Hi Class of 2016! My name is Krystina Quow and Iâm a rising SENIOR. Not too long ago I was anxious and excited freshmen who couldnât wait to start my Duke experience. Before I came to Duke, I made a college checklist for orientation week:
- Say goodbye to your family
- Meet lots of new friends
- Explore the Duke Campus
- Attend orientation events
- FREE FOOD !
Coming from a small all-girls Catholic high school and conservative family, I was excited for the newfound freedom of college. But what to do with that freedom?
Homework? Eventually. Sleeping?? Always. Parties? Of course!
Like many freshmen, I made it a point to attend social events as well as all orientation events. What I came to realize is that the parties in college are much different from the in the gym events I was used to in high school. I was introduced to the âpregameâ and the red solo cup. Looking back as a senior, I have come to appreciate my experiences with True Blue as I started socializing on campus. True Blue not only taught me valuable information about Duke Life but also the information that all students need to know, but are often afraid to ask. For example, students explore how to drink responsibly and how to solve the mystery of this infamous solo cup when pouring out a drink. Really- who knew those lines meant something???
My little brother, like you, will also be a freshman in college this year. While he is excited to live the young, wild, and free Wiz Khalifa lifestyle, I like to remind him that while it might sound fun to follow in the example of âsometimes we get drunk, sometimes we smoke weed,â alcohol poisoning and being arrested are very real risks if youâre not being safe.
At True Blue, I learned about the alcohol and consent policies on campus, how to tell if a friend has had a little too much to drink, and where to find safe contraceptive methods. Although a rumored âsex/alcohol/drugsâ talk, to me True Blue has taught me so much more. It is a space where students can feel comfortable asking those tough questions and learning in a fun, parent-free environment. At its core itâs about staying true to yourself and remembering the values that you started with. Everyone feels anxious and overwhelmed coming into their first year of college that comes with the responsibility to make your own decisions. But understanding that no one should feel pressured to do anything that they do not agree with is the take home message that I feel every Duke student should hear their freshmen year.
So my advice to the freshmen class of 2016: Remember, college is the opportune time to learn who you are as a person- get excited for what will prove to be the best four years of your life!