A Letter to Freshmen | The Triangle

A Letter to Freshmen

Welcome. To some of you, Philadelphia is already home, while to others, Philadelphia feels as different from home as it can get. Yet regardless of your home town’s proximity to campus, you are all, in one way or another, leaving your old ways behind to embark on this new, strategically curated chapter. 

Growing familiar with a new environment rarely happens in an instant. When I first arrived on campus in the fall of 2018, I had this strange sensation that I was only brought here for a two-week summer camp. Watching my parents’ departure felt unusually heavy. All of a sudden, they turned from my macrocosms into my microcosms and my modus operandi reversed. I was now in almost complete control of my life and had to make sense of an environment with particularities I could not understand as intuitively as I wished.   

On the bright side, Drexel, by virtue of functioning on the most lovable quarter system, will ensure that you will not have too much time to dwell on such existential questions. Speedy is an understatement here but you will learn to use the word “fast-paced” to your advantage during job interviews. To start keeping your mind off the aforementioned coming of age contemplation, I am here to share some pieces of advice in Fran Lebowitz’s situational humor style to help with your transition to campus: 

  • If you received a Blackboard notification that you have an assignment overdue even before you enrolled to college, do not even open it. I learned that the more attention you give it, the more persistent and aggressive it gets and no one deserves that kind of toxicity.   
  • Saxby’s is a decent café but don’t hesitate to cite Liebeck v. McDonald if their coffee’s temperature still mimics Dante’s Inferno. This will be your chance to seem assertive and knowledgeable enough to start getting things your way.  
  • Do not ask for opinions on the 7-Eleven pizza. It is around one dollar a slice and desperate times call for desperate measures, especially when your checking account is closer to negative than positive and all the dining halls decide there is no need for you to eat during holidays.  
  • Get used to the idea that for some time your identity may be tied to the dorm you live in, and if that dorm is Myers, remind yourself that there is a reason for everything in life.  
  • If you are not too proud to be on Tinder, lying that your friends dared you to make one will not make you look more respectable. 
  • Drexel Students’ access to Penn’s library is a double-edged sword. The more you go the more attached you may become to affluence and that is a rather dangerous position to be in. Perhaps even a conflict of interest. Sometimes it helps to constantly repeat “Ambition Can’t Wait!” on the days you feel especially weak. 
  • If you are nervous about corporate law co-op interviews and wish to prepare for them a year in advance, ask your most frightful relative to test your general knowledge, especially in the area of metaphysics, followed by 10 things they hate about you.  

Leaving jokes aside, going to college is a disruption, and while disruptions are not always pain-free, if embraced with enough curiosity and sincerity, they can end up changing your life for the better in a most subtle and unexpected way. As I was departing for college in 2018, my best friend gave me a letter featuring a quote that I figured I would pass down to you all.  

“I hope you find yourself out there 

I hope you figure out your heart 

I hope you figure out your mind 

I hope you learn how to fall in love with the process, with the messiness of life and the confusion of it all 

I hope you find what you are looking for out there 

I hope your life inspires you” 


A rising senior