What Would You Tell Your Freshman Year Self?

College is a stepping stone into a whole new world. For the students who leave home and go as far as leaving their home state , it’s a transition into adulthood that can be a scary time but one of the most memorable times in one’s life. I was fortunate enough to have the resources to leave my hometown, Burlingame, CA, and venture to a university in Chico, CA.

I wanted to get the entire college experience and wanted to live on campus in order to meet new people and take advantage of the fact that I wouldn’t need to learn how to cook just yet.

That first year I was the typical lost freshman, not knowing where to go or what to do. Luckily, California State University, Chico, is such a welcoming and friendly environment and I felt nothing but warmth and safety my first year here back in 2012.

Although I can say that my freshman year was one, if not, the best time of my life, there are definitely something I wish I could go back and tell myself to have a smoother transition.

Here are a list of some things I wish I could tell our freshman year self.

1. Get Involved. Join a club and/or play a sport. Getting more involved around campus activities would’ve given me a more opportunity to meet more people and not watch countless episodes of Netflix all day. Clubs are also great resume builders and my passion for cheerleading in middle school and high school would’ve been great to carry on throughout college. Sororities and Fraternities are also great ways to be able to network as you get older and can form friendships and bonds with a large group of people.

2. Be good to your body. Yes the freshman 15 is indeed real, only if you let it. The endless amount of freedom one finally has, tends to bring bad habits into one’s daily lives. The options at the dining hall aren’t all healthy therefore many students will always choose the tender juicy burger over a simple salad any day. This is not only harmful to one’s body but will cause weight gain which in the long run may cause depression and other health problems. Tuition also pays for a gym membership so taking advantage of that will also assist a healthy lifestyle.

3. Play hard, Study harder. Chico is known for being a notorious party school, so getting caught up in that party lifestyle is extremely easy. Letting grades slip can be just as easy and knowing how to at least balance that out, or getting your school work done ahead of time is an important skill to develop.

4. Stress A lot of times the pressure of keeping your grades up and staying on track with a lot of school work may cause stress. So, knowing what’s worth stressing out over and what isn’t is necessary in order to maintain a good mindset. A lot of people in our society associate stress in a negative way but there is such a thing as good stress. Stress keeps you motivated and on the right path. It’s important to remember that GPA does not define you and to just do your best.

5. Exploring different academic options. Be open to taking general education classes that are outside of your degree or interest. Although it may be tempting to take that class everyone says is an “easy A,” exploring other options may increase the chances of expanding your knowledge on topics you wouldn’t have been interested in before.

College is all about finding yourself. And if you aren’t open to going outside of your comfort zone, then you’re never going to grow.

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