If you’re reading this, then welcome. You’ve come a long way, metaphorically if you’re from Los Altos or something, and literally if you’re from somewhere exotic, like Vancouver or North Dakota. You’ve already probably received a lot of advice about college from your uncomfortably drunk uncle at a barbecue this summer, and you’re going to receive a lot more, so I’m going to throw mine into the mix as well. Your time here at Stanford will be unlike any other. The opportunities you will have will never come again. Sometimes you will miss an opportunity – it’s bound to happen. You may change completely, once, twice, or seven times before you leave, or you may remain relatively the same. If there is one thing that should mark the beginning of your Stanford career, it is openness.
Open your eyes, and try to really see: you’ll begin to take all the amazing activities and chances around you for granted, but don’t lose sight of just how much there is here for you. Do the little things, like grow a beard and join a new club; and do the big things, like apply to build water purification systems and schools somewhere they’re really needed, like Camden. And open your eyes to the people around you. You are unique and cool, and so are the students in your dorm and your classes. Get to know them. See your professors as people, and treat them as such. Go to office hours, and get to know them. Many are world-famous and they all have something to teach you other than the class material. They can be your greatest allies, and they often want to be.
Open your arms from day one. Don’t just get to know your dormmates, let them know you. Let them in and they will reward you be making the next four years unforgettable. Open your arms to new experiences. An all-organic body-paint party at Synergy might not be your thing, but you won’t know until you go. Stanford is not one homogenous group, it is dozens of weird, kooky subcultures – like A K Psi – that by some miracle are bound together by a shared Stanfordness. This commonality gives you an all-access pass to as many strange (again, looking at A K Psi) experiences as you can handle. Dive into it.
And, lastly class of 2017, open your legs. Don’t be that guy or girl on your floor – the people around you are all brilliant, fun individuals. So bone them. The girl on the third floor of Roble who always plays One Direction while she showers? She solved a previously unsolved math problem in 8th grade. Boink her. The guy who plays Tetris every day in the front row of your lecture? He’s going to be a major politician someday, maybe even president. Ride him into the ground. You’re not too good for any of them, and nobody is too good for you. You’re all just right for each other. Spread the love this year, and spread your legs. Let moans of academic pleasure echo from the halls of Wilbur and Stern. Come exam time, let the night ring out with primal screams. At Full Moon on the Quad, don’t just kiss the tree – go for third base. Get out there, class of 2017, and get it in.