Outdoor Recreation At W&M 

As the weather gets colder, Williamsburg becomes the perfect place to go for an outdoor adventure. William & Mary offers a variety of outdoor experiences, perfect for a weekend expedition. Tribe Adventure Program holds exciting outdoor activities and trips. Sunset paddle, campfires, a day at the beach, sea kayaking are just some of the things you can register for! Some trips cost a small fee, but the experiences are priceless. TAP also offers leadership positions on TAP trips for those passionate about outdoor recreation! 

Some of the upcoming events include: 

  • Belay Clinics 
  • Camping at Holliday Lake State Park
  • Canoes and Campfires
  • Kiptopeke Beach Camping and Sea Kayaking 
  • Sunset Paddle 

For new freshmen and sophomores, TAP offers a pre-orientation pathway program before you arrive on campus for the first time! During pathways students have the opportunity to participate in exciting outdoor adventures like backpacking the Appalaician all while meeting new people before arriving on campus! 

Click here to learn more: https://www.wm.edu/offices/wellness/campusrec/programs/outdoorrec/

Click here to register for their programs: https://campusrec.wm.edu/Program/GetProducts?classification=236f37fb-0cbc-4b64-aa1d-41f989b09a51

More info on pathways: https://www.wm.edu/offices/wellness/campusrec/programs/outdoorrec/pathways/

 Best restaurants around campus 

If you’re looking for a weekend treat, a night out with friends, exploring Williamsburg, or anything in between, there are so many incredible restaurants near campus. These are a few of my favorites with a personal favorite dish!: 

  • Sals by Victor 

My personal favorite Italian restaurant around campus is Sals by Victor. They offer a variety of pasta, chicken, seafood, pizza, and sweets. It’s just off Richmond Road by Food Lion. Favorite dish: Penne alla vodka 

  • The Cheese Shop

The Cheese Shop is a classic for great sandwiches, cheeses, and more! It’s located in Merchant Square which makes it just a quick walk off campus. Favorite dish: Virginian ham with swiss on focaccia bread

  • Mellow Mushroom 

Mellow Mushroom is a sit down pizza restaurant with customizable pizzas! They also offer salads, calzones, and various appetizers. Mellow Mushroom is also located within the Merchant Square area! Favorite dish: make your own pizza 

  • OishiI

Oishi is the perfect spot for quick Asian cuisine! They offer large portions of delicious yakisoba, hibachi, and sushi! It’s just a short walk from campus located on the outskirts of Colonial Williamsburg. Favorite dish: Chicken hibachi 

  • Wawa

While Wawa may or may not be considered a true restaurant, they offer so many delicious quick bites perfect for college students! Wawa is open late hours, so it’s perfect for a late night snack! Favorite dish: Chicken and cheese quesadilla 

 Finding A Healthy Mindset 

Beginning a new semester, whether it be your first college semester or last, can be a whirlwind of emotions. Finding a healthy mindset while surrounded by a new buzzing environment is a daunting, yery necessary task to setting oneself up for a balanced semester. Setting the baseline for what a healthy mindset feels to you at the beginning of the semester can give you something to refer back to if the semester becomes overwhelming and stressful. Finding and maintaining a healthy, positive mindset allows for growth

Consider adding these few tips to your healthy mindset toolbox:  


Accepting who you are and where you are in the moment, places your mindset in the present. It can be easy to hold grudges against the past, but the best way to move forward is accepting the past and present. 


Gratitude can be practiced by mentally listing things you’re grateful for, writing in a journal, etc. However you practice gratitude, the positive action can influence a positive outlook.

Get good sleep

Getting good sleep can be a form of self care. Setting aside the recommended 6-9 hours of sleep replenishes energy needed to power through the day. 

Set aside time for yourself

The very environment of college is centered around academics. Setting aside time for yourself to do fun things like participating in a club, taking a walk around Colonial Williamsburg, or meditating can help balance your mindset.  

Reframe negative self-talk

Stress glorification and negative self-talk can creep in, especially during overwhelming times. Words have more power than they seem, so what you say to and about yourself can affect your mindset. Practice being kind to yourself and you’ll be surrounded by positivity. 

Connect with friends and family  

Just like setting aside time for yourself, spending time with those you care about can help replenish balance and positivity in your day. 

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: https://www.amtrak.com/home

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: https://www.wm.edu/offices/oce/programs/we/index.php

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: https://www.wm.edu/offices/oce/programs/education-programs/index.php

Volunteer with Virginia Institute Of Marine Science (VIMS)

Volunteer with University Advancement 

The Five Best Uses Of Dining Dollars

Dining dollars are allotted to every student on a meal plan at William & Mary. Budgeting them wisely and knowing the best uses of them can help you get the most value for your money. 

Here’s a list of the best uses of dining dollars (in my opinion):

  1. Bake Shop

The Bake Shop is where many of my dining dollars ended up last semester. The Bake Shop offers many delicious fresh pastries, bagels, and beverages. Make sure to get in line early if you’re looking for a sweet treat as they sell out fast! 

  1. Cafes 

In-between classes or as a study treat, the cafes in Swem Library and Sadler ground floor are convenient and a tasty way to spend some dining dollars. 

  1. Chick-fil-A 

Chick-fil-A is a fan favorite use for dining dollars. Located on the outskirts of campus, Chick-fil-A offers a way to spend dining dollars while also switching things up from dining hall meals. 

  1. Farmers market 

This semester with the introduction of a new dining provider, dining dollars will be an extra currency of the Farmers market! This exciting new update should be implemented this upcoming semester! 

  1. Sushi from business cafe 

This one is a bit specific, however, if you’re looking for a change of flavor from the usual dining hall meals, try spending a little dining dollars on packaged sushi from the business cafe. 

What’s The Scoop? Best Ice Cream Spots Around Williamsburg

Looking for a sweet treat at the end of a long study session? Here’s a few of the many ice cream spots to check out with information on location, price, featured items, and hours listed in order of distance from campus. 

**This is not a list of every ice cream spot in Williamsburg**


  • Location: Right outside old campus is Chick-Fil-A.
    • Tribe Square, 249 Richmond Rd, Williamsburg, VA 23185
  • Price: $
  • Featured items: While not dedicated to ice cream, Chick-Fil-A offers ice cream, milkshakes, frosted lemonade, frosted coffee, and more sweet treats. 
  • Hours: Monday through Saturday 11-8pm 

Retro’s Good Eats 

  • Location: Retros is within walking distance to campus, right by the Campus Shop on Prince George St.
    • 435 Prince George St, Williamsburg, VA 23185
  • Price: $$
  • Featured items: While also not dedicated to ice cream, Retro’s offers milkshakes and floats. 
  • Hours: Open Monday through Saturday 11am – 7am


  • Location: Down the street from Retro’s, is Kilwins.
    • 421 Prince George St, Williamsburg, VA 23185
  • Price: $$
  • Featured items: Kilwins has an assortment of hard ice cream and other sweets
  • Hours: Sunday through Thursday 10am – 10pm, Friday & Saturday 10am – 11pm

Baskin Robbins 

  • Location: Across the street from Kilwins is Baskin Robbins.
    • 416 Prince George St, Williamsburg, VA 23185
  • Price: $
  • Featured items: Baskin Robbins offers 31 flavors of ice cream with sundae options and ice cream cakes.
  • Hours: Open everyday from 10am to 10pm 

Secret Garden 

  • Location: Secret Garden is located in Colonial Williamsburg, right next to Mellow Mushroom.
    • 110 S Henry St, Williamsburg, VA 23185
  • Price: $$
  • Featured items: Secret Garden offers various ice cream, affogato, and more sweet treats. 
  • Hours:
    • Sunday: 11am – 7pm
    • Monday: Closed
    • Tuesday: 11am – 7pm
    • Wednesday: 11am – 7pm
    • Thursday: 11am – 7pm
    • Friday: 11am – 8pm
    • Saturday: 11am – 8pm

Meadows Original Frozen Custard 

  • Location: Meadows Original Frozen Custard is farther away from campus on Richmond Road, around Food Lion.
    • 1222 Richmond Rd, Williamsburg, VA 23185
  • Price: $
  • Featured items: Meadows has a monthly calendar with two new custard flavors every day. 
  • Hours: Sunday through Thursday 12-9pm, Friday & Saturday 12-10 pm

Rita’s Italian Ice & Frozen Custard 

  • Location: Rita’s is located around Midtown.
    • 220D Monticello Ave, Williamsburg, VA 23185
  • Price: $
  • Featured items: Rita’s offers italian ice, custard, and gelatis.
  • Hours: Open everyday 12-10pm 


  • Location: Also further down on Richmond Road is Sno-To-Go
    • 2229 Richmond Rd #2, Williamsburg, VA 23185
  • Price: $
  • Featured Items: Sno-To-Go offers various flavors of ice cream, shaved ice, and more!
  • Hours: Monday through Thursday 12-10pm, Friday and Saturday 12-11pm 

Bubba’s Ice Cream Shack

  • Location: Bubba’s is a bit farther from campus, but is accessible with a car.
    • 1656 Richmond Rd, Williamsburg, VA 23185
  • Price: $$
  • Featured items: Bubba’s offers hard ice cream, shakes, and sundaes. 
  • Hours: Open everyday 12 – 11pm 

Planning Using PACE Goals

William & Mary has so much to offer in academics, wellness, career development and more. Trying to fit all aspects of the college experience into a daily schedule can be difficult, but consider trying the PACE goal guide when planning out your day. I created PACE goals during online learning as a way to maintain balance in my schedule throughout the day. PACE goals work by separating different tasks or goals into four main categories: personal, academic, creative, and exercise. I chose these four categories from figuring out what makes my day feel the most productive and complete. PACE goals are helpful because they allow for you to prioritize, organize, and create an overview of your balanced day. 

Prioritizing tasks and goals by choosing the most important helps separate the essential tasks for each day. 

P – Personal

  • Personal tasks and goals are those that are dedicated for you. 
  • Some examples of personal tasks could be journaling, reading, meditating, etc. 
  • The Wellness Center is a great resource for dedicating time towards personal tasks. 

A – Academic

  • Academic tasks and goals are those that are dedicated for school. 
  • Some examples of academic tasks could be completing a homework assignment, studying for an exam, etc. 
  • The Writing Resource Center is a great resource for strengthening writing and communication skills.

C – Creative / Career

  • Creative tasks and goals are those that dedicate time towards making something. These tasks are designed to minimize screen time and create anything from a small doodle to baking a cake.  
  • C could also stand for career. Career tasks and goals are those that dedicate time towards developing your career. Consider checking out the Cohen Career Center for assistance towards applying for jobs and professional development. 
  • Some examples of creative tasks could be drawing, painting, baking, crochet, etc. 
  • Some examples of career tasks could be creating a resume, taking professional headshots, applying for jobs, etc. 
  • The Makerspace in Swem Library is a great resource for a variety of creative projects. 

E – Exercise 

  • Exercise tasks and goals are those that dedicate time for movement. 
  • Some examples of exercise tasks could be specific workouts, minutes of movement, rest days etc. 
  • The Campus Recreation Center is a great  resource for exercise tasks. 

Example of a PACE goal

P: read 10 pages

A: study for my upcoming chemistry test

C: Bake cookies

E: 30 minutes of movement 

27 Things To Do Your First Year At W&M

Welcome new students! Joining a college environment introduces you to a plethora of new experiences and opportunities. If you’re looking for something to do when bored or checking off must-have activities, try using this bucket list of 27 things you should do your first year at William & Mary.  

  1. Figure out how to pronounce Botetourt 
  2. Find the old Lake Matoaka Amphitheatre 
  3. Listen to an a capella group perform at Wren 10
  4. Take a class in a subject you’ve never learned about before
  5. Make an account on Tribe Careers
  6. Leave campus by figuring out the WATA bus system 
  7. Stop by your professors’ office hours to get to know them 
  8. Check out a book from Swem
  9. Photograph your favorite spot on campus during all four seasons 
  10. Learn a new campus fun fact when you walk by  a tour group
  11. Connect with Alumni over Homecoming weekend 
  12. Attend an event for a cultural organization that you’re not a member of
  13. Attend a group fitness class at the Rec or Wellness center
  14. Swim in the Rec Center or Adair Hall pool
  15. Try to play it cool after being startled by one of the many campus squirrels
  16. Get some flowers at the weekly Farmers’ Market
  17. Figure out your go-to Wawa order
  18. Submit a call-in order at the Cheese Shop to skip the lines and feel like a local
  19. Take a late night walk through CW
  20. Narrowly miss stepping in horse poop on DOG Street
  21. Travel Europe for the day by going to Busch Gardens
  22. Get your free student pass from Colonial Williamsburg
  23. Compare the fudge at Wythe and Kilwin’s and pick a favorite
  24. Take advantage of living in the city with the most pancake houses per capita
  25. Spend a day at the beach in Yorktown or Jamestown
  26. Collect as many free W&M t-shirts as you can
  27. Put together an IM sports team

Here’s a printout to keep track!

Things You’ve Never Tried Around Campus

Whether you’re an incoming freshman or a returning senior, there are still some things around campus that you might have never tried. Here’s a list of some hidden gems in and around campus. 

  • Watch a play at Playhouse theater 

Did you know that Colonial Williamsburg (CW) has a theater? Right next to the Governor’s Palace is the Playhouse theater. This open air theater has been around since the 1700s! The Jug Broke Theater Company performs shows daily.

Learn more here: https://www.colonialwilliamsburg.org/learn/living-history/spirit-18th-century-theater/

  • Get a pastry from Raleigh Tavern Bakery  

Also located in CW is a somewhat hidden bakery. Tucked away off the Duke of Gloucester Street, the Raleigh Tavern Bakery contains a variety of sweet treats, baked goods, and drinks.  

Learn more here: https://www.colonialwilliamsburg.org/locations/raleigh-tavern-bakery/

  • Kayaking on Lake Matoaka 

Not only is Lake Matoaka a beautiful view, it can also be utilized for fun adventures! The Tribe Adventure Program rents out kayaks, paddleboards, and canoes so students can take a paddle down the lake. 

Learn more here: https://www.wm.edu/offices/wellness/campusrec/programs/outdoorrec/index.php

  • Get a massage at the Wellness Center

The McLeod Tyler Wellness Center is known for its beautiful glass windows and waterfall, but did you know that the Wellness Center also offers massages? Students can register for a 60 minute massage at the Wellness Center for only $50! 

Learn more here: https://www.wm.edu/offices/wellness/campusrec/programs/fitwell/massage/about/prices/index.php

  • Take a class on a unique topic

William & Mary’s COLL program allows students to branch out of their comfort zones and explore new topics you might otherwise overlook. There’s a multitude of  interesting classes to explore such as Rave Music (MUSC 100 02), Age of Dinosaurs (GEOL 203 01), The Mafia (FMST 330 02), and German Fairy Tales (GRMN 221 01).

  • Swim in the Rec Center pool

The ground floor of the Bee McLeod Recreation Center is home to a 25 yard, 8 lane pool open to all students. Try going for a quick swim next time you visit the rec center!