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To my high school brother

| Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Dear Miso,

As you are finishing your college application process and polishing the Notre Dame application supplements, I want to give you some advice for the completely new stage of your life you are entering; different not only because you will probably end up hundreds of miles away from our Salvadoran home, especially if you end up here, but because even though I have only completed my first year at Notre Dame, let me tell you how different life has become and how much I have learned by the end of only two semesters.

My first and perhaps one of the most important pieces of advice I will give you is to take advantage of every minute you spend here or wherever you end up going; before you know it, you will be packing to go back home and one fourth of your time here will already have flown by. I don’t mean only to enjoy the parties, movie-watching, game nights or dining hall gatherings, but literally every second. When else do you get to live 24/7 with your friends? Don’t waste your time worrying and over-stressing about workload, sleep, choosing a major, et cetera. When you feel overwhelmed, believe me, the best cure is to stroll by the library, find someone to talk to and laugh with, take a break to hear your friends out or even watch a “Friends” episode or decipher a TED riddle with them. Don’t get me wrong, I do not mean to be careless about assignments and due dates; always include academics in your top priorities, but do not be afraid of taking occasional breaks to simply go and have deep talks with your closest friends or reinforce a friendship by engaging in important conversations with people you don’t usually get to see as often and happen to be around.

Secondly, do not let one bad grade or one negative experience bring you down because this place, for example, has so much more to offer. Know that most people you will meet here are full of values, love, politeness and caring, and that in only one year you will make friends that you will feel like you have had for a lifetime and who understand you more than anyone because of their resemblance to you. Try to befriend people from all types of backgrounds and cultures because there is a lot you can learn from them, especially people at Notre Dame. Likewise, embrace your own background culture and be a proud Salvadoran. However, also be aware that there can always be a few people who might disappoint you as well. However, it is not worth it to detract from such a magical experience because of one poor grade or one person who may wrong you.

Never take for granted the privilege of being where you are and always remember how hard you worked to get there. Therefore, seize every opportunity and resource the University has to offer and spend as much time as possible with the family you will find here, because time flies and sadly you don’t have a lifetime to live with them so every second is a treasure. Do not only enjoy their company, but be a lending hand to anyone you encounter especially those who you spend 24/7 with and never get tired of. Always remember: Love as much as possible, laugh as often as you can, live the college experience to the fullest.

 

Best,

Your Sister

 

The views expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.

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