Dear incoming freshman,
You are part of an extraordinary group of students selected to come here.
One of your first concerns may be finding a solid friend group. As someone who is incredibly socially awkward and a commuter, if I can make friends than anyone can. No matter how late it gets into the quarter or even as more pass by, you should never stop going out of your way to say hi to someone new. Especially when you’re shy I know how hard it is to strike up small talk. But questions like their major, what year they are, and what other classes they are taking are some pretty easy ice breakers. You would be surprised at how the random people you initiate a conversation with end up becoming part of your support system.
Another fear may be adjusting to the quarter system. The ten weeks do go by pretty fast and midterms sneak up on you out of nowhere. However, as long as you get your senioritis out of your system during the summer, eventually you will get used to the quarter system’s fast pace. You hear this all the time but try to avoid procrastination. That one nasty habit has killed my sleep schedule and the stress resulting from it has probably shaved a few years off my life. Especially when it comes to midterms and papers, start contributing an hour of your time every day for the week prior the deadline rather than staying up the night before.
There are going to be some very difficult times ahead. Stress from an upcoming paper or midterm may make you wonder why you even chose to come here or feel that you are out of place. But you were accepted here for a reason. It is during these times to also remember balance is important. When everything feels overwhelming, it is ok to take a few moments to step away and take a break. I go to the gym on a consistent basis with friends and every Friday after classes we will grab lunch together and rant about our week. School is important, but so is your health. When you set time aside to study, make sure you also have more than enough time to sleep and a few moments for yourself to breathe.
Overall, thank you for choosing to come here. These upcoming years will be hard. But they will also be some of the best years of your life. Congrats on becoming an Anteater!