An Open Letter to my Freshman Year Self

Margaret Dougherty, Editor-In-Chief

Dear Maggie, 

Hello again. I wanted to write you (us?) this letter not because I think you need it, but because part of me wishes you did have this advantage. Thinking back to August 25, 2019, here’s what I would want to tell you. As if our life is the next episode of Succession, I’ll try not to “spoil” too much.  

First of all, happy move-in day! Be careful with the putty you’re putting on the walls; it’d be nice to avoid paying the damage fees. Put up with the awkward greetings with your roommates. You four will laugh about it later. This year is going to be better than you could possibly imagine…up until roughly March 10, 2020. But let’s not get into all that. For now, just remember to call Mom and Dad occasionally, stay focused on your goals, and enjoy yourself. I truly do envy you. 

Now let’s talk about our master plan for a minute. Right now, you’re thinking that college is the be-all and end-all of our life. I’m going to succeed in all my classes, get my dream internship which will translate to a fulltime job, meet my soulmate, move to New York, and live the dream. Again, I really don’t want to spoil things, but this is not exactly how it all goes. In fact, I’d go so far to say that it is comically not even close to how it goes. Maybe I’m just now coming to realize this, but the expectations I set for my college experience were unreasonably high. Maybe work on lowering those.  

Next, I want to give you a collection of cryptic warnings that will mean nothing to you now, but eventually will make sense. Invest in a better laptop; it’ll shave off hours of lost time. When he forgets to wish you a happy birthday, that’s a good sign that he’s not the one. Fireball is best enjoyed in moderation. Make a schedule for when to feed your fish. Drink more water. Wear sandals on Sept. 1, 2021. Other than that, I think you’re all set! 

Lastly, and maybe most importantly, you’re really worried about making friends right now. Remember how it took a while in high school to form friendships? Well, I’m here to tell you that could not be further from the reality of college. On the sixth floor of Loftus Hall, you will make friends. When you join The Ionian, you will make friends. When you join Gael Guides, you will make friends. Simply walking through campus, you will make friends. Plus, the three girls you are randomly assigned to room with will become your best friends instantly and remain so to this day. Don’t ask me how, don’t ask me why. I couldn’t tell you, but somehow you will win the friendship lottery. 

Best of luck. You’re in for quite the ride. 


Maggie Dougherty 

May 1, 2023 


P.S. Don’t eat the penne alla vodka at the Ionian White Elephant event.