The W&M First Year Experience

Tips & Tricks for YOUR First Year at William & Mary

August 11, 2017 by W&M FYE · No Comments

Hey there! My name is Kathy Hopkins and I’m a rising senior here at William & Mary. I work in the Office of First Year Experience as one of the ten Orientation Area Directors, so I am SUPER excited to welcome all of our new students to campus in August, especially now that Orientation is less than 1 month away! Today I’ll share a little bit about my first year experience and hopefully get you excited about YOUR first year here!
On a lovely August morning three years ago, I moved into (arguably) the best freshman hall: Monroe! While I had never lived in a building with 150 strangers before, after sitting in class and grabbing meals together, they became some of my closest friends on campus. Even to this day we enjoy hanging out at Busch Gardens and winning intramural championships together!
Meeting new people extends beyond the residence hall as well! Since my faith has always been really important to me, I immediately got involved with Catholic Campus Ministry and took a trip to Virginia Beach where I enjoyed a delicious Dairy Queen Blizzard and met several upperclassmen who offered lots of guidance and support as I decided which other clubs I should join and which major I wanted to pursue.
Speaking of majors…I knew I wanted to study neuroscience before I came to William & Mary since I wanted the opportunity to explore undergraduate research and clinical volunteer work. Luckily enough, I was able to pursue BOTH of these things my freshman year! I studied the applications of reading microexpressions in the context of political psychology then became certified in reading microexpressions myself. I also started volunteering at Lackey Clinic at the end of my first year where I scribe for different medical providers as they treat the uninsured patients of the Greater Williamsburg area. Both my research and scribing at Lackey have been such great learning experiences and have prepared me to apply to medical school this year!
I’ll wrap up with a few quick tips for your first year at William & Mary:
1. Get to know the people around you!
Our fellow students here are some of the most amazing people in the world and your college experience will be multiplied if you take the chance to learn from your peers. Ask people what classes they’re taking and which clubs they want to check out at the activities fair! W&M students aren’t just passionate about our classes and extracurriculars, we’re passionate about each other.
2. Make time to relax.
Go for a stroll in Colonial Williamsburg or read a book on the dock by Lake Matoaka. The first few weeks of the semester can be busy, but make time to rejuvenate so you can be the best version of yourself during your time here!
3. Be bold.
College is a time for exploration. Take a class in a subject you’ve never heard of. Grab a meal with someone, even if you’ve just met them! Your college experience will be unique to your interests, so feel free to explore your passions and learn something new each day while you’re here!
I hope you enjoy the rest of your summer! Get excited to become a part of our Tribe as we’re very excited to welcome you to your new home here at William & Mary!!!
With love & excitement,
Kathy Hopkins
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