"When you have Georgetown, you have everything" by Emma G.
Dear Freshman Me,
Remember the first time you saw Healy Hall on that one college visit two summers ago? That feeling of arriving at Hogwarts, the fictional place you never really expected to make it to, so you drank it all in on that brief visit, not expecting to ever return?
Well, you made it. You made it to Georgetown; you made it to your Hogwarts. Dumbledore is proud (and so are your parents). Keep drinking it in; I promise these next four years will fly by as fast as the tour that summer.
I want – no, need – to tell you to calm down. No, you don’t have any friends on campus, and you’re pretty far away from home, but I promise you that is a more magical thing than you might realize right now. I know it’s hard to break out of your shell, but that first night you stay up until 4am with your floormates in the common room you’ll realize just how rewarding it is to leave your dorm room. I can’t describe to you how lovely it feels to walk out of my bedroom now and see those strangers’ faces as my senior year roommates.
Don’t feel overwhelmed by the sea of extroverted people you seem to be surrounded by (and don’t be frightened by the people dancing on those chairs in McDonough that first day – believe it or not, you’re going to be one of them someday). Just because you’re not the loudest voice in the room doesn’t mean you aren’t a valuable Hoya. You belong here, even if it might not seem like it right now. Forge your friendships and get to know everyone you can, but know that it’s okay to eat your Grab’n’Go alone on the Esplanade to recharge every once in a while.
This year will be the best and worst of your life. You will take classes that will open your eyes to totally new perspectives. You will have some rough nights out that lead into rough days after. You will make and lose friends. You will go abroad for a whole semester and come back with a hankering for Guinness and good craic. You will spend a summer in the DC humidity. You will be rejected from Blue and Gray Tour Guides five times. The point of all of this is to say: you’ll make it. I’m here now, and I can promise you there are amazing things ahead. Don’t get discouraged by anything. Keep laughing at those tour guide rejections, keep listening in class, and keep going out with your friends. All the downs are just as valuable as the ups.
There’s so much more to say but you’ll figure it all out in the next few years as long as you trust yourself. I think the best way for me to end this is to relay a piece of advice that was read at NSO this year to the incoming class of 2020. (Yep – we’re old.) This year they asked parents to write small tidbits of advice, and most of them were pretty cheesy or kind of dad-joke funny, but one stood out to me, and I haven’t stopped thinking about it since. It began something like: “What else can I give you, my darling, as I say goodbye to you?”
And then: “When you have Georgetown, you have everything.”
There will be plenty of moments where this might not seem true, where you feel like a failure no matter what you do in your classes, in your work, with your friends and family, or with yourself.
But soon you’ll have just finished your first week of senior year, and you and your best friends will sprawl out cackling on Healy Lawn at midnight in those same spots where you all tentatively sat and asked each other lame questions that first night of freshman year and watch the class of 2020 spill out of Club Lau, and you’ll realize you’ve never been so happy.
In those moments, when you have Georgetown, you really do have everything.
Good luck to you as you embark one of the greatest journeys of your life; I’m so jealous that you have four more years here, and I only have one.
Peace, love, and Hoya Saxa,
Emma Gross (COL ’17)