My W&L: Andrew Seredinski '14

Liberal arts schools are for those of us who want to know too many things. I came in as an aspiring physics and philosophy major, and planned on throwing myself into both. But then somehow I found myself with an extra mathematics major and a minor in German. Washington and Lee is a place where you do not have to limit yourself to just one intellectual direction.

Ultimately, finances made my college choice for me. From the very beginning, Washington and Lee had my back where others did not. My professors here have made all the difference. It's not just about the small class sizes, and the availability of faculty during and outside of office hours, and the casual dinner invites at the end of a semester. It's about the e-mail from my Electrical Circuits professor from last year, encouraging me to apply for the Goldwater scholarship, which I won. It's about the two physics professors with whom I've published a paper on cooperative sequential adsorption models on a Cayley tree in the Journal of Statistical Mechanics. It's about the e-mail from the Philosophy Department that led me to submit a short story to an undergraduate journal of existentialism- which ended up being published. It's in the conversations and the recommendations, the unexpected suggestions and the much-needed direction.

But a small liberal arts school is about even more than that - it's about the opportunity to tour Italy with the University Chamber Singers, to help write and act in stage adaptations of the Grimm's Fairy Tales (entirely in German), to spend a Spring term abroad in Bonn, Germany, and to experience it all with people just as passionate and engaged as you are. You can be involved in whatever you want and to whatever degree you want. My main worry coming to W&L was the social life. I was surprised to find out that there was not any pressure to participate in the party scene, and that if you looked in the right direction, you'll find a segment of the Greek system that aspires to more. The intellectual community I have found in my brothers is one of the highlights of my experience here.

Your education is colored by who you surround yourself with, and what opportunities you pursue. I have found that in both friendships and achievements, the only limiting factors at Washington and Lee have been the boundaries of my own abilities, and the four years I have to spend here.