Dear incoming student,
I don’t know about you, but the last several weeks have been a blur of days that feel largely the same: seeing friends’ faces through FaceTime and Zoom calls, lying in bed feeling exhausted and unmotivated, frustrated about all the much-anticipated events — and, frankly, normalcy — that’s been taken away. Perhaps your family is trying to stay afloat financially. Perhaps college looks bleak. Perhaps you feel alone.
Whatever your story is, your struggle is unique and valid; but even though you may feel like it right now, you’re not alone. All the people reading this are right here with you, rooting for you — friends you haven’t met yet. With so much out of our control, the next step comes with focusing on what we can control. We can choose to exercise acts of kindness, no matter how small: helping clean the kitchen, writing a letter or saying an encouraging word to someone who’s hurting. We can choose to practice self-care and be compassionate and forgiving to others. We can choose to treat those around us with love.
This next semester — maybe even the next few semesters — may well be a different kind of normal. Adapting to these changes and making the best of the situation starts with you, the individual — and you’re more than up to the task.
College is a lot like the outdoors: vast, beautiful and sometimes difficult to navigate. So, in the spirit of quarantine and sheltering indoors, we at The Mercury wanted to bring the outdoors to you with this 2020 Orientation Issue, to help you find your way through a bit of that uncertainty. Below, you’ll find tips about time management and notetaking; a map to navigate campus; activities, both online and in-person, on-campus and off; ways to meet people virtually; a guide to incoming students — and much more.
We at The Mercury hope it helps you as you start your journey, and meanwhile we’ll keep bringing you the best on-campus news coverage we can. We are here for any questions you might have — seriously: if you, the person on the other side of this screen, are struggling or could use someone to talk to, shoot me an email. I’m more than happy to connect you with the many resources and professionals on campus who are here to talk and support your needs. Don’t be afraid to reach out.
Whoever you are, wherever you’re from and whatever your story is, I’m truly excited that your next chapter is with us at UTD. Experiment with new hobbies and interests. Get out of your comfort zone. Make those lifelong friends you haven’t met yet. You’re going to crest this mountain with flying colors — pandemic or otherwise.
Your adventure awaits, and we’re right alongside you. See you out there.
All the best,
Madison York, Editor-in-Chief