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Aug. 29, 2022

You made it!

In the last week, I had the pleasure of meeting students who have been planning on this moment for years. I met a student from Sweden who had dreamed about Alaska for a decade, and I also heard of a student who decided last Thursday that he wanted to leave Florida and come to UAF to start the next chapter of his life. I met a mom who has spent her whole life here in Fairbanks and wants to try a different path and a student from Utquiagvik who decided that Fairbanks was closer to home than a lower-48 school he’d been attending for a couple of years. Wherever you are coming from, no matter what trajectory you are on, you made it. We begin!

We are all together on this journey. It is like we are on a great ship leaving the dock. The winds ahead are fair and full of promise. Adventures into the great unknown start today and I am so excited for each of you and the much-anticipated experiences that lay ahead. Together with all the other students, faculty, and staff, you will discover new frontiers, and together, you will create them. To this end, you have an important role to play, not only in exploring learning opportunities on your own, but in making connections and contributing to the success of those around you. We are all in this together!

At the start of a big journey like this, you may have some anxiety. This is completely normal. Within a couple of weeks, things will feel much more familiar. You’ve been a student before. You know in your heart what it takes to do your best. Set good patterns and habits here at the start and then stick to them until the end. Put the time in: read your textbooks, do your homework, reach out to others in your classes, and build connections. Engage with others on board our vessel. Ask questions. Remember, the semester is 15 weeks long. Much like any journey, you need to pace yourself.

You got this!

Also, find comfort in the fact that there are literally thousands of faculty and staff here at UAF who are passionate about one thing. We want to see you succeed. Our favorite stories are your success stories. You are not alone. We are here to help.

So, have a great week. Look to the horizon, reach out to those around you and enjoy the adventures ahead!

— Owen Guthrie, vice chancellor for student affairs and enrollment management



UAF is an affirmative action/equal opportunity employer, educational institution and provider and prohibits illegal discrimination against any individual: www.alaska.edu/nondiscrimination/.