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A UTB Letter To Our Freshmen Selves


Photo from Pixabay / CC0

A new project titled Dear Penn Freshmen went live this weekend, filling our Facebook feeds with upperclassmen's heartfelt letters to past selves. The SWUGs of UTB couldn't help but a get a li'l nostalgic and join in on the fun. If we could write a letter to our freshmen selves, here's what we would say:

Hey you,

You’re about to embark on a helluva journey. There’s heartbreak and failure in your future, sweetie. A lot. But if you just follow your passions and cherish your time here, I promise it’ll be worth it. ;)

Let’s just get to it. DON’T befriend that girl in your Econ recitation. She is BATSHIT. Literally you will spend months trying to shake her. So just don’t.

Don’t feel too bad when you fail that MATH 104 exam. You will continue to do poorly on a bunch of things and comfort yourself with poorly concocted meals at Commons. But you should probably try to shape up or else you’re never getting into grad school and you’ll disappoint your whole extended family. Aunt Cheryl is counting on attending your law school graduation. So get it together.

Speaking of classes, you should explore academically. Take things willy nilly, following your passions as they strike. Until it’s second semester sophomore year, you need to declare a major to go abroad, and you’ve taken 9 classes in the Society sector. Damn, you messed up. So pick a major with the fewest requirements (I won’t tell you which one we picked, hehe isn’t that *mysterious*).

Don’t make out with that guy at that Kappa Sig late night (what are you even doing at a Kappa Sig late night, you’re such a freshman lol!!! Except you don’t truly exist unless all of time is happening at once and we just perceive that we’re traveling on a linear timeline!). That’s how you get mono. Or maybe you got it from sharing a cup of jungle juice. Drink that anyway. It’s fo’ free.

You might not find your besties right away. You’ll be like, where are the people who love me FOR ME? You will continue to ask this when half your friends ditch your birthday BYO for that other asshole’s birthday BYO and every Saturday when you leave Smoke’s alone after the lights go up. Life is lonely. Maybe you should be less weird.

Geez, calm down. You will have like 3 good friends. And like 27 people that you are definitely going to get lunch with soon. That’s enough.

Oh, you’re probably also thinking about clubs. Half-heartedly join a few so that you can get some Locust flyering experience and something to put on your LinkedIn. Yes, you should make a LinkedIn and get people to endorse your for your Microsoft Word skills. You’ll thank me later, sweetheart.

Also, don’t take for granted all of the opportunities Penn gives you to broaden your horizons. Go abroad to an English-speaking country and only befriend other Penn students. You’re worldly now – check! You can come back and never leave the East Coast again.

And you won’t, because when it’s time for OCR you’re going to have to think long and hard about what you care about and what you want to make of your life. What are you really passionate about after 2.5 years of soaking your brain in the wonders of the liberal arts? You’ll realize that you’re pretty passionate about money. Money is pretty cool!!! Goldman or McKinsey might hire you for lots of money. Alas, you won’t get an internship at one of those, but pick yourself up. What doesn’t kill you makes you #stronger (I used a hashtag just for you as you're technically reading in 2012...but hashtags are over now, sorry.). You’ll settle for another banking or consulting job because you’re a hamster on the wheel, futilely chasing prestige and validation through endorsements from big name firms and institutions of higher education while you desperately try to ignore your inner void. And the sooner you accept this truth, the better girlfriend!!

These four years are gonna fly by, so buck up. Just be a nice person at least some of the time and try not to Uber to class. And read Under the Button. Good luck bud.


Ur future self