Admissions Blog: 5 things to do your first year at Sweet Briar

Posted on August 23, 2019 by Iris Williams ’22

Quad Rocks Iris Williams ’22 (center) at Quad Rocks 2018

So, you’ve decided to come to Sweet Briar College. Now what? A new chapter of your life has started, and there are so many things you can do with it! It’s a very exciting time, but it can be a little overwhelming. My first year here is over now, so I decided to compile a list of things you should do during your first year to help make your experience the best it can possibly be!

Explore Your New Home!

Sweet Briar has 3,250 acres of beautiful land. Of course, some of this land is used for buildings, but much of the land is left as is. There are 18 miles of trails to explore and lots of fun spots to discover with new friends. A popular trail is the Dairy Loop. This trail takes you by the barn where all the horses are. Students like to walk the loop and visit the horses. One of my favorite spots is Lower Lake. The Boathouse is on Lower Lake and there is a trail that leads to a dam. It’s so peaceful down there and it’s also very fun to hang out with friends. Because the campus is so big, you can constantly discover new places.

Participate in Traditions!

Iris (left) at Fall Step Singing 2018

One of the best things about SBC is its rich history of traditions. Each year students partake in several fun activities. Some of these traditions are class-specific, while others are for the whole College. An example of a class-specific tradition is “Bigs and Littles.” The junior class picks a first- year to be their Little. This gives first-years an upperclasswoman they can look up to and ask for help. Sister classes are two years apart.  My favorite first-year tradition is the Rock and Hitching Post Fight in the fall semester. The first-years must protect their hitching post from the sophomores. The sophomores try to protect their rock. Each class throws paint on the other. This tradition is an awesome way to bond with your class while having lots of fun. My favorite school-wide tradition is Step Singing. Each class comes up with songs to sing to the other classes. Songs about the seniors are nice because everyone loves the seniors. Classes also sing a nice song about themselves and their sister class, and teasing songs to their rival class. Rival classes are the ones directly above and below you. Each tradition offers a unique and fun way to bond with the school.

Get Involved on Campus!

Getting involved on campus is super easy and a great way to make friends. Many students are also athletes. SBC has seven Division III varsity sports, three riding teams and several club teams. We also have a great theater program that I am involved in. Everything is done by students. This is really cool because students can get hands-on experience with building sets or focusing lights.

Support Your Sisters in Athletics and Performances!

Because so many students get involved on campus, it’s super easy to support them if participating isn’t really your thing. There are sports games throughout the year. Come out to a soccer game or cheer on your Lacrosse sisters. Definitely show up to games against our rival, Hollins! There are also theater productions, dance concerts and our very own a capella group! The best part about all of these? If they happen on campus, they’re usually free! There’s no better price than that. :) So come support your sisters because they put in a lot of work. (See all events here!)

Theater crew Iris (far right) found time in her busy engineering schedule to get involved in theater.

Don’t Forget Academics!

Of course you want to have fun at college. Much of your college experience won’t be academic. But ultimately, you are here to learn. Make time to study. Get to know your professors. Find your favorite study spot. We have a ton of awesome resources here to support you in all of your endeavors. We can’t wait to get to know you better!

Want to know more about how to get involved at Sweet Briar? Visit our student life website!

Need more info about our majors and minors, or how to find academic support? No worries: has you covered.

Iris Williams
Iris Williams ’22 is a sophomore engineering major from Lynchburg, Va. She is an admissions ambassador and is involved in the theater program.