By TAYLOR OSTROM
I still remember my first day of college. I felt like a kindergartener all over again with sweaty palms and butterflies in my stomach. Sure, I was nervous, but I was also bursting with excitement. I was about to start my journey down a four-year road of self-discovery.
However, my excitement quickly turned into disappointment when I realized I was attending a university that made me feel lost in the shuffle. This university failed to meet my needs as a student and I felt overlooked and unimportant. Fortunately, this university was not the University of Mary Washington.
I transferred to UMW this semester, and have yet to regret my decision to do so. I was previously attending a college up north, and while there, never once felt the way I feel at UMW. I feel welcomed here, not only by students but also by staff. When it comes to making students feel like family, UMW does not fall short in doing so.
On my first day of class my peers greeted me with friendly smiles. It took my professors only a mere week to learn my name, whereas at my previous college I was constantly reminding my professors who I was. At UMW I feel comfortable. Professors see their students as individuals with unique qualities and specific needs, they do not judge, and are always available to help when needed.
The students of UMW are friendly and approachable. I can recall numerous occasions where fellow peers of mine have introduced themselves and started up friendly conversation with me. I have even had a student go out of her way to ask a professor for my email so she could reach out to me. She was aware I am not only a student, but also a mother and politely emailed me to let me know that she runs a pro-life group here on campus. She assured me that if I ever needed anything, such as a babysitter or someone to talk to, then I shouldn’t hesitate to contact her. I thought that was so sweet and kind. I have never experienced a more welcoming student body than the one here.
UMW is a close-knit campus, and that’s why I love being a student here so much. Sure, at a larger campus, parties might be crazier and sporting events may attract a larger crowd, but they lack the family atmosphere UMW has. I have only been here for a semester, but it already feels like home to me. I can tell that during my time here at UMW, I will not only grow as a student but also meet some amazing people along the way.