Fri. Jan 21st, 2022

Dear West Chester,

Hello, and welcome! I’m so pleased to be able to personally welcome all of you new incoming students to our beautiful campus here at West Chester University. Though I can’t believe I’m about to enter my senior year of college, I still remember my freshman orientation like it was yesterday: driving five hours from home only to experience a million unfamiliar faces and the most painful, awkward small talk imaginable. But don’t worry—I promise you will meet some of the best friends of your life through an awkward hello, whether it seems invited or not.

Beyond the people you’ll meet, a whole new breadth of opportunities will be opened up to you! Consider joining a sports team, interest club, Greek life or even write for our wonderful student newspaper (wink wink). The best thing to do is definitely get involved, so make sure you visit the Fall Involvement Fair when it rolls around, and keep your eyes out for any organizations that spark your interest. Plus, make sure to keep your mind open—college is the time to experiment with who you are and find what you’re passionate about, so don’t pass something up just because you’re not sure you’d like it. I can tell you from personal experience: I stuck to things I was comfortable with (like writing and working for The Quad) but tended not to venture too far out of my comfort zone. Meanwhile, this past year, I ended up doing the unthinkable: I joined a sorority, Kappa Delta. It was so far out of my realm of existence, but it’s been one of the greatest experiences of my college journey thus far. However, I almost completely passed it up just because of preconceived judgments, and thus, I tell you again: keep an open mind; try new things!

Our summer edition of The Quad is jam-packed full of wonderful articles ranging from local interest pieces to a ton of helpful advice for surviving your first year in your new home. Check out Dean Cahill’s piece on using college as a platform to speak and expand your mind on page 17, a piece by Maria Rosati on the mental health services offered at WCU on page 13 and even how to keep off the dreaded freshman 15 by Zoe Falcone (our new copy editor!) on page 14. If you’re a science junkie, make sure to read an interesting article about gene drives and Lyme disease by Abbey Bigler on page 19, and if you’re worried about how to stay on top of stress, we have some articles on self-care and the benefits of yoga on pages 9 and 12. There are so many more brilliant articles throughout, so make sure to check them all out!

Good luck to you all! Summer will be over before you know it and it’ll be time to get settled into your new home here at West Chester, so have fun, enjoy the sun and get excited for a fresh start.

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