- Class: Junior
- Major: Psychology
- Gender: F
- High School: Halifax County High
- Transfer Student: N
I think by far one of the best things about William and Mary is the love the people involved have for this school. Faculty, staff, and students all seem to really care not only about how their lives are improved by being here, but about the College's future. I also really love that all of my classes have been taught by my professor, with the occasional exception of a lab. I do wish we had the money to fund renovation projects more often and that there was more parking on campus. I think the size of our student body is perfect. When I tell people from near Virginia that I go to William and Mary many comment that it is a good school and that I must be smart; when talking to someone from a completely different area, however, the comment I receive the most is: "Is that a Catholic school?" due to the nature of the name. I spend the majority of my time either in my on campus housing, in classrooms, the Daily Grind, or outside on the UC terrace whenever possible. There is a decided lack of a college town atmosphere in Williamsburg, it seems to be more of a "retirement town" with way too many pancake houses and very few night life options. The biggest recent controversy on campus was the failure of the Board of Visitors to renew Gene Nichol's contract and his subsequent resignation. I have a feeling that the white supremacist speaker that is due on campus next week will be an issue as well. I think that William and Mary students do take pride in their alma mater, but I feel it is done in a subtle manner. You won't see many people decked out in green and gold camping out before a game, but when something happens to the school and its members, such as the Gene Nichol controversy, there is an outpouring of voices about our school. I think one of the most unusual things about William and Mary is despite the large amount of civic activism the students have, as well as the amount of volunteer work we do for the community, we have a very poor "green" system. You would think that with as much as we care about other issues, we'd want a greener campus too. I will always remember yule log ceremonies, Gene Nichol's resignation, and quite a few personal memories from my time here. The complaints often seen involve lack of new buildings and parking, that the cobblestone is hard to walk on, and that the UC food is UC food.
One of the best aspects of William and Mary is that many, if not all, classes are taught by the professor in charge, rather than by a TA. I would say out of my last 6 semesters of classes only 2 professors did not know my name, and both were large lectures with 200 or more students. My current favorite class is Psychology for the Exceptional Child, where I voulnteer at a pre-school working with severely developmentally delayed children and experience how advances in teaching help these children. My favorite class of my academic career, however, was Africa to 1800 CE. The class was taught by an amazing professor who was excellent at spurring interest in his students. Students probably study about 5 or more hours a week, significantly more depending on their major and what level courses are taken. Class participation is a common factor, but many students engage in intellectual conversation outside of class as well. Students here a very competitive over grades, because while having a degree from william and mary is admirable, especially because of the core liberal arts background that provide students a well rounded education, but because future employment and graduate programs still rely on the grades you make. I am a history and psychology double major, each has different core requirements as well as a certain number of required elective hours. History requires that majors take a senior seminar class and Psychology requires an upper level research course in a specific area. It is not uncommon to see professors spending time with students outside of class, and I myself have met with my advisors and some professors in a social atmosphere.
Diversity on the campus expresses itself in many ways. There is a shortage of African American and lower socio-economic statuses, though the school's diversity program has been diligently working to correct this. There is a known LGBT section of the campus, and they are generally very well accepted by their fellow students, and many people will correct others who make slurs based upon race, background, or sexual orientation. I myself am friends with students that fit many different categories, gay, straight, african american, asian, catholic, jewish, and many other categories. I don't think any student would find themselves out of place. Students wear a mixture of clothing to class, from sweat pants to business attire. Most students are from the northern Virginia area, though there is a large minority of students from New England as well.