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

To the Class of 2017,

As a fourth-year just months away from graduation (AP classes can really be a curse), I’d like to welcome you to the University of Georgia. By now, you’ve probably figured out that the Family Housing bus is forbidden territory, that owning at least five pairs of Nike shorts is essentially a requirement and that “late nighting” at the Grill, Five Guys or Little Italy is completely encouraged. And if you haven’t, maybe jot those down in your $28 Lilly Pulitzer planner (no judgment – I’m a proud owner as well). But more importantly, you’ve probably had the realization that although your high school glory days are gone forever, your life as an independent being is really just beginning.

In the past few weeks, you may have discovered things that you never knew were possible. Maybe you’ve realized that you actually wouldn’t mind spending a weekend or two in the hometown that you once claimed to loathe so much, or that sharing an undersized room with someone you met online is actually quite enjoyable. But no matter what it is that you’ve found, keep discovering.

You’ve heard it a million times already: the next four years are going to be some of the most memorable of your entire life. And to be honest, this year could be the one that will top them all. You’ll overcome obstacles like trying to balance your time between the books and the bars; you’ll learn useful life skills like laundering and money management; and you’ll meet hundreds and hundreds of people, some of whom will become your future classmates, roommates and before you know it, best friends.

Without a doubt, there will be drama, heartbreak and days when the only socializing you can manage is snapchatting from the confines of your lofted bed. But don’t give up. You may lose your debit card at Silver Dollar or fall flat on your face while battling the never-ending set of stairs outside of Park Hall. We’ve all been there. But in the blink of an eye, you’ll be headed home for the holidays, and not long after that, for the entire summer. And then one day, you’ll wake up and realize that graduation is just a few months away. Will you look back and be proud of what you’ve accomplished and of the person you’ve become? Or will you be full of regret, wishing that you had done things differently?

The choice is yours, freshmen. You’ve got the world beneath your feet. Spend the next few months of your life doing the things that will make you happy, and in doing so, you’ll find the people who will help you to become the best version of yourself. You’re a Georgia Bulldog now, and if I can promise you one thing, it’s that you’ll never get another chance like this again. 

So have a great year, collegiettes, and always remember to sic ‘em (and also to not walk under the Arch… but I’m sure you know that by now).




A student journalist at the University of Georgia, Brittini Ray has been writing for HCUGA since fall 2011. This past spring, she became the president of Her Campus UGA. Brittini also interns for zpolitics.com. She hopes to learn more about news and the journalsim industry.   Follow Brittini on Twitter