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Bellingham
Sunday, June 7, 2020

Letter to My Freshman Self

Kieran printDear freshman Kieran,

It is hard to believe that freshman year was over three years ago. I remember the first day and everything. We were so excited that we got into a graphic design class; after all, it was the whole reason you came to Western. Long story short, design never worked out the way we wanted it to. It will be an extremely rough time receiving that rejection letter from the department after you worked so hard on your application, and for a while you will not feel great. Hell, you will even fail a class for the first time ever. But in light of all this, it will be the greatest thing that will have ever happened to you.

This gives you much more room to experiment with classes, and you’ll even take a business class which you have always wanted. Eventually you will take a newswriting class to fulfill a GUR. The professor that teaches this class will end up being the best professor you have ever had and in turn will hugely influence you to pursue journalism. More specifically, public relations.

Our first year was a huge turning point. You start to lose weight, become more outgoing and make lasting friendships with people you never would have expected. You are not that kid from high school anymore. You are also going to work harder than you ever have before for school and it is going to be completely worth it.

My only advice for you is to spend as much time as you can experiencing things with people. That show on Netflix is not going anywhere. Go to events, play frisbee and talk to that quiet girl behind you in psychology 101, as she ends up becoming one of your best friends.

I don’t want to spoil too much for you, but the future’s very bright. Each year being better than the last. All it took was a little hard work and perseverance. Graduation is now just under a year away for you and don’t worry, you’re going to make it just fine.

Sincerely,

Kieran Boyle

Jesse bwDear freshman Jesse,

First of all, congratulations on making it this far. I’m really excited for all the good times and great experiences to come. The road ahead is going to be bumpy, but you’ll look back on it with a smile – trust me.

You won’t have it all figured out by the end of fall quarter, and that’s okay. In all honestly, you probably will never have it all figured out, which is OK too!

Learn to smile and say, “I don’t know yet,” every time someone asks you what you’re studying (it will happen a lot). Or better yet, come up with some witty comebacks. Most importantly, don’t let the unknown bring you down.

Explore the classes that are out there and don’t be afraid to try something new. Don’t neglect the sciences, but don’t neglect the arts either. Make note of what you like and what you don’t like.

You’ll find your field in due time, and you’ll know it when you find it. Maybe you’ll realize it when your friends get annoyed with how much you talk about a class or when you notice how excited you are for the next day’s lecture.  It might be something you wouldn’t expect, like organic chemistry, newswriting or calculus, but you’ll feel engaged, productive, enthused and hungry for more.

Run with that feeling. Passion doesn’t always come easy, so take that passion and work as hard as you possibly can to keep it alive. A strong ambition will take you far.

Opportunities are out there, so learn how to find them. Everyone is human – professors, colleagues and prospective employers – so learn how to talk to them. Some of your best opportunities will come from reaching out to people. An email, a phone call or a simple handshake can go a long way.

Work hard, stay curious and listen to the people you trust and do the things you love. Most importantly, keep doing what feels right for you.

Good luck,

Jesse Nichols

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