Dear Class of 2024,
Welcome to Wake Forest! As you are days away from moving in, I know that you are feeling all of the emotions: excitement, nervousness, happiness, fear and the overwhelming desire to move out of your childhood bedroom. Although a lot is different, I can say with confidence that I felt the same way moving into Angelou my freshman year. The uncertainty you are feeling right now is innate to the freshman experience, so try to embrace it.
As we worked to plan this special edition of the paper, I realized that we were somewhat limited in the advice we can give you as you begin your college career. In fact, you and I have much more in common than normal: we will both be experiencing this new version of Wake Forest at the same time. So, I can’t really tell you how to navigate the ins and outs of online learning. With social distancing guidelines, we don’t know exactly how the social scene will manifest. And we sadly decided to cut our Pit hacks article from this issue, because we have no clue what the pit will look like this fall (when things go back to normal, check out our website for the lowdown on making your own breakfast burritos and grain bowls).
That said, these limits and the uncertainty of the situation make our Freshman Tabloid that much more important. We crafted these 20 pages to give you everything you need to know about how to tackle the Wake Forest experience we know, addressing the new normal as much as we can. There is an entire page dedicated to outdoor activities in the Winston-Salem area, how to make friends while social distancing and how to turn your “dingle” (double turned single) into a home. However, there’s a lot of sage advice that hasn’t changed — don’t be scared to befriend your professors, explore your options and get involved on campus, make sure you are primed on Wake Forest jargon and so much more.
Further, knowing that making connections with upperclassmen will be harder this semester, we did some of the heavy lifting for you. After surveying the Wake Forest community, we have dedicated two pages to advice from your peers: the Faces of the Forest. These short snippets of wisdom come from across grade levels, and will hopefully assuage some nerves and answer some pressing existential questions about navigating college. Although I’ll be the first to tell you that a Zoom cocktail hour is nothing like pregaming with new friends, I can also say with confidence that the Wake Forest community is welcoming you with virtually open arms.
You will be challenged in such unique ways this semester, and you are being asked to sacrifice a lot for the Wake Forest campus to be able to function. My last piece of advice to you is to remember the feelings of this school year, because at some point things will go back to normal and you will be introduced to the real Wake Forest. You should hold onto those feelings, because it’ll make you appreciate the Wake Forest experience that much more. It will also remind you of how lucky you are, how lucky we all are, that one of our biggest stresses during a global pandemic was about losing out on a year of the “college experience.” As you embrace the spirit of Pro Humanitate, let this reality inform your perspective on the world and push you to rethink your own predispositions.
Class of 2021