Dear Brett of 4/27/2015,

Hi there!  It’s me/you.

So, tomorrow is the big day – you are moving to Atlanta!  Orientation starts next week and I know you’ll do great!  It might be hard and a little sad taking on all this change at once.  Yes, you are leaving a job and co-workers you love, being close by to family and friends, and your big (and incredibly affordable) apartment in a little city that’s had your heart since you first started undergrad.  Now before I make you cry in front of the audience of Uhaul boxes surrounding your bedroom, I want to tell you how great it is going to be and how proud I am of you.  I won’t give too many spoiler alerts, but here are a few flash forward moments you can look forward to when you start to feel scared or nervous.

You are going to learn a lot and have fun!  You’ll soon realize you’ve picked your strengths and the right career direction when you do well in your marketing and strategy classes.  The others won’t be so bad and you may even surprise your anti-economics self when Core Econ becomes one of your favorite classes and you sign up for another economics elective in the Spring.  You’ll put a little bit of financial knowledge in your back pocket and learn some cool, new statistical modeling techniques.  You’ll get goosebumps in a few class sessions listening to professors and guest speakers share their experiences and real world business problems.  You’ll find yourself incredibly driven, motivated, and peppy sans-caffeine because you are working on an assignment you love (and you will get a good grade on).  Sure, you’ll get stressed some, have a few days that require every ounce of energy to pay attention, and fall behind on some class readings, but you’re going to get a lot out of it.  Try to keep that in mind for the days when all you want to do is stay in bed and skip your Tuesday 8:30 AM class.  You’ll be glad you went (and there will be free bagels in the Commons).

NoteWhile business school might not be filled with dorm life, sorority functions, and football tailgates like undergrad, you’ll certainly find that your social and school calendars will balance, and maybe even overlap sometimes.  You’ll love your new city and school, both of which will very quickly start to feel like home.  You’ll make bucket lists of restaurants, neighborhoods, and quintessential Atlanta and Emory experiences.  You are going to love exploring the Beltline, visiting World of Coca-Cola, and learning more about sports as you cheer on the Braves and the Hawks.  You’ll find some new favorite restaurants making you crave Antico Pizza, Mediterranean Grill, and Dragon Bowl on a weekly basis.  You’ll go to the other side of the world for three weeks and explore cultures, sights, and tastes you never imagined.  You are going to be pretty busy and have a lot to look forward to experiencing with your new classmates.

On the topic of classmates, you are about to meet 61 super cool people.  They’ll play cornhole with you at KEGS and commiserate with you after your Accounting exam. Some of them will give you pep talks, and then high fives when you finally understand a difficult concept in class.  Many will come to your birthday party, have nice things to say to you and about you, and go out of their way to help you.  Some will try your nerves and make you frustrated, but most of all make you a better person and a more dynamic team player.  Others will give you hugs in the hallway when you are having a crummy day and bring you breakfast the morning after a crummy night.  You’ll get 150+ new LinkedIn connections and Facebook friends.  And don’t worry, you’ll have someone to drink wine and watch the Bachelor/Bachelorette with.  Better yet, you’ll find a few new friends who will quickly rise to the best friend tier.  (And your old friends will still come from Winston Salem, D.C., and Los Angeles to visit you and be by your side!)

You’ve done well for yourself in the past year.  You were brave, you pushed yourself to be outgoing, and soaked up every opportunity possible.  I knew you could do it and I am so proud of you.  Graduation is next week and you will be surrounded once again by people who love you and are proud of you (even some new faces will be in the category)!

So don’t let your fears get the best of you.  My words can’t fully describe the incredible journey you are about to undertake.  It will all be worth it.  Now get some sleep before your long drive in the morning.  You’ll certainly need it for the weeks ahead!


Brett of 4/27/2016

P.S. – Don’t forget to put a Band-Aid in your bag for the first day – your outfit choice is on point (and even complimented), but your shoes will start to hurt a little after the long day.