Monday, November 16, 2020
Dear <<First Name>>,
Happy Monday, Deacs! We are almost there and can see the finish line for the Fall semester on-campus experience to wrap up. As you prepare for your finals, we hope that you will take the opportunity to celebrate the accomplishments of the semester regardless of where you completed your studies. This has been a challenging year for many within our community, and we will continue to remain hopeful that 2021 has better and brighter moments in store.
While Letters So Dear distribution will be suspended during the Winter break, I hope you might take a few moments to help us assess the impact of the “Letters So Dear” experience on your transition into the Wake Forest University community. This brief survey should only take you about 5 - 10 minutes.
Before we jump into today’s Letters So Dear, we have some important announcements to share:
Program Highlight happening TODAY: The Intercultural Center will host its final iLab Lunch and Learn of the semester today at 12p.m. In celebration of Native American Heritage Month, we will welcome Christy Oxendine of Iowa State University to discuss "Decolonization in Higher Education: What it Means and Why Indigenization Matters." Register Here
International Education Week will take place on Monday, November 16th through Friday, November 20th and is sponsored by the Center for Global Programs and Studies, the Intercultural Center, the Office of Diversity and Inclusion, East Asian Languages, and Campus Recreation. More information about the various events can be found here.
Today, our “Letters So Dear” series continues with a message from senior, Julia McElhinny:
I’m so happy to have this opportunity to welcome you to the Demon Deacon family! I was part of the first set of students to receive these letters during my first year, so I am thrilled that I have the chance to share some of my experiences with you! Wake Forest is such a special place, and I am so excited that each one of you gets to experience it for yourself 😊
I cannot believe that about two and half years ago I was trying to decide on where I was going to go to college, what I was going to study, and what I wanted my future to look like. I was excited to start a new chapter of my life, anxious about how I was going to transition to this new life, and worried about making new friends.
I wish I could tell you that this wave of feelings disappeared as soon as I stepped onto campus, but that would be a lie. My freshman year was quite a whirlwind! I loved everything about Wake – the incredible professors, the feeling of unending support from so many, the fun campus traditions, the various campus activities, and most of all, the campus itself with the oh so beautiful Mother So Dear!
But I also felt a little lost. It seemed that everyone around me had found their friends and had their life figured out. I was a little concerned that I had made the wrong choice, that Wake Forest was not the school for me. In that moment, I wish I would’ve known that many other first year students felt the same way I did – even though it felt like it, I was not alone in my feelings at all.
The Wake Forest experience is a roller coaster ride for EVERY. SINGLE. STUDENT. We all have had our fair share of ups and downs. Even for those who always seem to have it all together - the ones that seem to be able to get good grades, have a fantastic social life, and are super involved in so many things – every minute of every day is not as happy and joyous as they might make it seem.
But that’s why it’s so important to keep your eyes on the positives! These positives can be a source of motivation to keep you working hard and striving to chase your dreams (as cheesy as it sounds) during your time at Wake Forest. You can’t let the negatives control you and get you down. Things WILL get better even when it feels like the world is falling apart around you. Keep your head up and find the joy no matter how small. I learned to appreciate and cherish all the good moments but also how to learn and grow from the bad ones. Your first year will be a time of exploration, discovery, and growth, in more ways than one. Just remember, there are so many people at Wake cheering for you, and they are all willing to help you!
So no matter how you may be feeling as you read this letter – nervous, scared, overwhelmed, sad, excited, or any other emotion – know that you are not alone in that. Everyone around you is riding the roller coaster that is your first year at different speeds, but each of you, in time, will get to experience the thrill of that big drop.
In the meantime, take a step outside of your comfort zone, make the most of your time at Wake, and most importantly, ENJOY THE RIDE! Get involved in a new activity, try a new sport through intramurals, meet new people, get to know your professors! Roll the Quad, proudly wear the Old Gold and Black, and take daily pictures of Wait Chapel!
Here’s to your time at Wake Forest!