Dear Williams Families,
We hope you enjoyed a nice holiday and that you and your students, whether in person, over the phone or on Skype, were able to talk at some length about their Williams experience so far.
After a chock-full first semester—on top of fully-scheduled lives since pre-Kindergarten—students sometimes find the more relaxed pace of their first Winter Study a challenge in and of itself. With only one course on their weekday schedules, they’re suddenly faced with the prospect of filling up a lot of “free time.” This is actually a wonderful opportunity for students to practice taking initiative, broadening their horizons, and shaping their own lives as they’ll be increasingly called to do at Williams and beyond.
So if your first-year student calls to say they’re bored, or that they’re spending all their time in the dorm (a particular challenge in Mission, where the combination of chilly weather and in-house dining can lead to “hibernation”), listen well, ask good questions, but don’t succumb to sympathy. Instead, suggest that your student use January to explore the near-endless opportunities Williams has to offer, including:
- Making new friends outside the entry by getting involved in an extracurricular activity or simply striking up a conversation in the dining hall with someone they’ve never met.
- Attending performances, concerts, and athletic events.
- Embracing the outdoors
- Engaging with the off-campus community.
- Exploring summer opportunities for research on-campus and off-campus and career development.
As they grow more independent and resourceful, Williams students get more out of Winter Study each year. Encourage your student to get as much as possible out of this first one as well.
Our best wishes to you all,
Rob White P’11, ’13, ’17
Director of Parent and Family Programs