To incoming freshmen:
Enjoy the moment. It’s an exciting time for you. You will not only meet many people but also experience different things. This doesn’t just apply to move-in day but to your entire year. So once in a while, put your phone up, look around, and enjoy the moment.
Embrace every opportunity. From free food to sitting in on meetings. Take opportunities that will help move you forward. Breathe. As you become more engaged with campus, life can become hectic and you will get stressed. Whenever you feel overwhelmed, take a moment to stop what you’re doing and breathe.
It’s not all fun, though. Your first year will be filled with many ups and downs. There will be times where you may feel weak or stressed. People will come and go, relationships will end. If you expect to go through your first year of college smoothly, then you are asking to be deceived. Whenever you might feel that you can’t carry on, talk to a friend or someone you trust.
You will not meet all your friends during orientation weekend and that’s fine. They might be in an organization you just joined, or it may just happen another time. Breathe. You’ll find them.
To the students of color: We may be small in numbers, but we are strong. As a black male at a predominantly white institution, my friends and I have experienced things that have left us speechless. Some people may not understand the things we go through, and that might leave them slow to accept the harsh realities of society. Just remember that you are your biggest advocate — only you can speak for you. Don’t allow your race to be an indicator of your abilities, and don't let someone tell you that it is. There are also many organizations and centers on campus that can help you become closer to your identity.
If you don’t fit the Elon mold, that’s OK. If you don’t go to the gym all the time, that’s fine. If you don’t wear Vineyard Vines, that’s fine, too. If you’re not into Greek life, that’s fine. It’s also fine if you are into the aforementioned. College is all about finding yourself, and you can’t be you while shaping yourself to be like others.
There are many more things to add, but at the heart of it all, if you be the best you can be and do the best you can do, you’ll be fine. You will never be perfect and that’s OK. College is an enjoyable experience. You’ll have your good days and not-so-good days, but just make sure that you’re moving forward. Be vulnerable and enjoy it. You’ll be fine.