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An Open Letter to the class of 2025

Welcome back Black Bears! 

On Aug. 27, the University of Maine welcomed the class of 2025 to its campus with a “hearty Maine hello.” An incredible effort has been made by the entire student body and staff to ensure a safe return to campus. UMaine’s new requirement mandating that all students receive the COVID-19 vaccine has served as an important milestone in allowing a safe return to campus, and the indoor mask mandates implemented until Sept. 30 provide additional safety in the transition to in-person classes. 

While these measures account for the physical safety of everyone on campus, it’s also important to consistently acknowledge the mental and emotional challenges faced by students. If you’re apprehensive about this semester, you’re not alone. The Maine Campus wants to share resources and advice to help you succeed academically, socially and mentally here at UMaine.  

Students and teachers are returning to life in-person. This transition may prove challenging for the incoming class, who experienced their last year and a half of education remotely. Taking care of both your mental and physical health is critical throughout college, but is easily neglected in the world of academia. The university understands the hardships faced by incoming students and offers resources and accommodations to alleviate this transition. 

UMaine has recently announced that they are offering the Pass/Fail option for classes again to alleviate stress for students. If students are interested in this option, they should discuss the process with their academic advisor. 

Build relationships with your professors by attending their office hours, and get contact information from your peers to form study groups and stay on top of assignments. They may come in handy the night before an assignment is due. Tutoring is another amazing opportunity to stay ahead in classes and is available through the university’s College Success Program. 

A great place to study at is the Fogler Library. It’s open Monday through Thursday from 7:30 a.m. to midnight, Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 10 p.m., Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. to midnight. 

Studying is important, but make sure you’re also prioritizing sleep and eating regularly. Wells, York and Hilltop dining halls are great places to eat. If you’re feeling more adventurous, grab a coffee or some stir-fry at the Bears Den in the Union. 

The Counseling Center, located on campus, is a helpful free resource for students. They offer appointments via Zoom or phone, as well as in person. You can schedule an appointment through their office at (207) 581-1392. 

There are over 100 student-run clubs and organizations on campus. Visit the “Student Organizations List of Active Clubs’‘ on UMaine’s website to explore groups that may interest you. There you’ll find contact information, so don’t hesitate to email club leaders for more information.

It’s important to remember that everyone on campus was in your shoes at one point. Don’t compare your first semester to someone else’s last. Everyone had to struggle to find their place and learn how to succeed, so don’t be too hard on yourselves. 

Lastly, the members of the Maine Campus editorial board have put together some of our own words of advice for you. We hope you carry these with you as you immerse yourself in this exciting, new environment. 

“Nobody is gonna come talk to you, so you have to go talk to them. Even if you have to slip a note under their door. Which I have done!”

“Just put yourself out there. Even though it’s scary. Get out of your comfort zone.”

“Do your research. Go online and see what clubs there are.”

“The biggest thing that I’ve had to learn is to be patient with other people, but also to be patient with yourself.”

“Try and do something fun to do once a week, once a month, however often you want. Finding something fun on campus, and at your comfort level, gives you much-needed stress relief.”

“My first year here, in the beginning, I was homesick. I didn’t have any friends for a while. One day I decided I’d leave my door open. I’d wait for someone to walk by. Someone walked by talking about video games. Now they’re my best friends.”

“Build relationships with your professors.”

Dear class of 2025, we want you to succeed. The Maine Campus staff, your professors, upperclassmen and everyone in between are rooting for you. We know you’ve been through a lot, and we’re here to help. There’s a unique bond that comes with being the first class to return in person after the pandemic, and we all appreciate the special value you bring to this university. We have just as much to learn from you as you do from us, so please say hello!

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