New Year, New Semester, New Experiences

Welcome back, Deac families!  Campus offices are open again.

It’s the New Year – and that means everything is about to be new on campus too.

New semester. New classes. New schedule. New subjects to learn. And a new set of professors for whom students will have to learn their expectations, preferred writing style, test style, etc.

New social options. Some of these might come from affiliation with a Greek organization (sorority recruitment starts tomorrow for Potential New Members, later in the month for fraternities). But other social changes might be that the friends you ate lunch with every Tuesday & Thursday in the fall semester now have class at a time you don’t, so you need some new dining partners.  People will join (or leave) student organizations and the groups will change.

New worldview. We will have around 400 students returning from abroad. They will be coming back to a familiar campus, but adjusting to a new normal, with a different worldview. No longer can you just hop a train and be in a foreign country in a couple of hours. No longer will you have the same museums, historical sites, and culture like you had it. And most of our students who go abroad come back with a different perspective or outlook.  For me at least, there was a lot of happiness coming back, but a certain amount of wistfulness, and longing to be with other students who’d been abroad and would understand.

So there is going to be a whole lot of new in the next couple of weeks, and new can sometimes be uncomfortable. New is an adjustment. New is growth. And sometimes growth is hard, but it is also good for all of us.

How to handle the new?

Embrace it.  Resolve to meet new people, be open to new ideas, be willing to try something you hadn’t thought of before. Join that student organization. Invite a hallmate to lunch or dinner. Talk to someone you don’t know.  Volunteer.  Take a long walk. Whatever suits you.

So here’s to a new year, and all that comes with it.  May it be a great semester for everyone!

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