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Dear first years — an open letter

There are some things you should look forward to, others, not so much

An open letter to first years on what is to come
An open letter to first years on what is to come

Your first semester of college is almost over and you are either thinking that this is the most fun you have ever had or you are questioning if you peaked in high school. Regardless, I am here with some third-year wisdom to show you that there are still a few things you can look forward to and others … not so much. Let’s dive right in, my young, impressionable friend. 

This is the most you will care about anything. 

Your first semester of college is the equivalent of stepping off the bus for your first day of middle school. Everything is shiny and new because you have things like lockers to put your two pencils in and no teacher sitting at your lunch table, telling you not to curse while she eats her premade salad from the supermarket. You are basically a free spirit and nothing can dull your sparkle. You will put a lot of effort into making friends, doing well in school, going to parties, joining clubs, yada yada yada. But then the mediocre grades will come back and the “bestie” you met at orientation will sit with someone else at Observatory Hill Dining Hall — when you are literally right there in front of them!! — and your proverbial sparkle will be dulled. I am so very sorry to have to break this to you. One way or another, you will start skipping classes like the rest of us and calculating the lowest grade you can get on an assignment to pass.

Classes get better.

One of the biggest shocks of college is the huge lecture halls. Why do we need to sit in a room with 500 other people to learn about photosynthesis? How am I supposed to get this professor to worship the ground I walk on when I can barely get two words in during office hours? Do not worry, the class sizes get smaller as the years go on. Your professor will start to recognize you once you cannot answer their question after they cold-call you to talk about the readings you did not do, or when you do your best to avoid eye contact after they ask the class a question that literally nobody wants to answer because we all have no clue what is happening. 

Dining hall food is not good. 

This is a fact and I absolutely do not want to hear any back talk. Okay, I will admit that Runk is the Disneyland of dining hall food, but the other two dining halls are seriously lacking. The allure of unlimited pizza, burgers and ice cream will fade as the stomach aches kick in and you will be begging for a homemade meal by Thanksgiving. The stale cookies will get you through midterms and emotional breakdowns, but your trauma bond to them does not make them objectively delicious. The only thing that will keep you coming back to these places is the people who work there. These angels will love you more than your own parents and brighten your day so much you will be willing to gaslight yourself into eating the food. Sure, this chicken breast might be pink in the middle, but you also might just be hallucinating that. 

Ms. Kathy will always be there for you. 

Ms. Kathy, the Queen of Newcomb and the glue holding this crumbling institution together, will always have your back. Even as the years go by, her whole face will light up when you convince yourself to enter Newcomb, and she will hug you tight enough to release all of your built-up stresses. She’ll tell you how much she has missed you since you were last able to make the pilgrimage to see her and do a little happy dance depending on the day. Even as classes begin to kick your butt more and more, Ms. Kathy will never fail to convince you that you are the butt-kicker. By the time you graduate, the only person you will actually miss is your biggest fan, Ms. Kathy. 

This concludes the knowledge I am willing to part with for today. Some things you will just have to learn on your own — I cannot take all the fun away from you! I will talk to you later, my special little snowflakes. 

Yours Truly, 



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