“A Letter to My Freshman Year Self” by Alex Stone

Dear Freshman-Year self,

On a beautiful and sunny September day during the start of senior year, I decided to take a bike ride. I have always wanted to explore the trails around UD. But it wasn’t until senior year that I discovered the trails by the train tracks on South Campus extend way beyond North Campus as well. So, on that fateful day in September, I rode along those leaf-strewn trails, under the shade of the towering trees, and beside the rushing sounds of the river. Since it did take me four years to happen upon these trails, I couldn’t help but think: what would it have been like if I found them freshman year? 

So, I write to you, my freshman-year self, to give you some advice. I know how nervous you must feel right now. You are just starting college. You are in a new place, surrounded by new faces, with new roommates. Everything must seem so overwhelming. You may feel that the last thing you want to do is add to that stress by piling on other commitments, like clubs or other activities. You may even feel like it is better to wait until you’ve adjusted to campus life before getting involved on campus. Or that waiting until next semester is best. But, trust me, as a senior, getting involved on campus was the best decision we ever made. So, take that leap of faith and put yourself out there. You will find that the best part of college will come from stepping outside of your comfort zone. 

You don’t know this yet, but your time on campus will be cut short. Even though it may seem like there is all the time in the world to take advantage of all the opportunities in college and with Honors, there will come a day when that time runs out. But don’t just take my word for it; here are some experiences that are making it harder to be a senior who will soon have to say goodbye.

  • Becoming a Writing Fellow:  I took my chance at applying for the Honors College Writing Fellows Program. I wanted to find more ways to get involved with the Honors community, despite the distance placed between myself and campus while taking online classes. And while the process to get here took a lot of hard work and effort, it was all worth it. 
  • Joining the Honors College Blog: Not too long after applying to be a Writing Fellow, I saw the opportunity to apply for the Honors Blog. I thought it was a long shot at first. I thought there were more qualified applicants, but I put myself out there anyway. And guess what? Here we are, writing for the very same blog.
  • Getting involved in research: During sophomore year, I reached out to a lab on campus because I was interested in their research. At first, I was rejected, I tried again, and got rejected again. Yet, later that year, a spot opened up. I interviewed, I got a spot as a research assistant, and I spent my junior year learning so much about the research process. But more importantly, I learned to not give up.

All this is to say, don’t wait until senior year to realize these experiences are what make college special. And to all current freshmen, take a chance and step outside of your comfort zone. Get involved on campus because college goes by much faster than you would think. My hope is that your time in college is full of new experiences and memorable moments with the Honors community. 


Your Much Wiser Senior-Year self

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1 Comment

  1. Alex, thank you for sharing – I want all first year students to read this! When you talked about time getting cut short, I thought you might talk about the year and a half where campus was a ghost town… I’m glad you got involved and were resilient through the last few years!

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