Dear Class of 2019,

 Welcome to Bowdoin! We would like to tell you something we wish someone had told us. 
Three years ago, as freshly matriculated Polar Bears, we cried when our parents left, salivated over our first Thorne dinner, crushed on our Pre-O leaders, crushed our first beers. Juniors and seniors asked us to dance at our first campus wide. This was cool, we thought. So we dated them.

 If you date an upperclassman, he might sneak you into the WBOR basement and let you play Beyoncé at midnight or she could take you on a beautiful run in the Commons when the first leaves are turning red. These things will make you feel like Bowdoin has room for you. But Bowdoin has room for you no matter what. 

Rest assured, you don’t need a guide. Everyone finds his or her own Bowdoin. You might find you study best at the big table in Mass Hall or that Mac is better than Quinby or that you have passion for gender and women’s studies when you thought you wanted to do chemistry. You will find friends.

 When the Beyoncé song cycled out of the top 40 and the leaves crinkled and fell, we realized that we hadn’t had brunch with our friends since the toga party in September. That there was another great run in Topsham that we’d never tried. That we’d never been in Appleton or West because we spent so much time in Brunswick Apartments. We realized that we always missed the Indian food station in Moulton because they said Thorne was better. That we’d missed all kinds of things. 

It hit us that we would have liked to join the hip-hop dance group but they thought that group was weird. We’d been so worried about what the junior girls thought of us that we hardly knew anyone in our first year seminar. We couldn’t do the econ problem set without their help. We realized that maybe we should have found our own Bowdoin before we found theirs.

Both of our first year relationships ended with the school year and we began sophomore year feeling a few steps behind. We caught up, but it wasn’t always pretty. Our romances as seasoned Bowdoin students have been more fulfilling and equal. There’s a time for dating in college, and we feel that the first year isn’t it.

 Welcome to the place that has become our home. The Indian food station in Moulton is delicious, the hip-hop show in the fall is amazing, and the quantitative tutors can help you with your econ problem set. But don’t take our word for it, or anyone else’s. Go find your own Bowdoin.

Much love,
Katherine and Julia