Dear Class of 2017,
Welcome to Wheaton. I’m pretty sure you’ve heard that a lot in the past few weeks and by now you’re tired of icebreakers, but let me say it one last time. Hopefully by now, you’re moved in, your schedule is finalized and you know your way around campus.
Let me start by saying that the next four years will go by more quickly than you think. I know, I know, everyone says that, but it’s true. Looking back, I don’t know where time went. High school felt like four years; college seems like half that. Right now, they’re telling me one year, one year, one year, like an echo in a cave. Bottom line is, enjoy your college years, because graduation will sneak up on you before you know it.
As I enter my final semesters at Wheaton, I’ve been thinking about my time here and advice I would give my freshman self if I could. I’m sure you’ve heard some of these things already from your siblings, friends and preceptors so I apologize for the repetition. But if you’ve heard it more than once, then it must be good, right?
1. Go out and try everything, even if it’s silly, or you only have a marginal interest. You might discover a new interest, or meet someone new. Don’t let yourself get to being at my stage and realize there were a dozen things you wished you had tried out for or done (like Dance Company or Lymin’ Lyons) but never bothered to.
2.Keep an eye out on the flyers and Wheaton calendar. There are a surprising number of events and discussions that happen on campus throughout the week. Sometimes you just have to look for them. And if there isn’t something happening, make your own fun.
3. Be creative with the dining hall and experiment with the food options. Some ideas: wrap your omelet in a tortilla for a breakfast burrito or use the pesto in Emerson for stir-fry.
4. Study abroad. I know it’s not possible for everyone, but if you have the opportunity, do it. It’s been one of the best experiences I’ve had, living a different culture and learning in a completely different environment.
5. Take advantage of Career Services and start going there as early as possible, if only to get a resume started. They have a helpful team in the Filene Center and are a good resource for finding internships.
6.Visit the Lyon’s Den. This is the one spot on campus I somehow always forget about, which I don’t understand, because they have delicious chocolate chip cookies and I’m always down for a good cookie. It’s a nice alternative to studying in the library and they have Open Mic nights throughout the semester.
7. See TRYBE perform in the spring. Hands down my favorite event in the semester. The dancing is amazing and the emcees are hilarious too.
I’m sure the advice would be different if you asked another senior, so I encourage you to talk to us or any of the upper classmen. We’re in your clubs, the dining halls, your classes. In the meantime, have fun, work hard and all that jazz.
Lanie Honda, Class of 2014