It is unbelievably humid, there are lizards everywhere, the amount of rain cannot possibly be real, and you brought way too much stuff (even though you’ll think halfway through the semester that it isn’t nearly enough). Moving in is a pain, there’s pandemonium, and you keep losing track of a parent.
In the midst of all of this, pause. Take a deep breath. Look around you. Try to comprehend the significance of this moment: the next phase of your life starts now. It’s terrifying, and you wish those Buzzfeed lists and parent pep talks had better prepared you, but you’re here now. Allow me to say congratulations and that you’ve made a damn fine choice (not that we’re biased at all).
In all honesty, though, you could have gone somewhere else. You could have picked the school that has the most competitive Division 1 athletic programs, the best tailgating, the oldest history, or the most professors with things named after them.
You instead picked Rollins College. You picked the school that will force you to confront issues from every angle and viewpoint. You picked the school that demands excellence in the work of its students and integrity as a core component of their character. You picked the school that cares if you show up to class, where professors know you by name and not ID number. You picked the school that you most likely won’t appreciate properly until you’re reflecting on your time here.
Keep in mind that we also chose you. In you we see a leader, a motivator, an advocate, a debater, a thinker. In you we see a future doctor, Fulbright Scholar, rocket scientist, entrepreneur, changemaker, or Editor-in-Chief (even if that final one is a bizarre breed). Your education will be just as much your responsibility as it is your professor’s. Their job is to teach you the information but yours is to ask questions, be engaged, and get help when you need it.
Your major should not dictate your friend group or extracurriculars. Your passions should. We might be a smaller school but I think we have a billion and six clubs, give or take a few. I’m a psychology major, have never taken an English class in college, and am somehow in charge of a newspaper. It’s my passion. I showed up to the first article assignment of the year as a freshman and haven’t missed one since.
Enjoy this time. It is unique and should be cherished. Given how overwhelming we know the first few months of your collegiate adventure to be, we made sure to include ample words of wisdom in this issue from some of our favorite people on campus. Take them to heart as you boldly go. Don’t try to look cool. You end up looking like a bunch of goobers until the second semester when you have more of a clue. Embrace the awkwardness, people. You all get to be clueless together.
We’re all here for you. This community that overuses anchors in everything, doesn’t know what actual cold is, and is comprised of some of the greatest people I have ever met, wants nothing more than for you to succeed. It’s go time. It’s your time. Make it count.