Call home more often: You will be really busy at Penn; you will see the sun rise over Huntsman far too many nights. However, still call home to your parents and grandparents. They really do want to hear from you and how you are doing. You will be at Penn for four years, but you will have your family more often.
one Penn student writes on Dear Penn Freshmen.
Parents like to give their kids advice as they go off to college. We had four long years at university and since then decades to reflect. Our advice we believe is sound, but admittedly outdated. Older students have a relevance that cannot be rivaled.
Perhaps recognizing this, Lauren McCann a student at The Wharton School at Penn began Dear Penn Freshmen as a school project, only to see it explode into a much visited site. Students write and post letters, mostly to their freshman selves and they disarmingly honest and signed with their real name. In each letter students fess up to their failings, mishaps and missteps. They assure those coming after them that this is just part of the college experience. The gorgeous site resembles Instagram with each missive sitting behind a stunning photo.
“Particularly at high-pressure colleges, it’s so easy to crumble,” McCann said in an interview with Quartz. “A lot of the time, we talk about mental health and no one wants to come out and say they’re dealing with it… One thing that’s been really great about the letters is people’s willingness to put their name on it.”
For Freshmen, take heart:
“Relationships matter more than anything else in college.”
“I can make this promise though: you will experience ecstatic joy and pure misery, sometimes in the same week.”
“Don’t be too distraught when you get that C in calculus. Go grab some ice cream with friends instead. You’ll be fine, I promise.”
“I’m hesitant to tell you too much, as most of my greatest experiences resulted from blind wandering or accidental mishaps.”
“Finally, you will come across stages where you have no idea what you’re doing with your life. These are experiences to grow, so don’t try to escape from your true self during the process.”