A Letter to Freshman Me

Dear Maria,  

It is your first day at Gannon University and I know you couldn’t be more excited or terrified to be here. However, I want you to know that you have nothing to be afraid of. You will learn to no longer be intimidated by popularity, or afraid to speak up in fear of someone looking at you for too long. You’ll build friendships stronger than you can imagine, meet people who inspire you every day, and you’ll become a leader. (Yes, I said leader.)  

You’ll spend time worrying throughout your first year, hoping you get a position as a Resident Assistant (RA) for the next year. Stop that. You get the job. You’ll be hired in Harborview, and create bonds with your fellow RAs. They will encourage and support you in ways you didn’t know you needed. Your door decorations and bulletin boards will take forever to design, but they will be awesome.  

In Fall 2015, you’ll go through sorority recruitment. On November 7, 2015 you’ll become an official sister of Phi Sigma Sigma. You’ll be welcomed and accepted with open arms, and develop a confidence you never thought you’d be capable of. Throughout your time in the sorority, you’ll grow drastically. Your sisters will support you in times of hardship (and there will be plenty) and celebrate your accomplishments. Your Greek letters will become a part of you, and you will carry them with you for the rest of your life.  

Your involvement with Phi Sigma Sigma opens dozens of doors for you, allowing you to build a bond with your greatest mentor and eventually become President of the Panhellenic Council. During your presidency, the Greek Life advisor Anthony DiPasqua will become one of your strongest role models and supporters. He will encourage you to follow your heart when you change your major (twice). He will push you to face challenges and always do the right thing. His influence on you will teach you how to be a good leader, to always recognize your accomplishments for what they are and to be proud of yourself.  

Maria Hays at Commencement

In four years, you’ll no longer be studying for your Occupational Therapy degree, you will be studying professional writing as an English major. You’ll look back on your Gannon experience and be grateful for your impulsive decision of accepting your admittance before visiting campus. Like your sorority letters, Gannon will become a part of you that you will carry with your forever.  



Gannon University
109 University Square
Erie, Pa 16541
(814) 871-7000

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To submit a class note, please contact:
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