Friday, August 12, 2016

A letter to my incoming merry band of freshpersons (with fun literary references!)


Hi and welcome to college. I, Amelia, your sage on the stage or guide on the side or whatever the edubabble for this year is, am glad that you are here. Seriously. I think it is because, like Rapunzel's Mom, I suck your young life energy when you aren't looking and it keeps me young, but I probably shouldn't tell you that...

Anyway, there's a lot of articles on how to rock college, but here is my $.02 into the pot. It's a three-step formula.

1. You get out of college what you put into it. If you want to write off something as pointless "busywork", that's your choice. If you don't want to do the reading, that's your choice. If you think the night of drinking at the fraternity house that makes you so hungover that class isn't an option the next day is a good choice, knock yourself out. But I have been adulting for quite a while now and I can tell you that that space in life to sit and think about ideas and discuss them with other smart people gets greatly diminished after college. If that's your thing, choose wisely. If that's not your thing, why are you here?

2. If you get in trouble, act early. Fun fact: literally everyone here feels like an impostor. That kid next to you in class. The upperclassman RA down the hall. Heck, even me! We wouldn't' have opportunities for out-of-class help if people didn't need them frequently. But the longer you wait, the bigger a hole you dig for yourself until eventually you and Mary Anne* are kicked out of college and hanging out in the basement of the building where you are doing that job you didn't need college for. There is no shame in asking for help and I am so, so happy to help you find it. There IS shame in flunking because you were too proud to ask.

3. This is a good time to learn about professional courtesy. Your mom isn't here to make excuses for how you are grumpy today because "well, teenagers, amirite?" Giving everyone a little more respect than you think they deserve, from your professor to your roommate to that really annoying kid in your class to that guy who cleans your shower will get you pretty far in life. Perfecting your eye roll and then sending snaps of it will get you seen as the silly child you apparently still are.

So, I'll see you in a week or so, kiddies. It will be fun and there WILL be homework the first day.

Dr. Amelia

*10 bonus Amelia points if you can ID the reference


  1. If she has a shaky hand, I'll go for The Who, but if not then maybe Du Maurier.

    Love the post, but how do you get flakes to hoist it in? The ones who need it the most are the least likely to think it applies to them.

  2. Shit.

    Orientation will soon be upon us, and there will be the usual words of wisdom cast before the incoming freshies. Everyone from the president down to the sophomore volunteers will deliver some version of Item 2. (As a member of the DERP, this year I drew short straw to speak as well.)

    We are just short of cracking their crania and pouring the message directly into their cerebra. But EC1 has identified a most disillusioning phenomenon: those who most need it are least likely to think it applies to themselves.

    Water runs most rapidly over the dry sponge.

  3. It's valid, relevant, and constructive, so by default it won't make sense to them.