A Place That I Love

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Daniel Strellman
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Thumbnail By Daniel Strellman

Hey, Dukies! I'm Daniel, and I’m excited to be able to share some of the hard-learned lessons I’ve gained here at Duke. My hope is that somehow I can help you with the scary, exciting phase you’ll be going through in O-week and beyond. Not that you should get preemptively worried; you absolutely shouldn’t. It’s just that moving to a new place, forming friendships, and discovering how you’ll fit in can be nerve wracking. It’s very exciting, but also anxiety inducing, so if there’s anything I can do to make the transition better, I’m going to try it. But before I get in to handling life at Duke, I’ll share a little about myself.

I was born in southern Oregon, and moved around many (waaay too many) times until my family finally settled in Orcutt at age 10, half a lifetime ago. It was very hard on me to have to move cities and start from scratch every year or so as a kid. I think I was shy by nature, but I can’t imagine having to leave my friends behind so frequently helped that. Remember back, if you can, to a time when you had to enter school without knowing a soul. It’s a very uncomfortable thing, and it’s especially hard to be an outsider. So you can say I’ve had plenty of experience with the “new-to-school” phase.

I was fortunate enough to have the stability of staying in the same place throughout junior high and high school until I came to Duke. It’s incredible to be able to set down roots and cultivate friendships for the long haul. And what I have to tell you is that at Duke, you will do this too. The discomfort and unfamiliarity pass, and soon you’ll become very attached to Duke and your life here. In the first days, it may not seem so easy, but I assure you, with time you will find the parts of Duke that most suit you, and soon, you won’t want to let it go.

So while anxiety may come during O-week, before you know it the real concern will be wanting to take advantage of everything while you can because there are so many great things here for you. I’ll get into the finer details later of what those things are, and how you can get the most from them. But for now, rest easy knowing that Duke will become a place that you love, and that the nervousness of O-week won't compare to the fun that you’ll have during it and beyond.

Looking forward to seeing your lovely faces,

Daniel Strellman

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