An Open Letter to the Class of 2017

Dear Class of 2017 collegiettes,

For years you toiled in high school, dreaming of the day when you would finally wear that cap and gown and set off on the next chapter of your life: college. You reveled in the thought of homecoming in a stadium packed with thousands of people, finding a new sense of sisterhood in a sorority and making some of the best friends you would ever find. The moment you tacked that Ryan Gosling poster on your dorm wall, you jumpstarted the first of many wonderful days you will have over the next four years.

But before you head off to your first class or your first college party, we older collegiettes have some advice. Without further ado, we upperclassmen have some things to say to you!

1. It’s OK to not be best friends with your roommate. While you should try to be friends, don’t sweat it if you and your roommate don’t become BFFs immediately, because people don’t always click that way. But even if you don’t end up doing everything together, it’s more than possible to still get along and have fun with your roommate, so don’t lose hope!

2. But DO make friends with upperclassmen! We may seem scary, but honestly, we love making new friends, even with freshmen like you! Besides, we know the best classes, the best places to eat, the best parties and all the greatest things campus has to offer.

3. Don’t feel bad about being homesick. Many of you spent YEARS of your life growing up somewhere else. Don’t ever feel ashamed if you tear up because you miss your high school friends or your favorite movie theater from back home. They were all a big part of your life, so relish in those memories while also moving on to new things!

4. Talk to lots of people who are different than you. One of the greatest things about college is the diversity of background, interests and more on campus. Instead of sticking to a crowd like the one you were part of in high school, branch out and talk to everyone you meet. Not only will you learn interesting things about them, but you’ll also pick up all the different ways people see the world.

5. Don’t be afraid of making mistakes. Whether it’s taking a class that’s way too hard for you or getting involved with the wrong guy, you WILL make mistakes in college. But you will also learn from those mistakes and become a stronger person.

6. Take up new hobbies and interests. Take advantage of all the classes and clubs college has to offer. Pick up a new sport, a new hobby, a new anything; it will expand your horizons by making you realize how much of your world remains undiscovered.

7. Talk to an academic adviser. You only really need to go once or twice a semester, but academic advisers will help you map out your academic life for next four years. They’ll plan out your major classes with you, give you great career advice and help you make the most of campus life, so see them often! Besides, you don’t want to be stuck taking required classes as a senior.

8. Don’t put up with bad friends. Just like in high school, you’ll make amazing friends, but you’ll also inadvertently make friends who are mean and careless towards you. They may put you down, they may dismiss you when you need them most or they may never be happy for you when you do succeed. If that happens, don’t be afraid to cut ties with him or her – there are too many people on campus who would be better friends to you.

9. Get to know the community. Go out and explore the city or town you’ve moved to. If you’re going to be there for the next four years, knowing all the best your community has to offer means you’ll have a great time off campus, too!

10. Know that boys are temporary, but good friends are forever. You will have countless boy problems that can make you sad, angry, frustrated and all the negative emotions in between. But you will also have just as many friends who will ALWAYS listen to you as you cry, rant and vent about any guy who crosses your path. That’s what friends are for.