Welcome to Elon, Class of 2025. As president of the Black Student Union, I want to congratulate and send you love and support on your new journey. Change is often scary, but this is an amazing next step of your life. As you are coming to campus, I strongly encourage you all to take it all in, explore, try new things and embrace the uncertainty of being in an unfamiliar place. 

Being a freshman at Elon is a unique experience and I personally will not forget my first year. This is a big step, and I can relate to those nerve racking feelings. I was quick to find out that my expectations of college were quite different from the reality of being at Elon. I envisioned myself in an episode of A Different World, with a lot of new friends and close knit community. 

But instead, I was nervous. I struggled to find friendships and I thought I was failing at being a college student. I truly felt like I was on a whole different planet. But with learning patience and stepping out of my comfort zone, I danced to my own beat and made my path at Elon — focusing on myself this time. I made connections with my peers, formed great friendships and found a place with people that I could relate to in the CREDE and the African Diaspora LLC. 

My experiences were different from those of my roommate, people in my class and my friends from home. And your experiences are likely to be different too. Carve your own path, be daring, learn patience and don’t forget that you aren’t alone. 

So please, enjoy yourself. Get involved and take the time to connect with others. Don’t be afraid to take the first step.