Ridiculously Sweet

Author name
Steve Mazzari '17

What's up, everyone.  I'm Steve Mazzari out of Montclair, New Jersey, and I'm heading into my sophomore year here at this ridiculously sweet place called Duke University.  Before I talk about more Duke stuff, I guess I should share a few things about my background. I've lived in Montclair my whole life and spent ten years (pre-K through 8th) at the ultra tiny elementary school Lacordaire Academy where my mom taught and is now principal.  Despite being a Jersey suburbs dude through and through, I actually went to a Catholic high school named Regis in Manhattan where I ran track and cross-country. Now I'm here in the Pratt school studying Electrical and Computer Engineering.  That's basically my whole life in, like, six sentences.

Enough about my uneventful existence, I wanna talk about you. You guys have to be pretty freaking nervous right now.  Honestly, I'd be worried about your state of being if you weren't.  When I was in your spot, I wasn't worried about leaving home or even living on my own, although that stuff is pretty scary.  It's that horrible feeling of, "Will I be happy here?  Will these people like me?  Will I like these people?  Can I do well in school and still enjoy my hobbies and have a social life?" which all kind of culminate in the "Did I make the right choice?"  All legitimate questions for sure, but let me ease some of your worry.  Duke is easily diverse enough to let you meet literally any group of people (and I don't mean ethnicity or nationality) and more than exciting enough to provide you with the exact opportunity you want, even if you don't know what you want yet.  I know these are pretty huge claims here.  I also know other colleges say the same thing, and honestly, a lot of them are right too.  That said, I can stand by Duke and my comments when I say this is truly a special place where, if you put in the effort, you will find your place and love every minute of it (like me).

Now onto O-week.  Since it was only about 11 months ago, I remember my first days as a freshman very well.  It was hot and humid and I sweat nearly the whole week but it's a crazy fun time.  You basically get a list of about a hundred things to do and you try to go to as many as you can while meeting as many people as one possibly can.  I know this is really daunting since you all just formed your friends for life in high school. And, gosh dangit, why do I have to talk to complete strangers now?  I should just sit in my room and watch Netflix for 6,700 hours and close out the year bla bla bla, but WAIT.  I need you to trust me one more time when I say it's all good because everyone is in the same boat. Everyone wants to make friends too, so the process is smoother and quicker.

As for True Blue, this is one of the main events during orientation week that will really help give you an idea about college life and ease you into the year.  It's pretty funny and a little weird too, so I won't give too much of it away, but you got to see it my future homies.  I can't wait to be friends with all you peeps, and welcome to Duke!!!