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Britney DiTocco ’20 Welcomes New Students in Song

When incoming students participate in the next phase of orientation in August, Phase T.W.O. (named for part two and Think Wide Open), they will be treated to an original song welcoming them to Purchase.

Written by recent graduate and SUNY Chancellor’s Award Winner for Student Excellence, Britney Di Tocco ’20, the song welcomes them with a mix of empathy and aspiration. Since orientation would be held remotely this summer, she was asked by Professor of History Lisa Keller to write a song that would reassure incoming students. “Even though they may not see the professors, other students, or staff in person, that the college as a whole will still be there for them when they need help,” says DiTocco.

She agreed to the challenge. “I could really sympathize with incoming freshmen. The transition to college is difficult enough, so I was willing to do anything to help comfort them.”

DiTocco graduated last May with a double major in both History and Studio Composition, but that wasn’t her original plan. She applied late and entered Purchase undecided, fully intending to audition for the Studio Comp program and transfer internally.

Since she couldn’t take the music classes reserved for majors, she took history courses in the meantime. “I decided to take history classes because I was interested in the subject, but never thought about pursuing it in college,” she explains. “I then declared what I thought would be a ‘temporary’ history major, but ended up keeping it and completing both thanks to the encouragement of many professors.”

Working part-time and tackling two majors didn’t leave DiTocco a lot of time to explore internships or other interests. Now with two degrees in hand, she hopes to take some time to discover a career path.

“My plan for after college was to try out different job fields to get a better idea of what I might like to do full time! The pandemic definitely makes this difficult, but saving money by going to a state school helps to give you some extra flexibility after college.”

She may be undecided about her career plans, but she hopes to begin exploring different careers soon.


When I stepped into no man’s land

my knees felt weak on this foreign concrete

It’s in my nature to turn and leave

at the sight of something so unfamiliar to me


But I took a step

towards the unknown,

and anytime I felt alone


I was met with the warm eyes

of so many guiding lights

and I knew for the first time

I was on the path to something bright


Who knew so many brick walls

could cure the distance between us all

it’s nothing short of a miracle

The bonds we’ve made have kept us strong through it all


So if you’re scared

of the unknown

I promise you will find your home


So now’s your time

to really grow

and start a life all of your own