Dear Class of 2024

Allison Young, Opinions Editor

Freshmen, welcome to Western Illinois University, the campus that has a special place just for you. As a senior this year, I would personally like to give you just a few tips and tricks to navigating and getting comfortable on campus. I know that this last year has been difficult for many of you due to COVID-19, but that does not have to stop you from having an amazing freshman year.

The first piece of advice I want to give you is to ask questions when you have them. It doesn’t matter who it is; your professors, RAs, friends or even just people you see around campus. Lost? It’s alright to stop and ask someone for help. Asking questions is one of the ways that you can be successful. I have found that by asking questions, you can get things done in an efficient and productive manner. Don’t be afraid to ask your professors questions even if it is just to clarify. This will help you get the best grade possible in
the course.

The second thing that helped me find success at Western was to make sure that this was my home. We all have families that we love and adore, but this is our time to grow and learn who we are on our own. I am absolutely not saying to never go home or to never see your family, but try not to make it an every weekend experience. Make new friends and lean on them when things get tough. Making Western my home has been one of the most rewarding experiences I have had in college.

As I am sure most of you have already been told, get involved in something on campus. I cannot stress how important it really is for your next four years. This is a way to make friends and a way to feel like you are not just a student. Joining clubs or organizations is also a resume builder. Believe it or not, the next few years are going to fly by. You will blink and it’s going to be time to be an adult. So, being involved on campus is one of the easiest ways to add things to your resume.

The last thing that I want to leave you with is to be yourself 100 percent. I remember what it was like to be nervous and quiet around people, but it’s okay to go out of your comfort zone. Being yourself is going to find you some of the best people you will ever meet. You are now a Leatherneck, and we look out for each other. Just because this has been a rough year due to a global pandemic does not mean that your first year of college has to be a drag.