The picture is filling in. You’ve had two weeks of classes, and you have favorite places to study—a nook in the architecture library, a couch in the Straight, the stacks in Uris . . .

So you’ve arrived. A great deal of anticipation has led up to this moment. And now you’re here . . . the settling in starts—dorm room, roommate, organizing drawers and closets, a neatly made bed, finding the dining hall, walking, talking, observing.

Wake up. It’s day two. You’re really here. People are becoming more familiar. The milieu is less foreign. You start to imagine what is ahead of you. The strangeness is already dissipating. You’re ready for this.

Pick your classes. Buy your books. Set the alarm. It’s time to start. Immediately it’s evident—you have moved up to the next level. Your professors are outlining intellectual journeys that far exceed what you’ve experienced so far. Your classmates are smart and interesting; there is geographic, economic, and cultural diversity among them. You’re in a more complex and captivating social world. Each day is increasingly comfortable. You notice that your thinking is more textured. You feel yourself formulating novel thoughts and developing new ways of expressing yourself.

You’ve had two weeks of classes, and you have favorite places to study

The picture is filling in. You’ve had two weeks of classes, and you have favorite places to study—a nook in the architecture library, a couch in the Straight, the stacks in Uris— places you easily retreat to. You take familiar paths to your destinations. You are establishing routines. You have acquaintances; some are becoming friends. You have dining buddies and people to walk with between classes.

You are starting to externalize and find out what the university has to offer. There are visiting scholars, art exhibitions, theatre performances, club and intramural sports of every kind, movies, and oddball traditions. You’re in the game. You belong here.

And be mindful of important things. Be kind, be considerate, be modest, and be fair. Try to be a better person every day. Be a leader, not a follower. Know that you are creating future memories— make sure they are memories you’ll want to have.

Have a great four years!