An Open Letter: To Incoming Freshmen.

A friend of mine (Shout out to Eunice Tin) asked me if I would write a letter to incoming Boston University students..still haven’t written the letter yet – sorry – but in the brainstorming process I started making a list. In no particular order here are some of the things I’ve learned over the last four years AKA things I wish someone would have told me!
  • Don’t be afraid to ask for help, we all need it.
  • Have mentors, if you see someone doing something you want to be doing don’t be afraid to introduce yourself and tell them just that, “I admire what you’re doing, how did you get started, do you have any tips or suggestions for me getting started.”For Hospitality students don’t be afraid to ask if you can conduct an informational interview or stop by for a site visit ~ perks of our industry usually includes insider access, delicious free food, and people have the most incredible stories that they are happy to share!
  • Build small wins, it’s good to have large goals but it’s also important to set tasks for yourself each day that with a little bit of effort can accomplish it’ll keep you moving and motivated. And with these small wins, celebrate, I’m not saying celebrate mediocrity but there is always something to get done so while you’re hustling take time to enjoy the view (I celebrate with tacos, donuts, and boba).
  • Creativity and kindness are your edge.
  • Take risks, but make sure they’re good ones that make sense. In other words, if you’re going to jump bring the parachute. I take lots of ‘jumps’  only jumps that will let me take other ones in the future.
  • Things are rarely falling apart, they are most certainly falling into place.
  • Put your phone down, be present, give people your attention.
  • Join things, meeting one person can change a lot of things for you. Going to that club event or general meeting might introduce you to your future best friend or roommate, or you might find the community you’ve been looking for.
  • Ask everyone questions. Ask people to share their stories with you, it might sound weird but it’s amazing how people open up to you when you show genuine interest in who they are. Ask yourself questions to. What do you believe? What is important to you? What do you want out of your time on campus?
  • Watch out for romantic relationships that take you away from your friends and commitments, if someone is supposed to be in your life they will make it a point to stick around. Red flag –You shouldn’t feel like you have to give up everything to make a relationship work.
  • Politics and religion are not scary, explore both and form your own opinions.
  • Take notes in class, even if you’re not one to study off of notes it helps you stay awake and focus and notes are your leverage to get into study groups…you think I’m kidding.
  • Get to know your Professors, they’re some of the most intelligent people in their fields and they love talking to students and brining to life what you’re learning in the classroom.
  • Get off campus every now and then to spend some time alone, I was lucky to go to school in the city there was lots to see.
  • Say ‘Hi’ to people, honestly if you recognize someone and remember them be the one who says hi don’t try to play it cool and end up being called out later for it.
  • Embrace change. College is a unique chance you have to be anyone you want don’t try to stay the same because you’re changing everyday.
  • Partying doesn’t make you a bad person and staying in or deciding you don’t drink or smoke doesn’t make you boring. Everyone has fun in their own way, don’t try to change others just do you.
  • Internships are amazing, it’s like trying on a  job. If you can use summers to live in new cities and take new jobs.
  • Email is the worst thing ever, but stay on top of your inbox. Always send out prompt thank you emails and respond in a timely fashion. Once in a while take 15 minutes to organize your inbox.
  • Call Home. It might be easy to be out of sight out of mind, but remember the people back home who supported you to get to where you are. Be intentional, it might just be a phone call to you but it means so much more to your parents then you know. Our parents are getting older, we don’t have all the time in the world with them. Life is short,  make it count in the little things.
  • Don’t be too proud to admit your mistakes and apologize. This is not something most people are in the habit of doing, it’s hard but I’d rather swallow my pride than lose a friend.
  • Lines stink, you’ll spend a lot of time in them but enjoy them. When you’re like me at home away from your friends you’ll find yourself wishing back to the seemingly insignificant moments goofing off with your friends.
  • Go ahead and download Uber, Venmo, and Groupme right now.
  • Free stuff is free but it’s also junk, you don’t actually need/want every free t-shirt/pen/random thing your school gives you. One time my roomie and I got these bright green t-shirts, we were so excited to get them…guess who never wore them.
  • Make friends at other nearby Colleges and Universities, it’s fun to then get to visit one another and attend each others events.
  • You can only eat so much ramen, instant ramen is not a real meal.
  • Failure is as much a part of life as success.
  • Keep making new mistakes, but also you don’t have to make them all on your own go ahead and save yourself some time and learn from others change of plans.

A lot of people say that your college years are the best days of your life, while I don’t know if they are the best days because there are so many more years and memories to come — but one thing I do know is that college can be an amazing four years, make the most of it because it’s over before you know it.

-V

 

 

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