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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