Dear Future Wildcat

Dear Future Davidson Student,

First of all, congratulations! You made it through the terrors of APs/IB, SATs/ACTs, the Common Application, and the entire thing that has made up your past few months deciding where to go for college.

Second of all, welcome. I am so excited that you chose Davidson College! As a current student, I have to say, you chose a pretty awesome place to spend the next four years of your life. Davidson will offer you a variety of amazing opportunities that will help shape you and your future (does that sound kind of scary?). It was less than a year ago that I was in your shoes, and before you arrive here in August as a first-year student in the small town of Davidson, I would like to offer you some advice to help you optimize your first-year experience at Davidson.

1. Don’t be shy. People here are friendly and nice.

But actually. Get to know your fellow first-years (cue many awkward ice cream social mixers) but also talk to other students around campus (cue awkward first court parties). Getting to know the other members of the Davidson community should be fun and not scary. 

2. Be social. (See #1). 

Get out and see what the campus has to offer.

3. That said, also take your classes seriously.

I would guess that you chose Davidson College in some part because of the incredible education you will get here. Take part in your classes. Do your readings. Note about readings: you will have a lot to read so learn the art of skimming with a highlighter in hand—it will save you! Learn everything you can here, because Davidson has so much to offer academically.

4. Get to know your professors. Do it. Right now.

I remember the first time I went to a professor's office hours. I was so scared I literally crumpled the piece of paper I was holding with my shaking hands. But it turns out, professors are people too—and more importantly, they are people committed to your success at Davidson and beyond. 

5. Sleep (more than three hours a night).

I have a confession: I basically lived off of coffee my first semester here at Davidson. I think I averaged five hours of sleep a night. Now as an older (and wiser) second semester first-year student, I realize that sleep is important. Don’t do what I did. 

6. Eat breakfast (or at least some meals).

Sometimes people get busy and think skipping meals is the answer to their problems. It’s not. Food is needed to live here at Davidson. Make sure you are keeping your body fueled. If you can’t make it to Vail Commons for breakfast, because (let’s be real) no college student likes to wake up early, make sure to keep some bagels or yogurt or maybe even coffee maker in your room. 

7. Don’t stress.

Are you stressing yet about following everything I have suggested? Are you worried your roommate will smell like moldy cheese? Are you afraid you will walk into the wrong classroom during the second week of classes? Don’t stress! College will be an incredible experience, so don’t sweat it. If any (or all) of the worries above (or your own list of worries) do happen, I promise it won’t be as bad as it seems. Trust me: this is coming from the girl who fell down the stairs (right in front of a cute Texan boy) during Decision Davison.

8. Potential love/dating/hook-up interests.

People at Davidson are nice. But still, as you're coming to college, people can seem very exciting and also very available. Just be smart about hook-ups and relationships, as they can be confusing, especially in college!

9. Get involved with (a few) clubs. 

Okay, so you may end up like me. I signed up for so many different clubs at the Activities Fair, and I still get emails from many of them. Although I was overwhelmed by the opportunities, I ended up joining about four clubs/organizations. Limiting my number of commitments as a first semester student allowed me not to drown in all of my activities. 

10. Have fun!

Davidson is awesome. College is amazing.

You will have a fantastic time here for the next four years. Enjoy everything that Davidson has to offer (I mean that in moderation—see #9). I hope that these tips help in your transition to college, and you now have my email so if you ever have a question—feel free to shoot me a message (I’m serious about this. I promise.) That said, I look forward to seeing you on campus in August. See you then, baby Wildcat. 

With Wildcat Pride,

Katie Gomulkiewicz