Wake Forests new, non-binding early action option for first-generation students will take effect this year (Henry Bonilla/Old Gold & Black Archives)
Wake Forest’s new, non-binding early action option for first-generation students will take effect this year (Henry Bonilla/Old Gold & Black Archives)

Letter from the Editor: Welcome to Wake

Dear Class of 2019,

It feels like just a few months ago when I moved into Babcock as a nervous, wide-eyed freshman who didn’t know a single person on this campus. Three years later, as a senior struggling to reconcile the fact that I only have a single year left here, I wish I could go back to where you find yourselves now.

These next few weeks will be a whirlwind; you’re about to be given more freedom than most of you have ever experienced in your lives. From now on, you set your schedule and choose what to eat, how often to study and how late to stay out.

In writing this message, I decided that I would share some advice with you that I wish a senior had given me when I first arrived in Winston-Salem three years ago.

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When you reach the decrepit age of 21 and begin to contemplate post-graduate life like me, you won’t look back on your time at Wake Forest and wish you had spent more time in your room.

So push yourself beyond your comfort zone. Join that organization that sounded fun at the activities fair. Enroll in that class you read about on WIN. Go to that party with your friends.

In short, don’t let a single unique experience slip through your fingers. These are the few short years of your life when you’ll have incredible opportunities to meet new people, broaden your world view, visit interesting places and build relationships that can last a lifetime. Challenge yourself to be outgoing and to try new things. You’ll meet new people, make new and lasting friendships and relationships and be introduced to a new world over the next four years.

Some of the most memorable experiences I have of my college years took place freshman year, like the snowball fight waged between Babcock and Luter on the roofs of the buildings, or the late-night hangouts in the hall lounge that lasted into the early hours of the morning.

Sometimes the most routine events of your first year will leave the biggest impression on you.

There’s no doubt that this is university is like no other. Not only does Wake Forest match academic rigor and prestige with a booming social scene, it also enjoys the benefits of a large university while maintaining the comforts of a small, close-knit liberal arts institution.

I’m sure you heard that on your tour, but believe me when I say that what really makes this place special is the people — the volunteers, athletes, big thinkers and hard workers that cross the quad every day.

You’re surrounded by fun, smart, engaged and determined people. Throughout your time here you’ll bond over tailgates, study sessions, parties, 3 a.m. fire alarm evacuations and much more.

It won’t be hard to find a group of friends who support you, have similar interests and are just a lot of fun to be around. They’ll be there to help you overcome challenges and they’ll definitely be there ready to celebrate with you when you do.

In this issue of the Old Gold & Black, our staff has assembled the full guide you’ll need to navigate the rigors of orientation and freshman year at Wake Forest.

We hope it will be a resource that helps you with the excitement and challenges that come with being a Demon Deacon.

Our staff includes students from all different corners of the campus — Greek, non-Greek, business school students, humanities majors and more  — so this issue should give you a holistic view of the freshman experience.

Congratulations on beginning an incredible journey. This is the time when you get to begin to chart your own course in life and set the stage for what you want to accomplish beyond the gates of this campus.

Soak it all in, take advantage of every opportunity and don’t waste a single day. Welcome to Wake.

All the best,

Austin Cook
Class of 2016

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