A student of Western University reflects on sending a letter of advice to her first year self.

Dear First-Year Michael,

Strap in for a wild journey. You think you know how your future will go, but be open to change and embrace every opportunity presented to you. You don't have to go to medical school to be intelligent or respected. Follow the path that makes you the most excited about your future. You're going to change programs and you're going to feel like you've fallen short of your initial goals, but this is only the start of your journey. Absorb every class and every experience like a sponge and don't be afraid to ask questions and seek help. Cherish every moment of your residence experience: your floor-mates will become your new adopted family. Limit your intake of Bagelwiches at the Spoke. Take a breath. Have fun. Learn lots.

Michael Maximino, BSc Chemistry 2017

Dear First-Year Kate,

Welcome to Western University. You've finally made it! Right now, you're nervous about meeting new people, hesitant to get involved, and scared to leave home for the first time. But you need to know that you're ready and everything will work out.

First, introduce yourself to classmates, people in your residence, and students you meet during OWeek. Remember, making new friends can take time, but just be true to yourself.

Second, maintain balance. Earning an education is the reason you're here, but don't lose sight of the things that bring you joy. Get involved!

Third, don't forget about your family. Try to call them often. They miss you (and you'll miss their home-cooked meals). You're going to be thankful for all their guidance, especially when it comes to laundry (they're right about the whole "don't mix colours" thing).

The next four years will be a whirlwind, but they'll take you on a path of self-discovery and shape your future. Good luck Kate, and have fun!

Kate Moran, BA Political Science 2019