Those of you new to the Hilltop have come to a place that is much more than a school; Georgetown is a community, and, for many of us, it’s a home.

You will soon see that while you may now be independent, you are not yet completely self-sufficient. You will be going through a lot in the next four years, and you’re not expected to (nor encouraged to) undertake it alone. Your friends become so much more than just a buddy or a wingman; they will take on the roles of sages, caretakers, confidants and protectors. This may sound overly dramatic, but you’ll soon see how essential it is to have your fellow Hoyas in times of need. Whether someone’s bringing you chicken noodle soup when you’re sick, helping you carry your 15th box to summer storage or helping you through an ugly breakup, your friends will have a more shaping influence than most of the classes you take.

One of the best pieces of social advice that we can give you is this: Keep in mind that this type of friend can be found outside your floor.

The strongest and most rewarding of friendships can be formed in clubs, intramurals or just waiting in line at Uncommon Grounds. The key is to always be open to meeting new people even in settings where you’re not the most comfortable. Best of all you may stumble across a new passion that will shape your years here.

Leave behind your preconceived notions of the type of person you are friends with. Georgetown is made up of a vibrant, diverse student body from which you can learn a lot, that is, if you’re accepting of people’s differences and you take the time to listen. You may be a self-proclaimed tree-hugging hippy but that doesn’t you can’t form a friendship with the NRA card totting conservative in your Spanish class. Likewise, don’t be intimidated by upper-classman, they can be the most valuable of friends to turn to for guidance.

And in your four years here, we hope that you step outside your comfort zone.

Doing this is not always going to be easy, but often those times when you expand your horizons are the most worthwhile experiences. You’ll not only find out new things about other people, but you’ll also learn about yourself. The people who do things they never saw themselves doing get the most out of Georgetown. The down-home Texan boy that dances in Rangila. The girly-girl who joins intramural kickball.

These are the Hoyas who meet the most interesting people, grow the most as individuals and get the most from their years at Georgetown.

Remember there is no need to go at it alone: don’t be afraid to ask others for help even in these first few days. We were all there once. You’ll come to see that your fellow students are what truly make Georgetown great.

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