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JINWOO CHONG/THE HOYA

Dear Georgetown Class of 2018,

When you find yourself on campus this fall, you will be met by swarms of upperclassmen encouraging you to get involved in various student groups and organizations. You will be met by professors that seek to challenge your academic comfort zone. You will be met by a vibrant social scene. In your first year, Georgetown will undoubtedly be stimulating, nerve wracking, and life changing.

While I am an advocate of getting involved in co-curriculars, challenging yourself academically, and participating in the social scene on campus, I am writing this because I feel compelled to remind you to remember your own needs in the process: find balance and learn to take care of yourself. For many of you, this will be your first time living away from home, which can be both exciting and frightening. Without a doubt, you will become more conscious of your habits, likes, dislikes, values, and passions..

If you are not yet familiar with Georgetown’s core Jesuit values, you will be introduced to them soon. One that has resonated with me particularly is “Cura Personalis,” which is a Latin phrase that translates directly to “Care for the entire person.” This “care” constitutes several aspects, which reference various aspects of your life. At Georgetown, I hope you won’t just learn to pay attention to more than just the intellect of your head. I hope you’ll also:

1. Acknowledge your talents and abilities. Learn to embrace your skills and put them to good use. You will quickly realize that while it is important to be aware of your weaknesses, your time will be better spent capitalizing upon what you are good at and what you enjoy doing. When you focus on your positives, you will grow tremendously and make this campus a better one for future generations.

2. Listen to your body. When your heart and mind are confused, ask your body. It always knows and is surprisingly good at expressing your self’s needs to you. It not only knows when you are tired or hungry; it also knows where you store your emotions. Your body is the home you have to inhabit your whole life so remember to eat healthy, to breathe, and to exercise. Find what makes you tick, whether it’s going for a run, doing yoga, or participating in Georgetown’s various athletic programs.

3. Explore your faith. Your religious affiliation, or lack thereof, may be important to you; it may not be. Either way, Georgetown is the perfect place to challenge or deepen any beliefs you have held your whole life. It is a place open to your thoughts, questions, and explorations about spirituality. Ask the hard questions.

4. Take breaks. You will find that Georgetown is filled with ambitious students that are constantly “on.” It will serve you well to take time for yourself at times to get away from the constant energy on campus. Explore what makes you feel most at ease, whether it’s a walk by the waterfront, venturing out into another neighborhood, or simply reading a book for pleasure. You’ll find yourself to be more productive, effective, and calm when you begin to incorporate breaks into your life.

5. Love and live fully. Treat your peers with respect and love. You are not always going to know people’s backstories; take the time to get to know people on a deep level, beyond just interacting with them at a party on Saturday night. Give your whole heart to your interpersonal relationships and you will receive love in return. Learn to love yourself, hold your integrity to a high standard, and you will flourish.

Yours,

Omika, Captain, class of 2015

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