Letters to my Freshman Self

Dear Sean,

2013 seems like a mirage as a freshman; it’s the year “childhood” is endangered by “adulthood.”  It’s the year fun and games are replaced by work and meetings.  Enjoy the years of 11 a.m. classes and GPA before they’re replaced by 6 a.m. wake-ups and a 401K.  You’ll go from Lazar to Butler to Crowder and Odom, to years at Straz and meeting the dynamic duo of Murph and Caffrey. Enjoy midnight ventures into downtown Milwaukee, and a special 2011 with Prince, Braun and Greinke. Monster truck shows, wrestling, Bucks game and concerts at the Bradley Center will be remarkable.  As will Carla Hay’s history, W.J. Hunter’s finance and Dr. Robinson’s marketing. Enjoy your childhood’s series finale and never forget your close friends and family.


Dear Molly,

You’re coming into college with high expectations and an attachment to high school.  Try to erase all of your assumptions and meet everyone while taking all opportunities.  Go ahead and decide to study abroad in a place that is totally out of your comfort zone. You will grow immensely as a person in just four short months. And by the time you’re a senior, stop freaking out about the countdown to graduation. Instead, study, go out, have fun, and live up the last year of freedom.

P.S. Stop complaining about living in Cobeen. All of your best friends live there, even if you don’t know it yet.

Dear Willy,

Good luck, you’re in for a heck of a ride. One of the things you never learned in high school is just how crazy the next four years will be. A lot of it will be incredibly awesome, take my word for it. Some of it won’t be so great, and then it’s really up to you what you make out of it all. The important thing is to never stop working toward what you want, and seriously, get out of your comfort zone once in a while. You’ll thank me later.

Dear Em,

Learn how to use your bus pass. The first time you got off on the wrong bus stop and thought you were lost for hours is actually one of the coolest places in Milwaukee (Brady Street—check it out.) Explore. Stop comparing Milwaukee to Chicago. You think you know who you are, but it will change. Be open. Be open-minded. In fact, forget everything you know. Learn for yourself, think for yourself. Enjoy yourself but don’t forget to study…at least a little. Don’t settle. Hang out with Timmy. Challenge yourself. And never take for granted the fact that you’re at Marquette with wonderful friends and people because of a wonderful family.

Dear Sarah,

Hey. Nice UGGs you’ve got on there. Lookin’ good. They go really well with that Resurrection High School hoodie. And that lanyard clipped to the Vera Bradley wallet? Hot. Honestly, though, you’re not doing anything wrong…or right. But find comfort in the fact that as a senior you don’t regret anything. Really. A few tips won’t hurt, though. First, stop going to sushi restaurants that have bouncers. Call your grandparents every once in a while. Put an end to the meltdowns—you somehow pass
statistics. Go ahead and tell everyone you’re married to Jimmy Butler at basketball games.  But mostly, just savor everything. Those freshman days—the ones when you and your friends go the McCormick dining hall for breakfast at noon and don’t leave
until 5—you’re going to miss those.

All Photos by Erin Nelson
Dear Alex,

First-things-first: go to $2 Tuesdays at ‘Blows while you can—you’ll miss it when it’s gone. There, now that’s out of the way, we can focus on other things. Don’t be afraid to try Dogg Haus’s cheese curds. They may have a weird name, but these Wisconsinites know their cheese. Sure, Cobeen was not your first choice (or even on your list of dorms), but give it an honest chance. Your best memories and best friends are waiting for you in 804-05. Be prepared for many changes in your life; all of them will be unexpected, and all of them will be worth it. Most important: don’t take this all too seriously. You’ll get through it, and all those things you thought were the end of the world, they are just the beginning of something much better.

7 Things we had that the class of 2016 won’t:

1. Father Naus. Since our favorite Jesuit retired, we no longer look forward to being stopped by the friendliest face on campus.

2. Having to walk from Straz to 20th, just to get Broken Yolk.

3. Raynor raves. For a few moments every year during finals, we got to party in the library.

4. An Arts & Sciences dean. JK! We didn’t have one either.

5. The Warrior newspaper—unless some brave journalist brings it back.

6. Angelo’s on the corner. Sobelman’s is a great campus addition, but nothing can replace $2 Tuesdays and Lasagna Sticks.

7. The wild Fr. Wild. Now we just have to wait until the university builds Wild Hall.