual orientation.
  1. If you are searching for coursework related to LGBTQ+ people and identities… 

A variety of William & Mary departments offer these types of courses! Check out the Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies department, the History department, the English department, and the Sociology department for LGBTQ+ related course offerings for this upcoming semester.

If there is one thing you take away from this blog post, it should be this: don’t be afraid to advocate for yourself. There are resources here on campus designed to help you navigate the unique experiences that LGBTQ+ students go through, don’t be afraid to take advantage of them! College is a time for learning, growing, adapting, and changing. Take this opportunity to be the version of yourself that you most want to be, and know that you will find people here on campus who will support you along the way!

About Baylee

Baylee (she/her/hers) is a Junior from Pasco, Washington. She has spent the Fall semester at home working and raising some succulents, so she is very excited to be returning to campus in the Spring! Baylee is a double major in Government and Hispanic Studies who takes classes on Shakespeare whenever she can. After graduation, Baylee is hoping to move to a Spanish-speaking country to teach English before continuing on to study international law.

On campus, Baylee is involved with research and advocacy related to American Sign Language, and research on sociolinguistics and diplomacy. She is also involved with the Moot Court team and the rock climbing club. Baylee loves science fiction, waffles, and Taylor Swift (her favorite albums are Reputation and Folklore). Her favorite spot on campus is the bench across from Washington Hall, in spite of the fact that she once got pooped on by a bird there.

Baylee has been looking forward to being an OAD since her own orientation. She’s previously worn the neon three times: as a member of LRHunTAL & Co, Botetourt, and the Spring transfers and exchange staff. She’s incredibly excited to plan next Fall’s orientation, and to help a new incoming class of William & Mary students feel comfortable and welcomed, just like she did as a freshman!

The Top 5 Places Near Campus to Explore During your Time at William & Mary

By Callie Booth

When you do a Google search for the most beautiful college campuses, it’s hard to find a list that doesn’t include William & Mary.  From watching sunsets on the Sunken Gardens, to the views of Lake Matoaka at the Martha Wren Briggs Amphitheatre, it can be easy to spend most of your time on campus.  Although it is important to spend a lot of time on campus your freshman year becoming acclimated to your new environment, it is also especially important to explore all that the greater Williamsburg area has to offer!  With just a trip on a car or bus, it is easy to access so many unique locations around campus that every TWAMP (Typical William and Mary Person) should explore during their time at the College.  So without further ado, here are my top five locations off campus that every William & Mary student should explore!

  1. College Creek

One of the best hidden gems in Williamsburg is the beach at College Creek.  Located just a 10 minute drive from campus, this beach is a great place to take an afternoon break from studying.  The beach is clean, not too crowded, and has beautiful views of the James River, which makes it a perfect location for some off-campus fun with your friends. For the best views, I’d recommend going to College Creek to watch the sunrise or sunset- it’s stunning!

  1. Busch Gardens

It is almost mandatory for William & Mary students to visit Busch Gardens during their time at the College.  With its many thrilling roller coasters and many other attractions, visiting Busch Gardens is a perfect way to spend a day away from campus.  Although tickets can be a bit pricey, every year William & Mary provides discounted tickets for students to visit Busch Gardens on one day during the fall semester.  Busch Gardens definitely lives up to expectations, and is definitely worth a visit during your freshman year.  

  1. Williamsburg Pancake Houses

When you drive through Williamsburg, it’s hard not to notice all of the pancake houses in the city.  Although it may seem odd that there are so many of these pancake houses in Williamsburg, it is not surprising because of the large tourism industry in Williamsburg.  Most hotels in the city used to not offer breakfast to their guests, which led to these hotels recommending pancake houses for breakfast.  As more tourists came and needed breakfast before a day of sight-seeing, more pancake houses arose. Many of these are located just a short drive from campus, which has made trying the pancake houses a popular activity for many W&M students. Some of my friends and I, along with many other students I know, are even planning on trying all of the pancake houses in Williamsburg before graduation to determine which of them is the best. By visiting a pancake house, you’re also able to help support local Williamsburg businesses and have a well needed break from dining hall food. 

  1. Yorktown

After just a short drive down the Colonial Parkway, you’ll arrive in one of the best places near W&M to explore, Yorktown. Although this town may be most known for being the place where the Revolutionary War ended, there are so many other places to explore in town.  In downtown Yorktown, you can explore all of the shops and restaurants next to the waterfront area where there are frequent festivals and farmers markets.  Additionally, Yorktown also has a beautiful public beach which can be a great break from studying.  Yorktown is such a cute and quaint town, and is definitely worth the short drive to get there from campus.  

  1. Colonial Williamsburg

For W&M students, going to Colonial Williamsburg, or CW for short, becomes second nature.  From taking a stroll down DoG street to visiting Kilwin’s for some ice cream, it’s hard not to find several students when walking through CW.  Despite this being a common place for students to go, many don’t take full advantage of all of the events and activities that are available to them.  As a W&M student, you get a free four-year pass to CW which gives you access to numerous tours and events, such as taking a tour of the Capitol Building or being able to explore the stunning gardens behind the Governor’s Palace.  Additionally, there are so many side streets and small yet beautiful buildings in CW that you can visit.  The CW house, which is a building in CW where two W&M students live each year, also puts on several free events for students throughout the year, including ghost tours, free ice cream, and movie showings. Although it can be easy to assume you’ve seen everything that CW has to offer, I’d highly recommend taking time to explore all of the hidden gems that is has to offer.  

About Callie

Callie is a rising sophomore originally from Rustburg, Virginia. She is planning on double majoring in psychology and sociology and hopes to attend law school or pursue a career in news journalism after college.  On campus, she is the Associate News Editor with the Flat Hat, writes for the Botetourt Squat, and is on the executive team for Random Acts of Kindness Club.  During her down time, she loves reading books, listening to Taylor Swift, and crocheting.  A fun fact about her is that she is certified to drive a forklift!

Best Campus Study Spots

By Kate Arnold


As you start your time at William and Mary, you will soon realize that most W&M students have a series of study spots they swear by. Those study spots can be hard to find, but when you find a location that works for you, almost nothing else will suffice when midterms and finals roll around. To help you on your study spot discovery journey, I have listed some of my favorite spots to study on and around campus

  1. The Swem Basement: While not exactly hidden, this study spot is all too often underutilized. While I heard about the tiered noise system in Swem on my tour of campus, the Swem basement is something I wish I explored much sooner. Filled with art from other countries, beautiful statues, and a pit full of comfy couches and chairs, Swem basement is an incredible place to study if you enjoy the structure of a library study space with the fun and funky atmosphere of an alternative coffee shop.

2. Crim Dell Meadow: Throughout the pandemic, the Crim Dell Meadow has received some upgrades. It is now fully stocked with Adirondack chairs, bench swings, and hanging lights for all your outdoor social and studying needs. This is a great spot for anyone who likes to mix stretches with studying with breaks, as you’re sure to find some friendly faces if you take a break to wander around the corner to Sadler Terrace. The Meadow is also right next to the rock garden, the Wellness Center’s meditation walk path, and the “Spring” statue if you need to walk away from work and decompress.

3. Wolfe Law Library: Located in the Law School, this study space is a bit of a walk, but is completely worth it. This is perfect for students who work best when surrounded by silence and other students at work. One look at the law students in the library is enough to motivate any undergraduate to finish their assignments. Additionally, the Wolfe library’s resources are open for undergraduates to use, which can add some extremely interesting resources and citations to any research paper.

4. Reveley Garden: Located outside Jefferson Hall, the Reveley Garden is a new addition to campus, finishing construction last spring. This is a space full of outdoor seating for you to spread out your work, and is a short walk away from the many coffee shops of CW when you find yourself in need of a break.

5. Chancellor Hall: I wished I had learned sooner in my college career that academic buildings were open in the evenings for students to study. This is a great space for those who don’t do well in libraries, but need to work in an indoor space coded for academia. Chancellor Hall has individual and group study rooms, as well as classrooms that can be used for larger friend and study groups. I mention Chancellor in particular because as a Government major, I am in that building the most often, but other academic buildings I recommend studying in include Boswell, Washington, McGlothlin, and Tucker Hall

6. CW Tables: While not technically on campus, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the wonderful study space in Colonial Williamsburg that has emerged in the last year. The tables in CW are a recent addition to the landscape, but it has quickly become my favorite place in Williamsburg to work. Shops are mere steps away, so you can take a lunch break while you work no problem, and I have found that the hustle and bustle of families and tourists make for great background noise while I work.

7. Williamsburg Regional Library: Another incredible off campus spot! The Williamsburg Regional Library has a shaded terrace area, completed with tables and fountains. The sound of rushing water in the background and the cool atmosphere of the terrace make for a serene study location. Additionally, it is a study space few other students use, meaning you and your friends will have it all to yourself. Bake Shop is right down the street, so you can sip on a coffee while you write your papers.

About Kate

Kate is a junior at William & Mary from Woodbridge, VA. She is a double major in Government and Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies on a pre-law track. She is passionate about law because she believes it is a powerful tool to help others, and hopes one day to either be a public defender or an attorney for a civil rights law firm. On campus, she lets her inner legal nerd loose with undergraduate Mock Trial and Merrimac Mentors.

During her downtime, you can find Kate taking night walks through CW with friends or sitting on the Terrace. She is a total extrovert and loves meeting new people, but be warned that she is known to share lots of information about niche topics, including but not limited to: American Girl Dolls, the Amish lifestyle, Taylor Swift, and early 2000s TV shows. Kate has been a GGV OA since her sophomore year and is beyond excited to make Orientation the best experience for incoming students it can possibly be.

The Best Advice for New Students

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:

  1. 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.
  1. 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.
  1. 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.
  1. 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!
  1. 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
About Josie

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!