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SUNY Oneonta offers letters from alumni for new students

SUNY Oneonta is implementing a new project to help new students make the transition to college life, with letters from alumni.

Posted: Aug. 22, 2018 7:04 PM

ONEONTA, NY-- SUNY Oneonta is implementing a new project to help new students make the transition to college life, with letters from alumni.

"It's crazy it doesn't feel real at all," Hannah Sobel, a freshman from Stony Brook. "I feel like I'm going to bed tomorrow and wake up in my bed at home."

Sobel is one of 1,300 freshmen at the college this year. The college is providing 70 letters written by alumni, to freshmen and transfer students. Students are given letters from the alum who lived in the exact same dorm room. Colin Davis, of Woodbury, is one of those lucky freshman to receive a letter.

"I think it's a great idea," he said. "I know my sister is going to Clemson {University} they didn't do anything like this. I think it's good to see what other people had to say, especially because they went through what you're going through."

Jessica Reynolds, writer and editor of communication and marketing at SUNY Oneonta, said the college wanted to get more people engaged on social media, while supporting students. The college reached out to alumni on Facebook asking them to write letters offering advice and fond memories of living in their particular dorm room.

"The letters will be a good way to welcome students in and let them know that there's such a rich history of friendship," she said. "So many alumni wrote to us and said 'these were the best four years of my life.''

Reynolds, an alum herself, wrote a letter to the students who will live in her old room.

"My piece of advice was to leave your door open, because it's a great way to meet people and bring people into your room," she said.

She added that the college plans to make the alumni letters project a 'moving day' tradition.

"We're hoping to continue to do this and each year get more letters from alumni," she said. "That way more freshman can receive these letters, because it's really an exciting discovery."

Davis said the letter he received is comforting.

"It's pretty cool to see someone who was here before me, in my shoes write me a letter," he said. "The advice that they're going to give to me, I'm going to try and follow it."

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