Dear Georgetown Class of 2018,

You’ll hear many times during your college experience that “college is about finding yourself”. While this is true, it is the furthest thing from easy.

I have found that rather than finding myself gradually throughout my first two years at Georgetown, I have had a series of epiphanies.Three in particular have really helped me make my own Georgetown experience and, although these things sometimes need to be learned the hard way, can help new students get the most our of their Georgetown experience.

The first is that you’re not necessarily supposed to do what you think you are supposed to do. This may seem like a serious oxymoron, but let me explain. College is about making your own decisions and doing what is best for you, and I had to learn this the hard way. I was too busy doing what I thought I was supposed to do: join a bunch of clubs, be extremely studious, and explore the coolest D.C. neighborhoods, all while getting close to my new friends and staying close to my old ones. Of course these goals were too lofty and I was constantly stressed because I wasn’t fulfilling any of my expectations. I realized that there is not one Georgetown experience that can be applied to every student. This realization made it more difficult for me because it required more introspective thought, but it also relieved me of the stress to be the perfect “Jane Hoya”.

While I was focusing on trying to have it all, I had my second epiphany that things change, and that is absolutely okay. Becoming immersed in a new culture and area is a life changing experience. Accepting the amazing things that come with this experience is exciting, but it comes with the harsh reality that things of the past need to be let go. Whether this means breaking up with a boyfriend, becoming more financially responsible for yourself, or giving up a beloved sport for new activities, it is important to make room for new experiences all while doing what is best for you.

The hardest part of this process is accepting the fact that change is okay and can be extremely beneficial to you as a person. College is a great opportunity to change the things you don’t like about your past in order to make room for new things.

Again, my third epiphany built on my first and second. I realized that Ferris Bueller was right, life does move pretty fast, and time at Georgetown will move much faster than any time before. You will most likely be very busy, as many Georgetown students are, and it will be difficult to take a moment to catch your breath. Georgetown’s emphasis on reflection in all aspects of life helped me realize that even though time is moving faster than ever before, it is also having a greater impact than ever before.

Most of these realizations did not just reveal themselves to me out of thin air. Talking about your stresses, excitement, and progress in college with family and friends can be the most therapeutic aspect of finding yourself during your time at Georgetown.

From these epiphanies, I have learned that I have to forge my own path, accept the fact that I can’t do everything I may want to, and, most importantly, appreciate every day that I get to spend on the Hilltop because it has been one of the most rewarding and enlightening experiences of my life thus far.


Libbi Ethier
Orientation Advisor, Class of 2016

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