Letter From Alumni

Photograph Courtesy of Rob Varney

Ashley McComeskey

Dear Current Bears,

How are you guys holding up?! I can’t imagine being on campus in a pandemic, but from what I’ve seen and heard thus far, you are all doing an amazing job, so let me start by saying kudos for keeping each other safe and as a community member, thank you for keeping the rest of us safe.

I’m a 2010 graduate. I know, it seems like forever ago (because it was!!)  When I was on campus, the Wegman’s was just being built as I got ready to graduate. Collegeville was essentially our campus, Marzella’s, and The Trappe Tavern.

I probably don’t have a lot of good going out tips for you, but I do have some insight and words of encouragement to offer. Here they are:

1.     You’re here for a reason. Whether you chose Ursinus for the small campus community, the quality of an academic program, or any other reason, you chose it. At some point in your college career, you might question if that was the right decision. It was. Maybe not for the reasons you originally thought, but one day you will look back and realize this was the path you were meant to be on. (This is not to say that if you want or need to transfer that you shouldn’t. You are going to see the benefits of your Ursinus education and connections, whether you complete your education there or not, for years to come).

2.     To follow up: take advantage of the resources. Ursinus has endless resources, and many are underutilized. This can be anything from student activities that are planned to tutoring or spaces like the gym, pool, or lab spaces. Even the library can offer different services if you just dig a little. Career Services is able to offer resume and interview tips and support, even as a freshman.  Ursinus also has amazing research and internship opportunities. These are things that will help to set you up for success later if you incorporate them into your college routine early.

3.     Enjoy campus life, but explore off-campus too. This includes study abroad! The campus is wonderful – it’s safe and fun and you have a routine. But it will be there when you get back. Use this time to travel abroad and experience different cultures, cuisine, and lifestyles. Ursinus is NOT as diverse as we’d like it to be. This is your chance. (And don’t go with your best friends – branch out! Go alone if you can.) That said, you don’t have to travel across the world to get some off-campus experiences. Philadelphia is an easy drive or bus ride away. You can take the train for a day trip. There’s so much to do in the city, even during COVID, and being so close with a relatively flexible schedule offers you the chance to explore. Even close-by places like Phoenixville and Limerick have lots to offer. Do some Googling and get exploring!

4.     Stop procrastinating! Do your assignments early for two reasons. First, it gives you the chance to get help if you need it. Secondly, to take it off your plate (which lessens your stress).

5.     Finally, stay connected. Not only to your closest friends, but to your classmates, your professors, and the administration. You don’t know where your life will take you or what those connections can mean for the future.

Enjoy your time at Ursinus, and reap the benefits that you sow here.


Ashley McComeskey

Class of 2010