When I look back on my time at William & Mary, one moment that I will never forget is when as a first semester Freshman I enrolled in a 300-level German philosophy course and its once weekly German conversation hour. I had never taken any sort of philosophy course before and though this experience could have been disastrous, it was one of the best classes I've ever taken at William & Mary. The professor who taught it was passionate and supportive, my fellow students were friendly and encouraging, and I learned more from that course than I ever anticipated. The closeness and support I found in this class is what enticed me to be a German major, and after 3 years in the department, I can soundly say that was one of the best decisions I've ever made.
Being a part of German Studies at William & Mary has introduced me to students who have become good friends, professors who have become personal mentors, and provided me with opportunities that have been invaluable. After graduation I will be embarking on a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship in Gratz, Austria where I am confident that the skills I have learned from the German Studies Department, and MDLL Department at large, will serve me well. After this I intend on going to law school and though I haven't decided on a specific career path yet, I will never forget what I have learned from German Studies at William & Mary.
Something many of my friends have found funny over the years has been my connection with the German department at William & Mary. For years, everyone, including many of the faculty members, thought I was majoring in the department. Perhaps it was because I could often be found in Washington Hall or stretched out with my German readings on the Sunken Garden, or because I tried to sign up for every class that Professor Taylor and Professor Gully offered. However, until the spring semester of my junior year, it was just an assumption. Then one day, I realized that even though I had never filled out the paperwork, I knew most of the students and professors. I had more knowledge than I had ever anticipated of different subject areas within the field, including early German film, the GDR punk movement, and immigration patterns within Germany and Austria. I had become a German major without ever realizing it, and I loved it. I loved working with the professors and writing. So I filled out the paperwork and, although I don't know where the future will take me, I feel better prepared for it due to my involvement in the department. I'm currently waiting to hear back from USTA Austria, which has selected me as an alternate for a teaching assistantship for the 2020-2021 school year. I am incredibly thankful for the wonderful professors I’ve worked with and the amazing friends I made along the way.