Hear from a few of our students about what their letters meant to them:

Description of the video:

[Upbeat music plays.]

[Video: An aerial view of the IU Bloomington campus is shown, with several tall, limestone buildings in view and many walking paths and trees between them. The Sample Gates is also shown, with student walking near them. The IU trident logo appears at the top of the screen and the word connections is in the middle of the screen.]

[Video: A student is sitting in their bedroom, with posters on the wall and a small IU pennant on the wall. The student is wearing a shirt with a new student orientation logo.]

[Words appear: Izzy, senior, environmental management, O’Neill School of Public and Environmental Affairs.]

Izzy: Congratulations on having your student start at Indiana University. We know that you've been learning a lot about IU Bloomington through New Student Orientation, and we want to honor this important next step in your student's educational journey with a special and secret orientation tradition that we like to call Connections.

[Video: Another student is shown, sitting in a room with pictures on the wall behind them. The student is wearing a shirt with a new student orientation logo.]

[Words appear: Maddy, junior, media production, The Media School.]

Maddy: So as a part of Connections, we're inviting you and any member of your family to write a letter to your new Hoosier, but we're asking that you please keep it a secret from your student. The transition to college is definitely quite an adjustment for incoming students and each of them will

navigate those ups and downs in their own way, but rest assured, hearing from a loved one is always a good thing. Connections is your opportunity to connect with your student on a more personal level during their first semester at IU. Your letter can contain whatever you want it to, whether it be words of advice, a shared memory you want them to remember, or even just some jokes. Seriously, it can be anything. After you've submitted your letter, we will keep it safe and deliver it to your student during their first semester at IU.

[Video: Another student is shown, standing outside near a large flowering plant. The student is wearing a shirt with a new student orientation logo.]

[Words appear: Matt, junior, public management and leadership, O’Neill School of Public and Environmental Affairs.]

Matt: For me, personally, after a few weeks at IU, the luster and awe of college started to fade away and I suddenly became very stressed about what I was going to do with next four years of my life and beyond. Exams are starting to pick up, class work was getting really heavy, and I was trying to meet new friends. Then I received the connections letter from both of my parents. In their letters, my parents talked about how proud they were of me that I had made it to IU and that they would

continue to be proud of me no matter what my future held. Receiving these letters really helped to ease my nerves about everything that was going on in the world around me and really helped me feel

confident about my future at IU. To this day, almost two years later, I still have both of their letters easily accessible in my apartment and reread them whenever I need the extra motivation.

[Video: Another student is shown, sitting in a room. The student is wearing a shirt with a new student orientation logo.]

[Words appear: Faith, senior, international studies and informatics, Hamilton Lugar School of Global and International Studies and Luddy School of Informatics, Computing, and Engineering.]

Faith: When I think about my first year at IU, I think about the high moments and the difficult moments, but I also think about the impactful moments, the moments that propelled me forward. During my first year, academically, I was struggling. My social life had become depleted and unhealthy and the job that I was working had become overwhelming to me. I was on the verge of quitting and letting everything fall apart. But fortunately for me, I received a message from my mentor, Miss Anne, and in that message, everything that I needed to hear was in it. She told a tale of courage, and how that this journey was meant for me, and that it is my responsibility to myself to fight for my dreams and make them a reality. That just because I was struggling, it did not mean that I was not going to make it. It just meant that the end result was going to be beautiful and worth the fight. But also, I received the message from my mom, and that message contained, also, so much love and support that I really needed. In her message, something that stuck out to me was that she talked about strength, and how it was something that I've always had and never really acknowledged or recognized that I did have. That's true. It was something that she didn't need to instill in me. It was something that I was born with. She told me that I had the tools and the skills to make it possible, that I might have to work extremely hard for it, or that I might have to take alternate routes, but it was still possible for me. She told me that I was going to need to challenge my mindset and make sure that it did not get the best of me. But at the end, I had what it takes to make anything that I want happen. Those messages that I received from Miss Anne and my mom became the foundation and the roots for the woman that I am today. And now that I am going into my senior year, I can truly say that those words carried me all through the years here, and I believe that they are also part of the reason why that I am going to graduate with my degree. That has been one of the most impactful moments that I've had here at IU, and I honestly can't thank my mom and Miss Anne for getting me where I need to be.

[Video: Izzy is shown again.]

Izzy: To make sure your student receives your letter, we ask that you fill out all you can on the form including their name, birthday, and any other information you can provide. When you're done writing your letter, you will have the opportunity to review it. Once you submit, we will take care of sending your letter to your student a few weeks into the semester.

[Video: Maddy is shown again.]

Maddy: So join us in celebrating your student's next step and remember this letter is a surprise. Thanks for participating in this special tradition that we have and welcome to the Hoosier family.

[Video: The screen goes black. The IU trident logo and the words New Student Orientation First Year Experience Programs appears.]

[Upbeat music gets louder then fades as video ends.]

[End of transcript.]


We’ll deliver your letter to your student during their first semester. To make sure your student receives their letter, please submit your letter by September 30.

Submit your letter