New School, Same Me

I am the type of person to overthink everything, but I still decided to go to a college that I had never stepped foot in and that is hours away from home. The first time I finally saw my college was during orientation. The atmosphere was different, yet a bit refreshing.

“Wow, it’s so hot here,” was my first thought that came to mind when I visited my school. As I looked around, I saw people getting together with their old high school cliques. My biggest fear at that moment was being able to make friends. The thought that I would be completely alone was making me regret my decision.

I was also nervous about being able to handle a new environment while also balancing school work and possibly a job. Whenever I felt like breaking down, I could always expect my parents to be behind me with open arms. Not only will I not have my family at my side, but I am now on my own.

Coyote First Step is a summer program where students can take Early Start Math and English before starting classes in the fall. Being part of this program and staying on campus for a month was a great way to adapt to college life before I actually start in the fall. My first week into this program was very difficult as I was trying to get used to doing things on my own and also making new friends. During my stay here, not only have I met people that live close to the school, I’ve met people from Northern California like me and others that came from San Diego. I realized then that they were probably in the same situation as me and that they came here feeling like outsiders. I felt relieved knowing that I wasn’t alone. Now that it’s my last week here, I will miss the friends I’ve made but I am also glad to return home to my family.

I am excited to make many more friends and start my classes in the fall. Although it’s strange for me to be excited about school, I am anxious to begin my career path. Even though I’ll miss my Northern California atmosphere, I am now happy to call this school my new home. One thing I can say that I’ve learned from my first college experience is that change is sometimes good and stepping out of your comfort zone can help you overcome your fears.

Freshman Year

My freshman year in college had its ups and it’s downs. At the beginning it was a slight challenge adjusting and staying on top of everything. As the weeks went on I was better adjusted and developed better study habits. My freshman year was no easy journey. One of my best friends passed away and I was diagnosed with a sickness that doesn’t have a cure. Both of these aspects indeed affected my schoolwork, especially when I hospitalized. However I worked diligently to try to catch up and keep moving forward. I got to meet some great people while at CSUSB and developed some great friendships. The chefs are very kind and make some of the best food. The dorms are quiet and actually aren’t that bad. The flaws to the dorms are the sharing bathroom and a kitchen aspect. I solved that with cans of Lysol and a mini refrigerator. Although my freshman year had it’s up’s and downs, I really liked my freshman year in college. It ultimately made me stronger and taught me some life lessons. All I have to do now is pass finals and my freshman year will be complete. I’m going to enjoy my summer break, but I’ll be ready to return in the fall as I take on my sophomore year of college.

A Challenge, something fun, & a piece of excitement.

College has been a fun, exciting, and a challenging experience so far. A challenge of course is the workload. The amount of work you have to do in high school can’t even compare to college. I miss my high school homework load very much. A fun part of college is my biology class. The biology classes have labs attached to them, which makes them more interesting because it allows me to be hands on. An exciting part of college are the relationships I’ve made. The chefs on campus are some of my favorite people. Considering, I live on campus the chefs see me often, so at times they would make me items that weren’t necessarily on the menu. Amazing! I’ve also developed a great relationship with a girl I met from Africa. She’s one of the kindest people I’ve ever met and I can see us being friends for a very long time.

My Initial college fears

Initially, I thought college was going be extremely tough and overwhelming. And the stories most high school students, including myself, are bombarded with about college being extremely hard with countless amount of hours of homework did not help. I was stressing my self out just thinking about it. I thought I was going to be overloaded with tons of homework and have to trade my free time with study time. However, when I actually started my first quarter of classes it wasn’t that bad. Sometimes there would be nights where I would be up all night studying and times where I felt frustrated with all the work I had to do. However after those night would turn into mornings and the assignments were finally complete I would experience a period of relief that would act as my motivation to take on new assignments to come. And occasionally, a good test or quiz would also act as reminder that my hard work pays off. I also could thank my mentor for some of my stress relief. My mentor, Esso gave some great advice and great guidance. I literally looked forward to our weekly meetings so that I could just unwind and find new strategies to attack new assignments and other events occurring in my life. On top of all these things, I was still able to make time for my life outside of school, which also contributed to me keeping my sanity.

One of the main differences between high school and college.

College so far is nothing like high school; and there are many changes I noticed between the two. The main two differences, however I noticed is that there is a substantial change in maturity levels from high school students to college students, and students do not receive as much support from college professors as they do in high school. First the maturity level is different amongst college students than high school students. The students here at CSUSB aren’t worried about the clothes they wear, who’s dating who, or how many friends they have like most high school students are. The maturity level is way higher on college campuses. College is actually more of a very calm environment where you mostly hear talk amongst your peers of the stress their experiencing from upcoming exams, rather than down talking of someone’s appearance. Second, the teachers. The teachers in college do not provide as much support as high school teachers. For example, in high school students would often receive handouts as extra practice for the material they’ve learned. In college, extra practice is looking in your book for additional practice problems or online for resources to help you study. You essentially have to take more control over your learning.