By Daniel Strellman
Hey, Dukies! I'm Daniel, and Iâm excited to be able to share some of the hard-learned lessons Iâve gained here at Duke. My hope is that somehow I can help you with the scary, exciting phase youâll be going through in O-week and beyond. Not that you should get preemptively worried; you absolutely shouldnât. Itâs just that moving to a new place, forming friendships, and discovering how youâll fit in can be nerve wracking. Itâs very exciting, but also anxiety inducing, so if thereâs anything I can do to make the transition better, Iâm going to try it. But before I get in to handling life at Duke, Iâll 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 canât 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. Itâs a very uncomfortable thing, and itâs especially hard to be an outsider. So you can say Iâve had plenty of experience with the ânew-to-schoolâ 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. Itâs 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 youâll 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 wonât 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. Iâll 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 youâll have during it and beyond.
Looking forward to seeing your lovely faces,