By Kay Wicker
There are a variety of reasons that could have brought you here, to Washington College. A degree program you’re interested in, it’s your parent’s alma mater, attraction to a sport, the size, the location, the look of the school, the list goes on. In addition to there being a vast variety of reasons that brought you here there is also a vast variety of possibilities of where you came from: a small town, a major city, a neighboring state, a few blocks down the road, or even a different country. With all these different influences working together, things are about to get extremely interesting for you.
During the next couple of weeks, you are about to get hit with a tidal wave of changes. For some of you, this will be the first time you’ll be away from your family and friends. Whether harder or not, the workload is bound to be different and with the added pressure of trying to meet people and finding your place, things could leave you feeling overwhelmed or distraught. First, I want you to know that whether you’re feeling overjoyed or overwhelmed or somewhere in between it’s completely normal. I remember falling victim to a few crying spells in those first few months. Don’t be embarrassed, it happens. Secondly, I want you to promise yourself to give WC a chance.
Washington College, welcomes you with open arms, so long as you do the same. You may find it hard to meet and click with people at first, but don’t get discouraged. It’s pretty common to feel like you’re not finding your “scene” in the first couple of weeks. Try not to approach things with preconceived notions whispering in your ear. Keep an open mind when meeting people. Stray away from clinging too tightl to the first few people you meet. Don’t be afraid to spread yourself around, and really find your own footing. Often, people cling to their peer mentor group, or their roommate, or the first few people they connect with, to later discover that those groups don’t always work out. So, you want to keep the door open.
College is the perfect time to find yourself. You’ve been granted four years to try new things, meet new people, travel to a foreign country, find your calling, possibly meet the president, or figure out exactly where you belong in the world. Spend your time wisely; don’t get caught up overthinking things. Life is sort of like one big improv show, and the most important rule of improvisation is to always say “yes” to everything. College really is one of those experiences where you get out of it exactly what you put into it. The quality of your experience here is going to be up to you. So, don’t back down from the challenge of embracing your freshman year. Get out there, and join clubs you wouldn’t normally, talk to people you’ve never seen before, pick up a new hobby, take classes outside your major, go out and enjoy the town and the neighboring cities, above all have fun, because you’re about to embark on a journey that really is the time of your life.
So even when you feel like you’ve found your place, not just socially but in every aspect, I hope you find time to stop and really enjoy yourself. Four years goes by really fast. Savor it. Welcome to Washington College, class of 2016, I hope the shore is as good to you as she’s been to so many before you.