Dear 2020 College Freshmen, We're Sorry

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I don’t think anyone in recent memory has navigated going to college in a pandemic of this scope in this modern society. For all the 2020 high school graduates, I am sorry you had to miss or have a highly modified graduation ceremony. This does not diminish your achievement, and I hope you never feel like it has.

As a rising college senior, I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the coming year on campus. It is typically the seniors and juniors who take on a lot of the leadership roles on college campuses, but I can’t help but think that this year, we will fail in many ways. So I want to address the underclassmen, particularly you incoming freshmen:

I apologize in advance for all the ways we will fail you in the coming year

We will do our best to adapt college life to be safer while still trying to come up with ways to effectively socialize. I’ve learned that a social support system is vital to college (and just life, I’m sure), so we will try to maintain that, but I cannot promise that it will be without its failures and awkwardness. Please know that we (SSF and college upperclassmen everywhere) just want to be here for you. If you need something, let us know.

You have more power than you may realize

Personally, I know I will miss the usual campus activities and the social habits I’ve built over the last 3 years. You might feel the loss as well, and that’s okay. But I want to encourage you to be active and bold this year. I believe you will have more creativity than us upperclassmen, and you will more easily see where your college and fellow students are struggling. You can be the difference! Come up with new ways to have club meetings and connect with classmates! Get others involved, and I’m sure upperclassmen and college faculty and staff will be thrilled to get on board.

Be there for each other

As I’m sure you’ve realized, this pandemic has affected people in many different ways. Some things will be much more difficult this year, and other things may perhaps be easier. I think it might be a little harder to develop friendships, but humans have always been social creatures, so friendships will still be made. 😉 Look out for each other and be kind to one another.

Even though no one is quite sure what this year will look like, I know you guys will approach it will grace and grit. I can’t wait to see you all thrive. ❤️

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Written by Holly Lakin on Aug 10, 2020