Kaycee Orwig | Visual Editor
Welcome to Pitt! Well, sort of.
If you’d told me that I would start college and move to a town where I knew nobody while a pandemic was going on and there were massive protests against racial injustice, I would have said, as we say in New York, Fuhgeddaboudit.
But this is where we are right now, for better or for worse. And if I was in your place, I would certainly be nervous about starting college right now. How would I be able to make all the lifelong friends in college that everybody always talks about? How would I be able to explore my new home, Pittsburgh? How would I be able to attend classes and learn all sorts of cool stuff?
If I can offer you one piece of advice during this tumultuous time, it would be to, as Dory put it best, just keep swimming. This fall will be a challenging time for all students, not just those starting out in college. I highly recommend you take advantage of any opportunities to get involved on campus that you can — and this is coming from a high-key introvert. Say hi to people on your floor. Years after moving out of Sutherland Hall, some of my closest friends are from my first-year floor. Or if you don’t meet your people in your dorm, try to say hi to people in your classes. Sign up for different clubs and go to general body meetings.
Your people are out there, somewhere, at Pitt, and you just have to find them. This is not to say this is easy — it’s not. The people who I was put with through random room assignments my first year weren’t quite my cup of tea. It turned out that the people I really enjoyed being with were the ones on the other side of the floor. This is a good example of where if something isn’t working, just keep swimming and head to the other side of that floor. If you put your best foot forward and try to reach out and connect with people, I promise things will work out in your favor.
To help introduce you to life at Pitt and get you started on your college journey, we at The Pitt News have compiled this New Student Guide. Our amazing news writers have compiled a “COVID-19 Central” section on page 16, to walk you through all the semester’s key dates and summarize what a Pitt education will look like this fall. Our wonderful columnists have written numerous advice columns, offering their hard-won wisdom about different ways to approach your time here at Pitt and resources you may find useful. The culture desk has some suggestions on local restaurants they enjoy and some plant tips. And our sports writers have all the information you need on Pitt Athletics so you’ll be fully stocked on your Panther trivia.
Beyond this 52-page special edition, we hope you will stay tuned to TPN through the summer and this tumultuous time for the latest news about Pitt and the Oakland community. We have teams of student journalists focused on covering nearly every aspect of campus and how it is changing during the pandemic and this time of social upheaval. The best way to keep in touch is to subscribe to our email newsletter at pittnews.com/newsletter — you’ll know about the news as soon as we do, which is even sometimes how administrators hear of it. You can also follow us on Twitter or Instagram at @ThePittNews and like us on Facebook.
As readers and new members of the Pitt community, we want to hear from you, too. Feel free to reach out with story ideas, things you think we should be covering, responses to articles or any questions about our 110-year-old newspaper. Nothing is too big or too small.
If you are interested in helping to tell the story of the Pitt community, we would be honored to have you join our staff. We are always looking for our next team of editors, reporters, photographers, videographers and copy editors to work at our award-winning newspaper. No prior experience is necessary to join — I joined my first year barely knowing how to format a quote properly, and now the chancellor knows me by name. If I can do it, so can you — if you’re interested in joining our team, you can apply at pittnews.com/application.
I hope you are able to enjoy the rest of your summer as best you can, and we’ll catch you around Oakland sometime soon. Remember to keep in touch with us for updates as August gets closer.
All my best,