To the Class of 2025: 

Congratulations. You did it. These past 18 months have been hard on the world, and particularly difficult as each of you experienced a rollercoaster end to your high school careers. This transition to college will be unlike anything you have ever experienced, but then again, so have the last 18 months. It may not be an easy one, surely filled with lots of questions and strange experiences, all in a brand new place. But each of you has made it here, and if you’ve accomplished that you can handle anything else that comes your way. 

As this weekend kicks off and you are handed a room key and a schedule, for every minute of your life from now on, the best words of advice I can give you are simple: making mistakes is ok. There is no way you can remember everything you are going to be told this weekend — building locations, names, and rules, but that’s ok. Enjoy orientation and get to know the campus and the people around you. Talk to your roommate and the people in your hall. Try to meet as many people as you can. If it feels like everyone else has friends and you don’t, I promise you, other people feel that way too. It’s just a matter of finding the right people to have in your life. 

College is a wonderful experience that flies by. Days blur into weeks and weeks turn into months. Before you know it, you will be a senior looking back at the last three years, asking yourself where it’s all gone and wishing you could get it back. 

As your first year kicks off, take nothing for granted. Go to different sports games. Go see the shows. Go on that midnight Cook Out run. Go to the club meeting, even if you know no one. Ask someone to lunch. And for heaven’s sake, ask questions. Never stop asking questions and never stop wondering. Reflect on your experiences, learn from your mistakes, both inside and outside of the classroom. Enjoy every second of Elon, even the hardest parts. You will make wonderful memories, meet wonderful people, and do things you never thought possible of yourself. 

I wish you the best of luck as you start your college journey. This year will be filled with ups and downs that will leave you feeling more left than right. But never stop wondering, never stop growing, and never stop asking questions. Oh, and go Phoenix.