Dear students of the class of 2028,

As college admissions decisions have been released, this board would like to send you a message of congratulations and support. First of all, you did it! You survived the hardest part of high school and are turning the page to a new chapter in the book that is your life. 

While the transition to college is a hard one, we would like to assure you that you will overcome the challenges that are ahead. You are about to embark on a journey of discovery — one where you learn what it means to be you in a new environment, surrounded by a new community. While leaving family, friends and a familiar routine can be hard, we encourage you to take steps outside of your comfort zone. You are entering the perfect time to explore and experiment to find out how you want to spend your life and who you want to spend it with.

We would like to offer some advice regarding friendships. High school friends are often those of convenience, placed in the same class or the neighbors that you grew up with. While these friendships are treasured and often lifelong, college is a place where you have the opportunity to start anew. Even if you are entering college with friends from home, we encourage you to open yourself up to the possibility of forming new connections. This board acknowledges that many of the first friends that you will make when you enter college will be of similar convenience to those in high school, often being those in your orientation group or those who live in your dorm. While these friendships are great and help the transition to college become easier, there is a high possibility that your freshman friend group will not survive to the end of the year. This board would like to assure you that that is totally normal. 

Learning that people will enter and leave your life is necessary. While a hard lesson to learn, it is an important one. College is the time to learn these meaningful lessons and make mistakes. We encourage you to talk to that person in your class that you think is really cool, and to not be scared when outgoing upperclassmen approach you at the club fair. Differing class years and majors should not be a deterrent — talk to anyone and everyone that you cross paths with. Friends will be found in the most mysterious places. College will be a much better experience if you are surrounded by true friends — ones with common interests and strong connections.

This board would also like to speak on college prestige. We would like to emphasize that happiness is way more important than the name of the college in your Instagram bio. While an Ivy League name carries weight, so do things such as grade point average and extracurriculars. When choosing your future school, we encourage you to weigh all factors and think about what is the best fit for you, not what you think you are supposed to choose. A name does not guarantee happiness, and every school has both strengths and weaknesses no matter the ranking. We encourage you to think about your decision holistically and consider all of the options presented to you with an open mind, as you are much more likely to succeed in a place that is a good fit for you. 

We would also like to discuss a frequently considered option for first-year students: transferring. While necessary in some cases, this board would like to advise you to try your best to find your place in the community that you chose. Often, reasons behind transferring relate to factors such as roommates, classes and friend groups — all of which can and will change as you advance throughout your college career. Not only does transferring mean you have to start all over again in a new community, but you may also lose previous progress made at your previous institution, including the community of connections that you have built. When moving forward and establishing a career, your network of connections can be a very valuable resource. However, while it may be difficult to start over, we understand that transferring may be the necessary option for you and encourage you to do what is best for your future. 

As a board, we would like to emphasize that we are really proud of you. Not only are college applications mentally exhausting, but they are a lot of work. We have all been there and we all empathize with how hard the last few months have been for you. We encourage you to take some time for yourself this summer before you begin the next chapter of your life. We can assure you that it is going to be a good one.

With love,

The Justice editorial board