Welcome to Elizabethtown College! In about a week, you'll be joining the rest if us in walking to class. I don't know you yet, but I can't wait to meet you!
Before you get here, I just have a few things to share with you.
Last year, I was in your shoes. So I know what your going through. And while I'm sure you're nervous and excited and probably even scared, I'm sure you'll grow to love Etown just as much as I do.
First, you won't be ready for your first day. No matter how many times you double-check your list and rehearse your goodbyes, the real thing won't come easily. You'll probably forget something and have to run to Kmart. Your room might not look exactly as you envisioned it (it will probably seem pretty small). It will be intimidating to meet so many people at once. You might even cry after you say goodbye to your family, just a little.
One of the great this about Etown is the wide varsity of orientation activities they have for you to do during your first weekend here. Yes, all of the tours and scavenger hunts and meet-and-greets may seem annoying after a while, but they also keep you up and moving the whole first weekend you're there. You barely have time to relax, let alone think about how nervous you are. Think of each new activity as another chance to get to know the people in your class-and the campus-better.
The Etown campus is beautiful. There is plenty of natural greenery between the buildings. Overall its a very safe environment, set in a small town (though you should always be alert). Throughout the year, you'll spend a lot of sunny days in the Dell, the green meadow between the residence halls. You'll probably take some jaunts to the Jays Nest or the Blue Bean for a late night snack. Of course, most of your time will be spent in your dorm or the classrooms, many of which are newly renovated. The buildings aren't that hard to memorize, once you get a tour or two under your belt. And if you do get lost, just ask an older student. We're always happy to help!
Another thing-don't be afraid to reach out to your peer mentor if you have a question. You've probably already been e-introduced to your peer group and met some of them at summer orientation. You'll be with the people in your peer group throughout orientation, an mine kept in touch throughout the year. It's nice to have a group of people to sit with when you're first getting your footing. And your mentors-the two older students leading the group--are super excited to help you get acclimated to the Etown environment. Trust me, I know a number of them. They can't wait to meet you.
The number one thing to remember when you come to Etown for the first time is this: everyone else in your class will be in the same situation as you. Everyone feels that same mixture of excitement (you're finally on your own!) and homesickness (you're finally on your own). Some of the people you meet in your first week will become your friends for the rest of the year. And once you get your footing--find your people, settle into your classes, adjust to the new level of freedom--you will feel right at home.
I look forward to meeting you next week. I hope that your first week at Elizabethtown College is just as enjoyable as mine was. I can't wait for you to experience everything that makes us proud to be Blue Jays, Always.