To the Class of 1917 the CRIMSON gives its heartiest greeting and good wishes for four years of hard and successful work. It has come to Harvard at a notable period of the University's development and should strive to leave its mark on that development. In doing this, each man in the class should understand that he has an equal chance with every other man and has it in his own power to make good. But there are one or two bits of knowledge, gained from experience, that upperclassmen would like to give to the members of the Class of 1917.
In the first place, Freshmen, you are now free lances in a small world where there is nothing but your own ideals and will to bring you up. You have been dumped into a new system of education and must strain every power to stand with self-control the test of freedom. It takes a strong personality to weather the storms which are coming, but, once through unscathed, you have won the battle for success at Harvard. Cling to your ideals, though they seem but straws, and, if they are high ideals, you are safe.
In the second place, you are here to study. That does not mean that you are here to grind; far from it. You are here to study in a way that will train your minds to a discipline which they must acquire before you can make a success of life. You should remember that all your pleasure and success here depend on your standing at the College Office. In about six weeks you will be put to the test of hour examinations. If you pass them satisfactorily, you can go on with whatever activities you may choose; if you fail, you have broken training in every branch of College interests which may attract you. You are then absolutely debarred from competition and have broken a mental training as disgracefully as you could break an athletic training.
In the third place, get out of the beaten paths at College and show yourselves individuals. Keep constantly in mind that, while your studies must be first, they are not all. Go out for something; but in choosing it follow the motto, "Know thyself." If you go out haphazzardlike, just for the sake of going out, you will fall. Choose an interest which is really an interest to you and for which you know that you have the qualifications. Splurging here and there and succeeding nowhere is nearly as bad as not trying at all. In either case you need expect no sympathy from the men who are going to choose their successors from among you.
In the fourth place, do one thing at a time and you will never have to wonder why your studies are suffering. Then your standing at the Office and among the fellows will be good. Taking one thing at a time is, it is true, a prosaic way of doing things, but it is a way that has proved itself right. Your success will depend much upon your earnestness of purpose, which can be secured only from whole-hearted attention to the business in hand.
And lastly, make all the friends you can. Whatever Harvard may have been, it is not now a refuge for snobbery and indifference.