Letter from the Editor: Welcome to Wake Forest!

Editor-in-chief Connor McNeely welcomes the Class of 2026


Connor McNeely, Editor-in-Chief

Welcome to Wake Forest! This is the oval-shaped, tree-filled land in which your dreams about college will be realized. In just a few weeks, you will find yourself falling in love with the buzz of gameday traditions, peaceful walks and exhilarating runs through the beautiful Reynolda trail; your first meals at the Pit with your friends and relaxing on the Quad, watching the sun set over Wait Chapel.

This issue contains advice brimming with both humor and honest-to-goodness truth; you can use it to guide you as you begin your Wake Forest years. Our staff – all freshmen at one point – have reached into the back of their brains and remembered their adventures, all of which began the moment they stepped foot on campus and continue now as they come back to Mother So Dear. 

I was also a freshman at one point, and now, I will be returning as a senior with what might be considered a wealth of knowledge and experience at my disposal. Or at least, that’s what everyone thinks they will have when they arrive at their final year.

To some extent, this is true – I have worked, laughed, cried and smiled through three years of Wake Forest, and that should leave me some important things for me to write to you. But just as much as this is true, it is also clear that you always start over in this adventure.

I prepared to write this letter by reading all of the letters that former editors wrote before me. This is a common practice that I have when I write anything; I evaluate what is expected and agonize over how I can create something that no one has read before and how I will say something that has remained unsaid.

After repeating this process for my entire life, it finally yielded a platitude that I will share with you now. We all want to be different from each other, just as much as we want to be similar. It’s kind of a universal habit. You spend your entire life oscillating between the two ends of this paradox; and there is perhaps no more of an intense space for this wigwag than in your college years, where you live with a multitude of kids who look like you, dress like you and act like you.

But don’t be afraid of similarities! When you talk about your favorite movies, share cool food with your friends, or even wear the same clothes as your friends, you are celebrating what brings you closer to one another. From the traditions that we honor as a student body to the fields of study that we share, all of this makes us united with each other.

Remember that even though you may share a lot of similarities to those around you, or even those who have come before you, you are constantly changing who you are every day. Don’t put pressure on yourself to be completely different from anything anyone has ever seen before. You do that automatically, just by being you.

As you start over and begin a new chapter in your life, realize that you are stepping into a world that is a lot more fluid than you might think. Wake Forest is a place waiting for you to transform it. So be fearless – take advantage of every new opportunity and value progress, not perfection.