So what were you up to today before Chick-fil-A?
It’s been kind of a boring day for me, I’ve just spent the morning working on some paper and projects. I’ve been working on a final paper for my data science class, I’m a junior studying Government. I’ve taken a couple of data-ish classes.
How do you feel about them?
It is a pain! [laughs] It takes forever to finish a project–the codes never work the first couple of tries, but when you do, it is very satisfying!
So what motivated you to take data science classes?
Mostly through the research lab that I’m involved in, I work with Professor Settle in the Government department. We do a lot of data stuff — we’re interested in the psychological underpinnings of political behavior and what causes someone to lead in a political discussion, specifically people who tend to lie in a political conversation or look like they want to agree.
Have you felt a lot of frustration when working on these kinds of projects, or were there times you just wanted to give up in the process?
Oh yeah, all the time! [laughs]
Can you tell me about a specific instance?
Yeah! We just had a project due last week, and it’s this thing where I know how to make the code and I know how to write it, but the numbers were not telling you the right thing. I was sitting with my friend in Sadler with fries and just trying to work through it. I never really made a close friend in my class before, but we definitely hit it off really great.
It’s really great to have that emotional support, especially in a hard class.
Absolutely! It’s always helpful to have someone that you can tear your heart out to. It’s always great that people can view you where you are, from a class project or to anything like that. I’ve definitely had a solid basis of my group of friends since freshman year, and I never really made the effort to meet the people in my classes besides maybe asking for missed notes. I never really knew this friend before, we kind of just sat next to each other on the first day of classes. We randomly started talking. She is just the most happy and bubbly person. She sat down on the first day of classes to tell me all about her day and all that was going on. I was like, wow, this is great, to meet someone in a totally different context.
How have these experiences shed light on you as a person?
My friends are everything to me, whether it’s sitting with them, doing work, hanging out on the sunken gardens, any time I spend with them is the highlight of my day. I love to hear every little detail about what’s going on in their lives. They’re there to support me, to celebrate with me, and I am definitely grateful to have that experience at school. Before I came to William & Mary, I expected that I would meet all these friends and have really great relationships. I thought it was super cool that they were sprinkled all across the country–that we didn’t know who each other, but pretty soon enough we’ll be so important to each other. And it’s so cool, now having experienced that moment.
So do you think that the expectations you came into college with have been fulfilled?
I’ve definitely gotten everything and more out of William & Mary that I wanted to. I knew that this was going to be a good experience for me and that this place was going to be my home. And even still, the speed with which that happened blows me out of the water. I feel so special to have that, and it’s special to William & Mary.