Congratulations! At this point you have now almost completed either your first, second, or third year here at Wilmington College! Regardless of where you are in that journey, this letter is for you.
As a graduating senior, about to leave this safety net I love to call home, I want to give you some advice from things that I learned along the way. Some of it you may have already learned, but hear me out anyways.
The first and most important piece of advice I can give anyone is to find your people.
Find the people that will make this journey amazing. Find the people that will help you find yourself, push you and challenge you, and make you laugh until it hurts. Find the people you can take late night walks with and early morning coffee runs with. These are the people that help you figure out who you are. If you think you’ve found your people and they aren’t all these things, I urge you to look harder.
Find the people that will help you find yourself, push you and challenge you, and make you laugh until it hurts.
Even after you’ve found your people, remember that everyone else that crosses your path plays a part in your story, as well.
That guy or girl from freshman orientation that you just couldn’t stand, you may end up working with in a senior class. Don’t burn bridges with people. You never know when you will need a helping hand, encouragement, or support from someone. Not to mention, being mean to people is bad for the soul all the time, not just in college.
Take advantage of every opportunity.
Don’t miss out on a chance to travel, a class, an internship, a friendship, a relationship, an organization, a job offer, an invitation to make memories, etc. Just do it. If you feel there’s something that you want to do, then go for it. Obviously, nothing self-destructive or stupid, but be fearless in the life you want to live. This college journey is the beginning of adulthood after high school so do the things you want to do and don’t be scared. I promise if nothing else it will be a learning lesson and you won’t regret it. Living with a ‘what if’ will be worse than anything.
I joined an organization my last semester and I regret that I did not join earlier. Learn from me, and go for it. There are so many organizations on this campus. I urge you to join at least one. Do something even if it feels uncomfortable at first to branch out. I truly believe there is an organization for every single person on this campus, ya just have to find it. From athletics and Greek Life to the humanities clubs and student leader organizations. WC may be small, but I swear we have it all.
Please allow me to put a plug in for Greek Life after saying that.
Joining a sorority or fraternity is certainly not for everyone, but I would not be who I am without this Greek Community and my sorority. I never thought I would join a sorority when I first entered college, then I found myself leading the Greeks. I urge you to learn about the organizations and see if one feels like home. If not, that is okay. If so, I hope it changes your life as much as it did mine.
Fill your parents in on your life. Remember that as busy as college can get and it may be difficult to find the time, do it anyway. Whether you realize it or not, you need it too.
Take time for yourself.
If your planner fills up as fast as mine it can be hard to find the time to take care of yourself and step back and relax for a second. Do it anyway. Even if it’s fifteen minutes here and there. Take time to breathe, think, process, and reflect (as good ole Quakers do). Maybe it’s going for a run, or an episode of your favorite Netflix show, whatever it is take some time for yourself out of a busy schedule.
Take time to breathe, think, process, and reflect (as good ole Quakers do).
Do your homework.
Goodness gracious, I cannot stress this enough. College is a total blast. I am no stranger to the Wilmy Wednesday and love a good themed party, BUT all that means nothing if you fail out. Or get horrible grades. Yes, college is a time to make crazy memories and do fun things with your friends, but the main reason for attending college is education. Please don’t waste your money/parent’s money and professor’s time. Go to class, get your work done, give 110%, and then celebrate that.
People will come and go. Learn to live with it.
From heartbreaks and friends graduating and transferring, to people just changing and exiting your life, it’s all a part of the process. These four years have flown by, but you wouldn’t believe the amount of people that will come in and out of your life. This is not a sad thing, it’s a part of life. Like I said at the beginning, find your people. These people won’t come in and out of your life, they will be your stability and sanity when others come and go.
Don’t rush it.
Even if you just finished your first year and are beyond ready to be done, just relax and enjoy the ride. As stressful as college can be, this is the time when you get to be selfish and live for yourself and not be a full-on adult yet. Embrace it. Don’t rush it but plan for what’s to come. Don’t put off the inevitable of graduation without preparing for that next step. Live in the moment, but know what you want next.
Love Wilmington College.
This is the place that becomes home, so learn to love it. No institution is perfect even if the grass seems greener on the other side. Living in Austin-Pickett may have seemed rough at the time, but man I would give anything to relive a week in AP with my freshman class. That’s the last time you’ll all be together in the same building at the same time. The Top food, not going to miss that all that much, but it becomes part of the experience and that’s the place where you get to go and see the most people and be social. This campus is beautiful and small. Going for walks here can be so refreshing, and it’s impossible to cross campus without seeing someone you know. I can’t express the love I have for this place. I hope you grow to love it this much too.
This is the place that becomes home, so learn to love it.
I could probably go on for days with pieces of advice and words of wisdom, but when it comes down to it you must experience it all for yourself. Make this journey what you love, and make this four-year story worth reading over and over again. As I sit here preparing to graduate in less than twenty days I reminisce on everything over the past four years and my heart is so full. I wouldn’t change a thing. Live it up, take pictures, make memories, and create lifelong friends. Put in the work so you can have fun, then have as much fun as you possibly can.