April 30th, 2015
The William and Mary Pathways program has hands down been the most important thing I have done in my college career.
At first, it seems like it’s just a nice thing to do at the beginning of the year, and maybe eases some nerves before college starts in earnest. Don’t get me wrong, it’s all of those things, but it’s also been so much more.
Pathways and the outdoor program set me up for success during my transition into real adulthood. A cliché way to say it, but it’s true nonetheless. My trip leaders not only taught me about the spirit of fellowship and community that The College embodies, but being in the outdoors instilled a sense of stewardship, pride, and love for my new home (being out of state, myself).
Then, of course, I became a trip leader. With that, there was a whole host of new qualities I took on, among other things; responsibility, leadership, all those things people love on resumes—but above it all, a passion for what I do.
College is a formative time for most, but Pathways sets the tone for the whole four years we’re here. Through Pathways and the outdoor program, I’ve met role models, best friends, a girlfriend, a man who takes butter in his hot chocolate, one who a little too closely resembles Yukon Cornelius (yes, that Yukon Cornelius), a dog named “Help,” I’ve been bitten by miniature horses, slept in haunted forests, stood on top of Virginia, and have truly had the most unique and significant experience that I think anyone could hope to have in this place.
So to me “what does pathways mean to you” is a really loaded question. I could talk about it for hours, and never truly get my point across. The only way to truly know what we’re all about it to get out here and do it.
W&M Pathways is a pre-orientation program designed to provide incoming students with a unique opportunity to become integrated into the William & Mary Community through individualized outdoor experiences. To find out more about Pathways and William and Mary’s Tribe Adventure Program, go to: www.wm.edu/rec/tap