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An Honest Letter to Incoming Freshman

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Notre Dame chapter.

Dear Incoming Freshman, 

Just a year ago, I was wandering through the aisles of Target looking for cute stuff to put in my dorm room. Now, I might have gotten distracted from my quest and bought an on-sale copy of Puss in Boots, but that’s beside the point. I had no idea what to expect from my first semester at Notre Dame. All I knew at this point was that my future roommate was a pre-med/track/ROTC star and that I was standing in the frozen food aisle, debating whether or not to buy dinosaur shaped chicken nuggets to eat while I watched the Shrek spinoff. 

I didn’t know what my major was, what activities I would participate in, who my friends would be, etc. Every night, I would scroll the Facebook group with a terrified look on my face. “Dad, they’re planning to meet up once we get there! And eat pizza! No booze! What kind of college is this?” His reassuring pat on the back did not do much to lessen my anxiety for move-in day.

Would these people even like me? I wasn’t cool, I couldn’t pull off an ankle bracelet or toe ring! So those people wouldn’t like me. I had always been nervous about stepping into churches for fear that would burst into flames. So that group was out too. I wasn’t athletic. I mean, I’d been on the varsity volleyball in high school but I went to one of those schools who didn’t let the coaches cut players, so I was a pity player. So the jocks wouldn’t like me either. 

I figured, once I get there, it’ll be ok. And then it wasn’t. Frosh-O is literally a nightmare. You have to learn a dance and serenade a group of boys. One of the boys who I had to walk to the dance with didn’t know what Dumb and Dumber was. I was petrified. And tell your parents not to worry about you getting really drunk in the first few days, because you won’t be able to unless you are very resourceful. 

But then, slowly but surely, it got kind of okay. The coolest thing about Notre Dame is that no one is one sided. There aren’t groups like there were in high school, everyone is so multi-faceted. My first semester went from being one of the hardest transitions in my life from being one of the hardest places to leave. 

I know that this testament might not inspire excitement in everyone, but with so much info for incoming freshman flying around, I wanted to give a little bit of an honest perspective. A lot of people go through a hard time, and you just have to tough it out. It’s character building! I promise. 

Now, here I am, wishing I was in your position. Wishing I had that year back. And I think that is pretty damn cool. 


Your Sophomore Friend


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