DERBY

Advice worthy of you and PU’s little brother

Hello everyone, and welcome back to campus! It has been an exciting first week, full of all of the joys of college: the chance to see and catch up with old friends, the opportunities to make new ones, and the joys of welcoming the newest members of our RPI community, the Class of 2021!

I have to say, I am partial to our newest classmates. My little brother recently started college himself, and being able to talk to him, as well as all of the new faces that I meet on Freshman Hill, has helped to give me a renewed appreciation for the freshman experience, as well as remember all of the trials and tribulations that comes with it. For many, this is your first time moving away from home, potentially coming to a place where you know no one. It is a time to build a new life for yourself, rediscover who you are, and set yourself up for a future full of success. To anyone who is taking the time to read this, I would like to say thank you.

Transitioning to college is difficult. It was difficult for me, and—chances are—most other students here at RPI. But, in that same breath, I want to reiterate that you are not alone. There is an entire campus of students who are ready and willing to help you. All you need to do is ask. Now, I know that approaching a seemingly random upperclassman might seem daunting, but it might seem less so if you take the time to get involved in all of the activities RPI has to offer outside of the classroom. With over 200 clubs and organizations, dozens of intramural leagues, club sports, research opportunities, and thousands of hours of programming to attend in your next four years, chances are you will find a place you belong faster than you think. You too will find your home.

All of the advice above is the same that I gave to my little brother before he left—find a place on campus, a group of people, that you belong to. Find a group to support you or a place that you feel relaxed and at home; a place that will help you to grow and develop into the person that you know you can be. And remember that it takes time, and that’s okay. But let me assure you, no one leaves RPI without making a mark on campus. No one leaves without RPI having left a mark on you.

To the rest of campus, I would like to wish you a warm welcome back. Rensselaer has been waiting patiently for our return, and soon will be back into full swing. Remember to study hard, take time to relax and think about your health, and please, if you see a freshman who looks a little lost, say “hi” and lend a helping hand. You never know just how far an outstretched arm can reach.

Best of luck starting your new classes, and feel free to contact me at pu@rpi.edu or stop by my office in the Student Government Suite on the third floor of the Union. Thanks, and I look forward to working with you all!