Welcome Week

Tiger Stadium stands on Aug. 21, 2021, in the background of the LSU Welcome Week Carnival in Lot 401 on South Stadium Drive on LSU’s campus.

Dear freshman class of 2021,

I know that things have been especially difficult for you guys.

Your final year of high school probably wasn’t what you imagined. You were plagued by social distancing, isolation and a tense political environment. Faces half-covered by masks could no longer be interpreted as friendly or aggressive.

And now, you have to carry all of this baggage with you into your first year of college. 

We are now at a crucial turning point. The slow monotony of the pandemic is slowly fading away, replaced by the hustle and bustle of college life. Hurricane Ida is headed directly towards campus.

Everything seems to be out of control, and we are only one week into the semester. 

Freshmen, week one of the next four years of your life may have been a wild ride, but every week will not be like this. So many better weeks lie ahead, just out of reach.

The week where you meet the friends who will keep you sane through finals, heartbreak and, yes, maybe even hurricane evacuations. The week you discover your future career path. The week where the university becomes more than just a school; it becomes your home.

This giant campus quickly becomes all too familiar. These strange new faces will turn into a family unified by the cry of “Geaux tigers!”

You may not feel at home yet. You may feel overwhelmed but trust me, you will get through this.

The upperclassmen may sometimes vent about their difficulties with parking and long lines in the Student Union. At the end of the day, however, we are always willing to help you and offer the guidance that will get you through this year. 

I could use this space to tell you to use the free services at the Student Government office instead of buying a Scantron sheet or paying for printing. I could tell you about how expensive it is to buy your textbooks brand-new from the Barnes and Noble bookstore.

I could offer you all kinds of practical advice, but you could read these same tips anywhere else. Only you know what is stirring in your heart right now.

You have questions that you want to ask, uncertainties that need to be faced. My biggest tip is to not be afraid to ask those questions.

You are not alone. There are thousands of people who, like you, call the university their home, and not one of them would hesitate to help a fellow Tiger in need.

Anthony Bui is a 21-year-old English senior from Opelousas, Louisiana.

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