First Quarter at SCU

It’s my first time doing this so I am sorry if it isn’t great. I’m Jocelyn, a freshman at Santa Clara University and alumni from Richmond High School. First of all, when I was a senior, SCU was not one of my choices just because it was a Jesuit University. I had never heard of it until my counselor encouraged me to visit the school. After going for Open House, I fell in love with the green palm tree-filled campus, the nice people, and just about everything.

I am interested in the engineering field, and SCU was known for its great School of Engineering. I applied Early Action and knew I had been accepted before most of my classmates did. I was excited to start classes although I knew it was going to be a lot of work.

I started later than most since we are in quarter system. Surprisingly, I can’t remember much about my first day of classes. I wasn’t very nervous although I did not know anyone. All of my professors were very nice and everyone else seemed like they didn’t know many people either. There was one class in specific where I did find a couple of friends I had met at orientation, which immediately made me feel a little more comfortable. The fact that all of my classes were in actual classrooms and not auditoriums made it seem more like high school. I had homework the first day and assignments due in a couple of days already.

Midterms scared me at first. Many made it seem like a HUGE deal, while others were laid back about it. I studied, but did not study the material that was actually in the midterm for 2 of my classes. I really struggled with Chemistry and Math. I knew I should have gotten a private tutor but I thought I would be able to do fine without one. At the end, I did pass all of my classes, but could have done so much better if I had requested a tutor from the start.

Finals scared me even more. Back in high school, our finals were not very intense and most of us did not take them very seriously. From what my friends have told me, their finals were pretty intense and already had experience with them before getting to college. But I guess finals shouldn’t be a threat if you know the material. I spent a great amount of time studying without forgetting to sleep enough.

Dead week was for sure the most stressful. The mood around campus was just dead; second floor Sobrato (the building I live in) was not its regular filled with laughter and yelling. The best advice would be to not let stress get to you. It is hard, I had a couple of breakdowns, but there’s always a way.

The building I live in is probably one of the best dorms Santa Clara University has. I live in a suite-style building, where each suite has four singles and one double. Sophomores live in singles and the two freshmen share the double. We have two bathrooms (we don’t have to share a bathroom with a bunch of strangers :) and a common area with two couches, cabinets, a sink, and some furniture for a tv. It is a little more expensive than other buildings but it is worth it. I am the only Latina in my suite. At first, I wasn’t very thrilled about this since I am more comfortable with other Latinos. But I learned that this was all part of the college experience. Now, I got a couple of very close friends, a bunch of new friends and I still have my boyfriend with me. I do not go out much since I am not very big on parties, but the couple of times I have gone out with have been pretty fun. It is always entertaining seeing people do crazy things in the middle of the night. Although it is a religious school, people here still party. I’ve only been here for a quarter, but I have seen more crazy things in these 10 weeks than in my entire life. Overall, I love college. I loved the experience so much I did not want to come back home for the holidays! But thank god I am back 🙂

– Jocelyn, SCU ’14