Shawn O'Grady | February 6, 2017
Editor’s note: Published in June 2016, A Letter to My Freshman Self is an anthology of 65 personal letters that Notre Dame alumni spanning 60 graduating years up to the Class of 2016 addressed to themselves as freshmen. Edited by Lily Kang ’16 and Ian Tembe ’17, the letters reflect on often complex undergraduate experiences and offer wisdom to help undergraduates make the most of these transformative years of their lives.
Congratulations on getting into the school of your dreams. I know you put a lot of work into getting here, so, well done. Okay, now that we have that behind us. . . .
Don’t worry about how hot it is. You will acclimate soon enough. I hope you packed the two fans that were in the basement. They won’t break down yet for another three days. Have a backup plan.
Orientation is about to begin, so I wanted to try to give you a few tips before the tidal wave of “things you need to remember” start flooding in.
Yes, mom and dad will leave soon. If you can hold out for 24 hours, you shall soon have your freedom.
I decided a “top 10” list of things to know would work for you . . . since you like numbers. So here we go:
10. You don’t have to experience everything in the world on the first night of freedom. Trying chewing tobacco for the first time may seem like a good idea, but I’d pace yourself. Four years to go.
9. Give your roommate a shot. Yes, I know he seems weird. Imagine how you seem to him?! Most importantly, get a sense for whether or not he is a morning person (think engineer) or a night person (think liberal arts). Get that straight and you are home free. Neither of you are “the admissions mistake.”