Dear Class of 2022

 

Dear Class of 2022, First of all, congratulations on getting into Williams! This is an amazing achievement and you have worked so hard up to this point, and if no one has acknowledged that yet, I am here to tell you.

At this point last year I was ~creeping~ on the Williams HerCampus page in hopes of finding out more about my future school than what the official Williams College website would tell me. I wanted to know about Williams from the perspective of students, not administration. I wanted to see the school on a social level, not the floor plan of every dorm. Overall, I just wanted to get a genuine feel for what student life was like at Williams. 

Now that my first year is coming to an end, I feel it is my responsibility to write this to the class of 2022 (but also to past me). I know that you are probably trying to get your hands on everything you can regarding what your first year will be like, so here is my advice and wisdom.

I found out about HerCampus through a high school alum who wrote for HerCampus Bates. When I discovered there was a Williams chapter I immediately delved into the articles and began reading about spaces I would soon come to be in such as Sawyer, Paresky, and even restaurant like Blue Mango. These are all places that at the moment sound foreign, but will quickly become where you spend a large amount of time once you get to campus (maybe not Blue Mango as much). 

When you finally arrive on campus for move-in day, it is normal to experience a lot of emotions. Remember to stay calm, getting to college is a new and challenging experience but it is also a pretty fun one. Your first semester may be rough and very isolating. For me, I experienced many moments in which I felt out of place and homesick which was a really hard way to start out the year. I am not going to pretend that these feelings completely disappear after time, but I will say that they definitely simmer down once you get more comfortable on campus and learn that change is okay. While this was my experience, this may not be yours so do not feel any pressure to feel a certain way during your first semester. 

The most important thing I learned since starting college was learned outside of the classroom; how to be independent. In high school, I never really had to be my own person. I was always with a close-knit group of friends, my mom always did my laundry for me, and my teachers worked very closely with the students in all of my classes. In college, things are definitely not the same. Here I had to learn that being on my own is okay, and there is nothing wrong with getting a meal by yourself or having some “me-time” after a stressful week. I also had to learn how to do laundry which is tedious, but not very difficult (you’ll be okay!) And while I have never needed a lot of guidance when it came to schoolwork anyways, in college I have had to become extra careful with deadlines and completing my assignments because the responsibility is entirely mine.  Another really important thing that I learned is that everyone is probably struggling just as much as you are, so being a supportive friend is really important. Keep in contact with your friends back from back home because they are probably having a very similar experience to yours! Make new friends at Williams and be a helpful hand if you can in any way, they WILL appreciate it. Also, if you do end up having a roommate (it is not the end of the world), try to be there for them even if you do not end up being super close. 

While there is so much more I can go on about, I want to make sure you still experience some things on your own. For me, it was difficult not knowing every single detail about what my life would be like once I got on campus, but that's exactly what college is about: learning to be okay with not knowing everything and learning to be okay with not having all of your shit together at every given moment. 

Sincerely,

Elba Obregon