Welcome. You have no idea what you’re getting in to, but that’s okay. You’re joining a family of current mids, distinguished graduates, astronauts, and admirals. Parents, you’re about to send your kid off to college. I can’t imagine what you’re going through. To make it this far, someone in admissions thought you were pretty special. The joke goes “someone in admissions must have made a mistake”, but it’s not true. Everyone here earned his or her place. Be proud of your accomplishments thus far. Never lose sight of the people who raised you; you will miss them very soon. Put down Reef Points; you don’t need to know it cover to cover (yet). Seriously, go spend time with the people you love, and go for a run every couple of days. Listen to music, play your video games, spend time with your friends. Relax. Plebe Summer seems scary, but the end will be here before you know it. I-day is coming. You will see mids in DTA before I-day. Yes, they know you’re an incoming plebe. No, they’re not going to eat you. Assert your dominance and return their stares- you’ll wish you did later. The ones out in town in uniform were plebes less than two months ago. You’ll also see your future classmates in town and exchange an awkward nod. Before you know it, you will be saying teary good-byes in front of Alumni hall, standing in line, putting on whiteworks, and standing on Red Beach with Reef Points in front of your face. Plebe summer is exactly as hard as you make it. If you want to challenge yourself, it will be difficult. You can skate by if you want, but don’t. The people around you are counting on you. Invest in and care for these people. As you approach the academic year, get to know who people actually are, where they come from, and what makes them tick. There are some awesome, dedicated, motivated individuals here. They were all stars, team captains, community leaders, and class presidents in high school. You will make some of your best friends here. Embrace them. Strive to do your best. Be afraid of being average. Push yourself and find out what you’re really made of. Find what works for you. Don’t get cynical. The freedom you sacrifice is well worth the opportunities the academy has to offer. When life gets hard, take a look at the bigger picture. People often say this is a great place to be from, but not to be. I disagree. If you wanted it easy, you wouldn’t have chosen to go here. Embrace it and be proud of the Navy shirt you’re already wearing every day. You’ll be fine.