Dear first-year Kincaid,
You are reading this letter having just wrapped up your first-year scramble and first-year orientation. No doubt you are now frantically trying to do your first Encounters reading while wishing you were still sea kayaking in the San Juans with your Scramble. Well, I have good news for you. First, you will finish your encounters reading and you will love it. I’m not saying Encounters will be your favorite class, but you will read a lot of thought-provoking books and have some remarkable discussions. Second, that was not your last Scramble. Over the next 4 years, you will become a scramble leader and will go back to the San Juans many more times. You will discover that you love sea kayaking, you love the Pacific Northwest, and that you could not have picked a better college.
So now you are embarking on a four-year adventure. I know you are nervous about how small Walla Walla is but, trust me, there is plenty to do. You are going to discover $5 movie night at the movie theatre. You’ll try every single sandwich on the menu at Graze and still be unable to pick a favorite. You will also spend hours wandering Walla Walla’s downtown, discovering shops like Hot Poop and Bright’s Candies. Walla Walla will quickly become a second home.
Through the Outdoor Program, you will find yourself exploring the PNW. Whether you’re rafting in Idaho, kayaking the Oregon coast, or exploring the unique little town called Leavenworth, you will get a taste of the PNW. You are also going to love college swimming. During swim season, you’ll spend your weekends competing in Portland and Seattle. You will also spend time training in California and even Hawaii. So, while you are headed to a small school in a small town you are about have more adventures than you can even imagine. Just try to spend just a few weekends on campus. 😉
While there are so many ways to get off campus and you will find so many things to be a part of on campus, don’t forget about your classes. They will be challenging, they will be engaging, and they will be fun. You will come to enjoy discussion based classes, just make sure to do your readings. And please take advantage of being at a liberal arts college! Take some classes you thought you’d never take and have fun with them!
With all that in mind, I have just one piece of advice for you. Enjoy every minute of it! Every year goes by faster than the one before it. Seriously! Take the time to play Frisbee on Ankeny, eat as many Taq burritos as possible, enjoy your meal plan while it lasts, stay up all night with friends, do some homework in the quiet room, and have as much fun as possible. You are going to have an incredible four years at Whitman. You will meet some of your best friends and make some amazing memories. Good luck, Kincaid! You’re going to do great.
Your Future Whittie Self