Dear Georgetown Freshman:
Sitting here writing this letter just weeks away from graduation, it feels like forever ago that you first walked through the gates onto the Hilltop. You were that classic college freshman, excited to take on all the challenges and new opportunities that came along with moving away from home and living on your own in a cool city and spending the next four years at your dream school. You were one of those lucky students that made great friends during NSO, friends that you are fortunate to still be close to today. But by the end of the year, you’ll realize that you also may lose some friends along the way. Although in the moment you may be devastated, the people that will subsequently enter your life are going to be your roommates/Tombs crew/support system/at your wedding/you get the idea.
At the end of first semester sophomore year, when you have 3 final papers and a final exam on the same day and know it is actually impossible to be prepared for all of them and have a mental breakdown because how is this amount of work even fair, step away. Lean on your friends, ask for advice, and it will all be okay. And just a heads up- you’ll fail at something during your time here. And you’re going to be scared that it all won’t work out the way it was supposed to or that your friends will judge you and that you’ll be a disappointment. But college isn’t easy, and no one expects you to get straight As. You are the only one with that expectation and you will feel so much better once you let it go. And when you do get overwhelmed? Call your parents. They’ve been where you are right now, and they know what to say to make you feel better. Plus, it doesn’t hurt to be reminded of home every once in a while.
By the time you reach your junior spring, you’re going to be an entirely different person than you were when you entered Georgetown. When your friends jet off to some country for a semester for “the time of their lives,” don’t feel bad about not going abroad. The friendships formed and memories made in return will be some of the best ones yet. You’ll finally figure out who your people are on campus (shoutout to GUGS and Hoya Blue and NSO!) and realized that no one really cares what you’re doing, or how it will look on a resume, so you might as well actually enjoy how you spend your free time.
Senior year. Don’t let the pressure of thesis work and job searching get to you. Go spend too much time at Tombs, too little time doing work in Lau, and just the right amount of time feeling sentimental about how quickly life on the Hilltop has flown by. Also, there is always time for happy hour.
Your time at Georgetown will not be what you expected when you opened that small envelope or moved into your freshman dorm or sat down in your first-ever college class. It may exceed your expectations, but it also might disappoint you. But I can promise, it will all be worth it. So if I have to leave you all with tidbits of wisdom as you embark on this great, big, fun, exciting journey ahead of you, here’s what it is:
Spend a whole Saturday in bed watching Netflix. Homework can wait.
Buy that Wisey’s cookie when you’re having a bad day.
Go out with friends. Let yourself be sleep-deprived if it means a great night, but then learn how to take care of yourself so that you don’t get sick for a month.
Go to every basketball game and lose your voice.
Have a dance party in Lau at 3 o’clock in the morning because you finally finished that paper.
Get your head out of your phone and take a look around at the place you are so lucky to call home.
You do not need to have it all together.
Dive deep. Relax. Breathe.
Find balance, and know that whatever you are doing, it is enough.