Williams pride runs deep in my blood and coming here meant following in the footsteps of various grandparents, aunts, uncles, parents, and siblings. For exactly that reason, as a senior in high school, I was determined not to come to Williams. However, when I visited campus in the midst of a whirlwind college tour, on a beautiful Friday in October that just happened to be Mountain Day, I felt at home immediately. Four years later, with countless memories created, incredible bonds formed, and a wardrobe full of purple and gold clothing, I can’t imagine spending my college years any place else.
This is the reason that Williams is and has been so special to me. Each person on campus finds a smaller community in his or her own niche, which creates strong feelings of belonging. For me, it’s been with the Ephlats, a co-ed a cappella group on campus, and the women’s club water polo team. When I left for college, I told my mom that I wouldn’t be joining any groups or clubs because I was too burnt out from how busy I was in high school and just needed a break. Within a week, I called her to report joining both activities. Yet, as busy as being an active member of the Williams community may make me, I am creating meaningful ties that I know will persist when my time at Williams is over.
Last year I had the opportunity to help shape the Williams community by serving as a Junior Advisor. It was a role that I truly treasured and that has defined my Williams experience. I was able to have an impact on the future of Williams by passing on my purple pride to a new crop of students. But most of all, I formed deep relationships with my first-years and my co-JA (in my picture, above) that I know will continue to draw me back to Williams for years to come.
Now entering my final semester, I have spent significant time reflecting on my experiences here. I know that the various overlapping communities with which I’ve been involved have been crucial to the many wonderful memories that I have created. But the relationships I have formed with various professors through interesting class discussions, tutorial meetings, and scintillating conversations over coffee or dinner have been significant, too. So not only will I be leaving this place with a solid group of friends, but also a group of mentors I can turn to throughout my life.
It is these connections which make Williams such a vibrant community, of which you and I will always be a part, as these bonds and relationships transcend the four years spent in the beautiful Berkshires. Thank you. Your support helps make this place continue to be such a welcoming home and allows us each to find the place where we truly feel we belong.
Anna Marrs ’13