Dear class of ‘26,
Welcome to Auburn University. Regardless of the factors that culminated in your decision to attend Auburn, there’s a reason you’re here, and the Auburn family is excited to have so many new family members. Your next four years here will be some of your most memorable, and they will give you the tools you need to be successful when you leave this lovely village. I’m very envious of the position each of you are in. I would give a lot to be able to start my Auburn experience all over again as a Freshman. With that said, I’ve learned a great deal since my arrival at Auburn, and I want to give all of you some quick advice about your first year in college. Here are a few tips to help guide you to a great Freshman year.
1. Don’t be too quick to draw conclusions about others. There’s something unique about every Auburn student, and every Auburn student deserves to be treated like a member of the Auburn family.
2. Know that you can call on me or any member in SGA if you have thoughts on how your Auburn experience could be improved. SGA is here for you, and I think you’ll quickly find that all Auburn administrators, professors, and staff are too.
3. Try to branch out and meet as many new people as you can. Some of these students will become your best friends, and they will be with you through the highs and lows of college. They’ll make you better and sharpen you like a knife. So don’t be afraid to make new friendships, whether they begin in the classroom, on the concourse, or in Jordan-Hare on a gameday.
4. Go for a ride along the streets of downtown Auburn. One of the things that makes Auburn special is its hometown feel, and nowhere displays that better than downtown Auburn.
5. Never lowball your estimation of how much time you should study for an exam. Always try to give yourself more time to study than you may actually need. It’s a big step up from high school to college, and more time in the library is never a bad idea.
6. Go to as many athletic events as you can. Regardless of the sport, every game, meet, or match makes for an enjoyable day on the Plains. Besides, you never know when you may get to see the next Michael Jordan in their respective sport.
7. Be a frequent Tigercard swiper at the dining halls on campus. The dining halls offer delicious meals, and they’re also a great place to build community with fellow students.
8. Sit on Samford Lawn when the clock hits noon to hear the bells play Auburn’s fight song. Admiring historic Samford Hall while listening to the beautiful, old-fashioned serenade is one of the most peaceful ways to spend an afternoon.
9. Go to the Auburn Rec center as often as you can. The state-of-the art facility has everything you could dream of. Whether you lift like Popeye, shoot like Lebron, run like Usain Bolt, or just want to go lounge by the pool, the rec has something for every student.
10. Get the most out of your time here. You’re the pilot of your Auburn experience. Make it exactly what you want it to be, and lean on your supporters whenever there’s turbulence on your journey.
Class of ‘26, I hope these tips will be helpful to you as you begin your time here, but at the end of the day, it’s completely up to you how you shape your experience. No two Auburn experiences are the same, but each has its triumphs and trials. Turn to the Auburn Creed if you’re ever struggling with a difficult situation or decision, as it has acted as a guiding principle for Auburn men and women for years. I can’t wait to see how each of you grows over the next year, and I hope your love for Auburn grows as well. Take it all in; you only get to be an Auburn student for so long.
Jake Haston, SGA President ‘23