Do you hang out in the Grind a lot?
Yeah, I do come to the Grind a lot.
What’s your favorite thing about this place? Why do you come here so often?
The last manager who was here had been here for 18 years, so this place was very set in its culture when I first started coming. And a friend who graduated 2 years ago used to come here a lot, so she was the one who first had coffee with me here. And she unofficially was like, “Alright, this is gonna be your space,”. That’s how I started coming here, and then it kinda turned into this place where no matter how my day’s going, I can always come here and rely on a cup of tea and good conversation with the people who work here. Scott, the old manager, was a great dude. He was kinda crotchety and grumpy, but there was something really nice about having this space to come to and rely on Scott making me a cup of tea and a breakfast sandwich, regardless of what was else going on in my life.
Do you still work here?
I don’t work here anymore. I worked here from last June to November, and was actually saving up money to go to Copenhagen, which is where I studied abroad.
Tell me about Copenhagen.
I went abroad there spring of my junior year, and it is just an incredible city. There’s something about that culture that really speaks to me. The Danish people in general can come off as closed off from the outside but once they open their homes and their hearts to you, they are some of the most loving and welcoming people. They’ve got an incredible sense of humor and I’m still in good touch with my host parents, who are part of the reason I’m going back. It’s a really special place for me.
How do you think your time in Denmark changed the way you saw William & Mary?
It completely changed the way I saw William & Mary. I think before I went abroad I needed a break from school, which is part of the reason I went. And I feel like the majority of people who go to college generally hit a point where they need some space to reflect, and that was a huge goal of mine in Copenhagen. I was alone for most of the time in Copenhagen, so when I came back I had all the more reason to appreciate the people I have here and the community that I’ve found. I made another group of friends at the start of my senior year, which I didn’t expect, and it made me appreciate that community all the more.
You’re a senior and you’re almost on your way out. What is a piece of advice that you would give to any William & Mary student?
I think that generic advice for anyone entering college is to keep an open mind, not only to experiences that you might not be comfortable with but also with changes that you might see in yourself that you wouldn’t have expected to see. But to a William & Mary student, I think I would say that anytime you think that you know this college, there is always another corner that you can explore. If you at any point feel that you’ve gotten everything that you can out of this place, I feel like there’s usually a surprise waiting for you around the corner. That’s what I’ve found to be the defining characteristic of my time at William & Mary. Every time I think I’ve hit a dead end or I feel like I’ve found the bottom of my experience here, I’ve always been surprised. I’m trying to maintain attitude this last semester, which is a little difficult given that I’m a bit of a cynical senior, but that’s the advice I’d give.