It’s a new beginning — don’t freak out

Dearest incoming freshmen,

I am absolutely stoked to have you at William & Mary in just a few short weeks! As a rising senior, I am still excited at the prospect of meeting the littlest members of our community. I anticipate you trying new things, joining new organizations, taking new classes, and making new friends. Hopefully I can meet some of you and we can chill.

Anyway, looking back on the summer before my freshman year, this was the point I started to freak out about things. I hadn’t yet made the IKEA trip yet to get stuff for my dorm in Barrett. I hadn’t registered for any of my classes and had no idea how to even begin. And don’t even get me started on emotional preparedness. I just wasn’t ready yet. BUT you don’t have to make the same mistakes I did.

As for getting stuff ready for your new dorm, allow me to give a few pointers:

– comfy mattress pad – size twin XL  (Target has great ones)

– speakers for your laptop – (never know when that spontaneous late-night dance party will ensue)

– trashcan (don’t get the wire kind. although they look cool, they leak everywhere!)

– a rug (I got a white rug– dumb idea…  it was brown by Thanksgiving)

– coffee-maker (I never got one, but after the many late nights I wish I had one in my room)

– back of the door shoe rack (for all you sneaker heads like me)

If you forget something, (don’t be shocked) there are actual stores in Williamsburg where you can buy these items. I had no idea that there was life beyond the confines of Colonial Williamsburg, as I always slept the whole way to and from Northern Virginia. Your parents can easily pull over at the Wal-Mart or Target if you happen to stray from my instructions. Don’t freak out.

NOW ON TO CLASSES– I had no idea what I was doing. Some of you decided on William & Mary with a major in mind. That’s great. We have really spectacular departments here and if you know what you want to do, there are people who can help you. In my case, I came to William & Mary without the slightest idea of a major or career path. That’s fine too. Log onto Banner at and go to Look Up Classes to Add. Browse around for anything that strikes you as interesting. As a freshman, you have a zillion opportunities to take risks and sign up for classes that normally wouldn’t be your style. You also have priority over many upperclassmen to take those coveted entry-level 100 classes, so take advantage of that. Sign up for a music class or philosophy or yoga. This is the time to do it before you get bogged down in completing your major. Trust me, you’ll graduate and everything will turn out fine. Don’t freak out.

Lastly, let me reassure you that you’ll be alright in college. You’re going to be on a freshman hall with some amazing people– some you’ll hate, some you’ll never part with. Who knows, you might even meet your future spouse there. Weirder things have happened, right? You’re about to dive head-first into a vastly different chapter in your life, and that’s cool. Revel in it. Love it. Be serious, but take it easy. And most of all– don’t freak out.

Categories: Academics, Campus Life, Student Blogs, Traditions & Events

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