Letter to My Younger Self

Published by Samara Nassor ’22
As the spring semester winds to an end, seniors—and two graduates five years out—reflect on the wisdom and insights they've gained since they started at Bowdoin.

Sophomore Samara Nassor ’22 asked the older students to videotape themselves sharing this knowledge with their first-year selves—back when they were just on the cusp of college. 

A few photos shared by the seniors and recent graduates.

  • Anne Mckee with her music groups
  • Isabella Vakkur at a curling tournament
  • Octavio Orozco Ibarra
  • Isabella Vakkur with the cast of RISE
  • Mamadou Diaw with a friend
  • Mohamed Oday with friends
  • Lucia Gagliardone ’20 dancing

“Meet new strangers.”

“Because they won’t be strangers for very long.”

—Victor Dankens ’20


“What I wished you'd known is that there would be ups and downs, and —more importantly—that that is okay.”

—Isabella Vakkur ’20


“Dear Lucia... you will soar across the stage at Pickard Theater and find your artistic voice, which you will use to tell stories about your life and the lives of others.”

—Lucia Gagliardone ’20


“Just like the orientation trip, you persevered. You used your resources properly, and you had many highlights as well where you met a lot of great people… And it ended up being the greatest four years of your life.”

—Mohamed Oday ’20


  • Mamadou Diaw whitewater rafting
  • Lucia with friends
  • Anne McKee with the orchestra
  • Mohamed Oday with friends
  • Clare McClaughlin with the outing club
  • Mamadou Diaw on the dance floor
  • A pre-O trip

“Even though you are made to explore the world, never forget to keep in touch with Bowdoin and all the wonderful people you met there. Because at the end of the day, Bowdoin is home.”

—Samantha Caras ’15


“To Clare, entering so enthusiastically to Bowdoin life in Coleman... Enjoy Maine in all its beauty, ask good questions, and humble yourself with challenges.”

—Clare McLaughlin ’15


“Hi Octavio... Life is just moving so fast around you that you don’t realize all of the good moments you’re experiencing.”

“So take a second to slow down.”

—Octavio Orozco Ibarra ’20


“Go outside a lot. Make memories with friends outside, and those friends will still be by your side many, many, many years later.”

—Clare McLaughlin ’15

“Uriel... I think that a kind of uncertainty at the beginning allowed you to be much more vulnerable. And that's how you made the friends you have now and that will be there for the rest of your life.”

—Uriel Lopez-Serrano ’20 


“Dear younger self... Remember to take in all the little things about Bowdoin, whether it’s an icy walk across the quad or an orchestra rehearsal on a Sunday morning, or even just a long dinner with a friend.”

—Anne McKee ’20


“Speaking to my younger self: keep doing what you’re doing. Take a deep breath, slow down, and have a great time at Bowdoin.”

—Mamadou Diaw ’20


  • Clare McLaughlin with friends
  • Isabella Vakkur at a lobster bake
  • Lucia dancing
  • Mamadou Diaw at the outing club cabin
  • Octavio fixing a bicycle
  • Anne McKee playing outside
  • Uriel Lopez-Serrano ’20