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Take some time to write a thoughtful letter. | Pixabay

Dear Hillsdale student,

It’s the beginning of the semester, and I know you’re busy. Hope­fully you’ve settled into a routine and not fallen behind on homework (yet). You probably know where all of your classes are without having to check your phone. You’ve met new people or recon­nected with old friends. If you’re any­thing like me, you’ve just put up the last of your posters and art prints on your wall, and your little room is starting to feel like a place where you belong.

As you settle into life at Hillsdale– which is a won­derful thing– don’t forget where home is or the far off people who matter. Take a break from homework this weekend and send a letter to someone you love.

Remember the thrill of getting brightly colored envelopes in the mail for your birthday? Or a Christmas card from an old family friend? With modern tech­nology, the joy of receiving a thoughtful, hand­written letter is often replaced by the con­ve­nience of sending an email or a text. Most of the time, the con­ve­nience may be worth the sac­rifice. Still, there are plenty of people who would appre­ciate getting a note from you the old-fash­ioned way.

Your parents would love it. Anyone in your family probably would. Espe­cially if you’ve been neg­ligent in calling your mom lately, sit down and write a letter to home. Tell everyone about your classes and what it’s like to be here. Your family misses you, and chances are, you miss them, too. Give them some­thing tan­gible that can help them feel like you’re still close to home.

When you come to college, it can be easy to lose touch with friends from high school. It can also be easy to drift away from friends who have already grad­uated. Sure, with Facebook and Instagram, you probably know what your friends are up to, but liking a post is not nearly the same thing as keeping up a valuable friendship. Send a letter to a friend that goes a little deeper than most “How’s it going?” text mes­sages. You’ll sur­prise her and brighten her day, and your friendship will grow.

I will confess that my moti­vation for letter-writing can be selfish at times. As much as I enjoy writing and prac­ticing my pen­manship, I really like getting letters. There’s no better way of pushing someone to write you a note than writing one first.

Some­times I get really cute letters from my cousins, so you can’t really blame me. The best one I got was from my cousin Micah, who was about 6 at the time, and it simply read, “Dear Chandler, what did you have for breakfast? Love, Micah.” It made me feel both closer to home and homesick all at once.

When you need a break from studying, take your hands off the key­board and pick up a pen. Send a letter to someone who loves you.

Be sure to ask about breakfast.

All the best,
Chandler