C: To start off, what is the happiest memory you’ve had within the past year or so?
I’m a freshman, so it’s been pretty great here. I have to say that I am very happy here. I would say that the happiest memory since I have been here at William & Mary has been getting really really close to my friends and exploring the school and getting to know people. It’s been great. I know that is very general so I do apologize
C: No its fine!! Is it a different type of culture coming here to William & Mary than it was in high school? Trying to adapt to meeting a bunch of new people and experiencing new things for the first time?
Oh definitely. I am from California so very far from here [on the East Coast]. Being *here* specifically is very different already, whether it be culturally or weather-wise. I wanted something different, something new coming to Williamsburg, and I think that I got what I wanted. It was really good for me to kinda be forced into a new situation where I am surrounded by all sorts of different people and having to live on my own for the first time ever in a totally new environment. It showed to me how much growth I have done. I am more resilient or capable than I thought I was.
C: Have you experienced or noticed any other areas of growth besides what you just mentioned over the past couple months?
I still don’t really know what’s going on. But yes, definitely. I have matured and grown as a person over the past couple months. I am much more open with people. I was very introverted and quiet during high school. And I feel like what William & Mary has done, which is another reason why I love this school, is help me feel like I can be much more open to people. I go up to people and introduce myself. I feel like I am more accepting and willing to meet people when I am new social situations. That is totally new for me.
C: Would you consider yourself more talkative?
Yeah. Because everyone I meet here is interesting and interesting in their own way. Once I meet someone and get to know them, I have recognized that everyone has something strange or interesting or quirky that makes them unique. For them, there is something that makes them really cool and can impact their perspective on the world.
C: Is that what drew you to William & Mary? That weird, strange, quirky uniqueness about people? Or was it about the academics?
I think that now that I am here, I can see that, most certainly, the weird quirkiness of the campus is what drew me here. I don’t know how to explain it, but being a History major, I love the history of the campus and being near CW. When I first visited here, I just fell in love with the campus. I could not really explain my thoughts and feelings at the time, but I definitely think that [the history and weirdness of the campus] is why I wanted to come here. I really liked everyone here and liked the environment and how people seemed very open, essentially how you described it.
C: Very different from the West Coast?
I would say so. I loved growing up in California, but at least here, there are a lot of different types of people that all try to get along. That is something pretty important on a college campus. Out in the real world, it may not be like this campus and its bubble, but at least this place is home-y.
C: What are you looking to get out of the rest of your freshman year but also your time here at William & Mary?
I would say that I want to keep that sense of wonder of being at college and at orientation for the first time all four years here. Like I said, during these first couple months, I have been so excited to meet new people and explore new avenues at William & Mary. I do not want to over the next couple of years be stuck in a rut or follow a routine and not try new things. I want to expand my horizons and social circles. Obviously, I want to get a great education, and this is a great place to get that. I want to see what’s possible for me. I do not know what I want to do career-wise when I graduate but I hope to understand myself a bit more in the upcoming years.
S: What has been your favorite moment here? It can be an extraordinary moment or it can be just a seemingly normal moment that you absolutely loved.
Oh I think I know one. I know that this is going to sound very freshman-y but I was in the process of joining a new club. Going out to get food or going on random walks around campus at night has to be a high point of my limited time here. I do remember a good time though. One time a group of friends of mine wanted to go see Matoaka super late at night. I do not know why, but we have never been there so we decided to go out in the pitch black darkness. Completely unsafe, but we walked there using only our phones and this small light map to guide us. By navigating our way using that small little map they give you during orientation, we made our way all the way around behind the business school. I am so surprised that we didn’t get lost and have to call the police or something. But we found our way there in the pitch black, and it was actually really beautiful being there at the theater in the darkness with nobody around us. It was really great, and we got to know each other pretty well. I noticed that you don’t get to do that sort of stuff during high school. You have parents watching you and making sure that you are being safe and whatnot. I am really happy that I have the liberty to do stuff like this here at William & Mary. It is a part of freshman year. There are a plethora of things that you can do. A world of possibilities. Moving forward, I hope that there is always something that I can explore or discover or try out.
S: Just one more question, what has made you smile?
Oh in one of my clubs, FASA, we are doing a play called “Culture Night,” which is our annual presentation of showcasing Filipino culture. I’m a cast member and seeing everyone put a lot of effort into making the play happen has definitely made me smile.
C: Thank you so much.
S: Yeah, thank you for talking with us.