leah-85To the incoming freshmen.

I hope you are getting settled in your dorms and with your class schedules. Luckily, I did before Hurricane Irene blew through my campus. I know you’re excited to be in college.

When I was in high school, the night before school started I would sleep for like 2 hours. I would stare at the clock hoping it would be 7am. And, while I was in bed I would rethink my school outfit (even though I spent the entire afternoon getting everything ready). I was so excited to see my friends. I wanted to show them how much I matured and of course my new Jordans. But more importantly, I wanted to see new faces. I wanted to learn everything and anything. I just wanted to be in school.

This feeling was not there when I started my freshmen year. In fact, I cried that night (softly so I wouldn’t disturb my roommate). I was homesick, scared, nervous and felt like Swarthmore wasn’t for me. I wanted a redo button. I wanted to relive high school and the summer. And, I probably felt this because I knew no one coming in. I was shy the first few weeks. And, that is something I really regret.

I wish someone would have knocked some sense into me and told me to be myself. To be the annoying, sarcastic, laughing-all-the-time, cheap-but-strategic, crazy Leah.

Of course, it’s hard not to be shy. It’s like a default emotion when entering a new place. But try to break it and just be yourself. People will love and admire that you were yourself from the beginning till the end.

And, try to be daring too. I may be asking a lot from you, but go to a random group of freshmen or upperclassmen and have a nice chat. You’ll get to know your class better and you’ll get information from upperclassmen. They can tell you which teachers are good, which meals to avoid at your cafeteria, and even lend you their old books for FREE.

New freshmen learn the balance between socializing, studying and sleeping. It’s going to be one wild ride that’s going to go faster than you ever imagine. So enjoy it!