Dear Class of 2020,
You did it. After nearly a decade and a half worth of academic experience—ranging from learning to color, read, and write in cursive to dodging a near-nervous breakdown whilst taking a full load of AP courses and prepping for the SAT—you will, in short time, be a freshman at Boston College.
I will preface this letter by saying that I envy each and every one of you for having four incredible years ahead of you at a place that is unlike any other on this planet. During these four years, you will learn more than you ever thought you would be able to, you will have more fun than you could have ever imagined, and you will meet some of the most genuine and compelling people you could ever hope to cross paths with.
To some of you, that is exciting. To others, that induces great anxiety. And to the vast majority of you, that invokes a healthy mix of both.
Most of you are excited to begin a new chapter of your life with new people in a new place—that makes sense. Most of you are also, to varying degrees, terrified that college will not possibly be able to live up to its lofty expectation of being the greatest four years of your life. And what if you made the wrong choice in choosing BC?
Personally, I grappled with those fears throughout my senior year of high school and for the entire summer leading into my freshman year. What if I had made the wrong choice? What if I should have gone to USC instead of BC?
Fast forward to the end of the last day of my freshman year at Boston College and I am fighting back tears at the thought of leaving my forced triple in Fenwick and my many friends at BC for the summer. All of the anxiety, nervousness, and silly fears that I had going into my freshman year had long faded.
I share this small anecdote not to affirm myself, but to address feelings that many of you all have. You should know that you are not the only person feeling nervous, anxious, or even unsure about your decision to come to Boston College.
And though I sincerely hope that you fall in love with BC right from the get-go and have to ask your parents if anybody has been chopping onions during your trip home, not every single moment of your freshman year is going to be perfect. So here is a small piece of advice—take it for what it is worth, because I am far from the perfect person to be offering guidance.
Be present and make your college experience what you want it to be.
Simple, but complicated. But when you move into your spacious and luxurious dorm rooms in a handful of weeks, you will begin to understand what it is that I am talking about.
You will be surrounded by what will seem like a gazillion new faces (most of whom know nobody other than the people in their orientation group and that one kid that they never hung out with in high school but now talk to because they both decided on BC).
All of these people have the same goal as you—to make friends and meet people. If you want that too, get out of your comfort zone. Introduce yourself to people. Leave your door open when you’re inside your room so people can come by and say hello.
You will also be surrounded by a myriad of opportunities—classes, clubs, parties, excursions into the city, and much more. If the opportunities that come your way sound appealing, give them a shot. If you want to volunteer, apply for 4Boston. If you want to go on an enriching retreat, sign up for 48HOURS. And if you want to write, join The Gavel (shameless plug).
In the midst of all this, be present—enjoy your experiences and try to assure that you are doing what is true to you. If you want to go to the Mods on a Friday night, more power to you (I would totally let all of you in…if I had one).
But if you also want to stay in with your friends and watch a movie or play Super Smash Bros. Melee in your dorm room, you should feel no guilt in doing those things. One of my best memories of freshman year involved fitting me and three other friends in my forced triple and watching a movie.
You have four short years at Boston College—make them count. Enjoy every moment you can. Because one day in the not-so-distant future, you will ask yourself how time went so quickly. I only hope you can look back and say that you did everything you hoped to do.
May your freshman year be full of countless friendships, laughs, and memories.
Editor in Chief