The Columns

My W&L: Joshua Jackson ’16

— by on September 5th, 2016

Joshua Jackson '16

“College is a time to both explore uncharted territory and to further your interests.”

Change. It is something we don’t always enjoy, but we all inevitably face it at some point in our lives. Moving from the entertainment capital of the world to the quiet, quaint town of Lexington was going to be quite the change for me. I remember arriving at the airport, suitcase in tow, and unsure of why I decided to travel 2,200 miles away. I made my way through security and arrived at my gate, only to find that my seat had changed. Instead of having a window seat and the entire row to myself, I now had an aisle seat and was sharing the row with two small children. Great start on my journey to Lexington, right? I remember looking out of the window from my aisle seat, wondering what I would encounter once I touched down in Virginia. After all, I was trading bright lights and palm trees for historic, brick buildings and below-freezing temperatures. Everything was very different from what I had previously known, and it took a lot of adjusting before I accepted that I would be in Lexington for the next four years.

Fast forward three years, and I am now looking back, writing on my wonderful time here at W&L. Being able to major in the Williams School while taking a class in the science of crime scene investigations is a testament to W&L’s diverse liberal arts education. Co-curricular programs like Washington and Lee Student Consulting, the Kemper Scholar program, the Shepherd Program, and many other organizations have opened doors to extremely rewarding opportunities — opportunities that have allowed me to travel, help companies expand their market share, and even do Sunday morning yoga with 200 people in Millennium Park. I’ve had the pleasure of establishing meaningful relationships with extremely accomplished friends, world-renowned professors, and knowledgeable mentors. All of this has contributed to an unforgettable college experience that I wouldn’t have acquired elsewhere.

With only one more year to go, I’ve learned that college is very much like my five-hour plane ride to Lexington. There are times where you will be unsure of the choices you make: your choice of major, the type of person you want to be, or the kind of people with whom you will surround yourself. It is not always easy, and it was not meant to be. Despite that, college is not something to fear. Rather, it should be embraced and celebrated. College is a time to both explore uncharted territory and to further your interests in that of which you already know and love. This time in your life was made to challenge you, to change you, and, ultimately, to help you grow.