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Dear future polar bears

April 13, 2018

This piece represents the opinion of the Bowdoin Orient Editorial Board.

The Offer of the College (a document whose sanctity on campus falls somewhere between the Constitution and this newspaper) offers you these next four years as the best ones of your life. We’ve helpfully annotated it for you, so you can understand what it really says.

To be at home in all lands1 and all ages;2

To count Nature3 a familiar acquaintance,4

And Art5 an intimate friend;6

To gain a standard for the appreciation of others’ work7

And the criticism of your own;8

To carry the keys of the world’s9 library in your pocket,10

And feel its resources11 behind you in whatever task you undertake;

To make hosts12 of friends13

Who are to be leaders14 in all walks of life;15

To lose yourself16 in generous enthusiasms17

And cooperate18 with others for common ends19

This is the offer of the college for the best four20 years of your life.21


  1. Except Baxter Basement. You will never—you ought never—feel at home there.
  2. Like your mom always says—nothing good happens before 3 a.m.
  3. Join the Outing Club. Otherwise, you will only ever see pine trees and overly sociable squirrels. (Watch out—they will steal your muffins.)
  4. Never as good an acquaintance as the Moulton card-swipers, though.
  5. The Art Museum is a great place to do homework. We’re not sure if there’s actually any art in there, though.
  6. Was your Baxter Basement hook-up named “Art”?
  7. Some of your classmates are going to be super smart.
  8. Which will in turn make you feel kind of dumb.
  9. Next to your OneCard, your spare dining hall mints and the crushing burden of all of your work.
  10. If you get your hands on the keys to HL, please, please let us know. Nothing screams “academically serious student body” like a library that doesn’t open until 10:00 am on weekends.
  11. Funded intern$hips, baby.
  12. A host or E host? (Hint: they’re in charge of parties and beverage distribution)
  13. And not only the people on your first-year floor. We promise.
  14. I mean, probably leaders in ResLife eventually. Or a sports captain. Maybe even editor-in-chief of this very paper. Now that’s real power.
  15. From H-L to Thorne (3 minutes); from Moulton to H-L (2 minutes); from Mass Hall to Thorne (eternity).
  16. In the music? In the moment?
  17. Over mozzarella sticks from the Pub, mostly.
  18. *Coöperate
  19. That one day we have a sick darty? Bowdoin-Colby Hockey Game?
  20. Five? Three? Depends.
  21. Bring your A-game to Bowdoin, sure, but please don’t be one of those people who peaks in college.



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