New Blue Devils: let me be the millionth person to congratulate you on your admission to the Duke University Class of 2017. Welcome to the Duke family!
As an early decision applicant to Duke’s Class of 2016, I will never forget the whirlwind leading up to December 14, 2011 – checking (and re-checking) the Duke Undergraduate Admissions Facebook page like it was my job, having to excuse myself from a meeting because I was so excited by the announcement that our admissions decisions would be released a day early, and racing to my computer when a call from a friend informed me that the site had gone live before 6 PM. I don’t think I have ever run so fast.
But above all else, it was the first line of my acceptance letter that left an indelible imprint on my mind. It didn’t read “Congratulations on your admission to Duke University!” nor did it use the classic “Welcome to the Duke University Class of 2016.” Instead, typed across the top of the page was the short and sweet: “Duke University is now your university.”
As a high school senior, I took it as license to finally order my first Duke sweatshirt, but I didn’t realize the full meaning of that first line until I arrived here on campus in August. It was then that I discovered that it is not just the Gothic architecture of West Campus, the offerings in our course catalogue, or even the unique programs like the freshman FOCUS program that define this university. It’s the students – and Duke knows that. Duke not only allows, but also expects and empowers each of its undergraduates to leave their footprints in our community – to make Duke University their university. My post about meeting with two of the university’s deans represents just one of countless examples.
I remember feeling like I was stuck in limbo as I waited to close out my high school career – beginning to identify more as a Dukie than as a Beach High Hi-Tide, but still eight months away from move-in day. As you look forward to graduation day, if you ever begin to feel like I did, remember that Duke is already your university, and get a head start on making your mark. The Duke Class of 2017 Facebook page is a great place to begin! Interact with upperclassmen, explore Duke’s opportunities, and get to know your future classmates.
Your acceptance letter is not only an invitation to raid the Duke store and start rooting for the Blue Devils as basketball season heats up (although you certainly should do those things!), but also an invitation to start shaping the community that you will join for the next four years, and the rest of your life. I can’t wait to see what your Duke will look like!
The views and opinions of the bloggers on this page are their own; they do not necessarily represent the views of the Undergraduate Admissions Office or of Duke University.