My biggest improvement was my grades. In high school I wasn’t good at taking tests and that affected my grades a lot. Since I’ve been in college I’ve done better on tests and have been able to get more one on one help from my professors and other on campus tutors. I’ve maintained my B average but I am looking to raise it. With a little more help and tutoring I may be on the dean’s list. I’m hoping to graduate with 3.5GPA or above. I want to better myself and push myself to do harder and that is what college is all about, pushing yourself to be the best you can be. There’s really a difference in high school and college. Always doing your homework no matter what is the best thing you can do because that plays a big part in your grade and nobody is there to remind you that something is due. You got to remember for yourself and trust me it will get hard, but it will lighten up if you manage your time well like I’m doing now. Homework and tests are the best things you can do and if you need help there is always someone there to help you. A lot of people are there to learn and are focused on school, as where in high school many were just goofing off and not being serious, like me. I didn’t get serious until senior year which was a big mistake. For those planning on college gets your life together now so when you get to college you know exactly what you need to do to prepare yourself for all of life’s challenges, and have an idea of what you want to do so you’re not wasting time taking unnecessary classes. It all about planning ahead.

Out of My Comfort Zone

My first semester of college passed me by extremely fast. The semester is coming to an end and as I contemplate on my first weeks here, I realize how much I’ve grown as a person. My first weeks of college were so much fun, settling into my dorm, meeting new people and even going to class was very exciting for me. I have never been in a place with so much diversity of cultures, it was so new for me to be in a building where more than half of the people are white. Coming from a high school where the majority are Hispanics, being around so many white people was kind of intimidating for me. As time passed, I got more comfortable and realized how much I can relate with people from different cultures but still, I felt out of place.

I thought that I wanted to focus on my classes and have the same schedule every week, go from class to study and repeat everyday. Eventually, this got boring, I felt like I needed to join something and become involved on campus but I was scared to try something new/ getting rejected. I finally decided to put my fear to the side when I went to motivational presentation on things you need to do before you graduate, I was inspired by the speaker, Jullien Gordon and realized that I am here because of all of the decisions I have made in the past. I decided that I have control of my life so I looked through different clubs and organizations on campus and found one that interested me. I joined Mujeres Ayudando La Raza(MAR), a non profit organization for the purpose of creating a network support for Chicana/Latina students based on community service. Joining this organization changed my life, I cannot think of a better way of spending my first semester in college. Being part of this organization has helped me make connections and burst out of my bubble. I feel great being part of something as important as MAR, here at Sac State. I think that if I wouldn’t had joined I would feel like a part of me was missing. I love being around girls who share a similar background as me, not giving up and doing anything to succeed, having the same passion to help change our communities and always having a positive attitude. I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else in the world than here, at Sac State making my dreams come true, step by step. I feel very blessed to have all of these opportunities available for me.

Unexpected Adventures

I came to college thinking I was going to be isolated in my room. Throughout these first weeks I have been balancing out both my personal and academic life. Besides working at HomeDepot as a part time cashier I am a full time student at Sacramento StateUniversity. What has surprised me the most is the amount of work. I have a total of four classes and I attend school three times a week, but surprisingly I am not overwhelmed. I also thought I’d be missing home a lot and fortunately I have parents who travel two hours to visit me every now and then.

College has been an amazing experience! My first semester ends next week, Friday, December 19th. All of my professors are extremely intelligent. I believe I chose the perfect campus as of now. At this time, I am worried about not getting the classes I need for Spring semester. This coming week I will be studying for finals since they are approaching rapidly.

Three, going on four months of college I have learned a few things about myself. Most of high school I was attentive towards Prom duties and now I truly get to focus on my responsibilities. I love the fact that I have been given the chance to meet individuals of all races. Diversity is important to me because it reminds me of back home. Living on my own is also a tremendous factor in my life at this time. I am appreciative of the little I have because it gets me through day by day.

Lastly, I am on my way to being independent. I learned that I should not only depend on my parents. At the beginning of the semester I would be alone on the daily because my roommate would either have class or work. I decided to do something productive with my life; I chose to work. So far, I have met people of all ages which I find pretty cool. I am also, used to being in the Sacramento area. When I go back home to visit I feel out of place and want to come home. I have learned that it is okay to be away from family and dear friends in order to explore and become open minded socially.

Words can not describe how thankful I am for the college lifestyle. Being busy after all is not as hard as one would think. Anything and everything is possible. I learned that my senior year. If I could graduate with honors while being class president to balancing out Varsity Softball, Kiwins Community Services, and working part time I can work and go to school three times a week.

College Experience

My first year of college started off great. Everything was easy, getting to and from class, homework, studying. I’m off to a good start because I am able to pace myself and manage my time wisely. College is definitely different from high school, but in a good way. There is way more freedom, but it comes with responsibility. Teachers are willing to help, but they tell you from the beginning, “If you fail, then that’s on you.” And this statement is so true because everything really depends on you. If you don’t want to put in the time and effort to succeed, the teachers don’t care. But it’s not like if you struggle then they aren’t going to help you. It’s just you need to take the initiative and ask for help rather than wait on someone. All my classes are simple and straightforward and they all interest me and connect in some way. So I’m able to use what I learned from one class to apply it to another class. Also, my advisers are really helpful and are always there when I have questions about credits, tests. They even helped me plan on my classes for my next couple of semester so I have priority and I don’t have to worry about wait lists or anything. There are a lot of helpful tips that they have. They taught me about how a lot of my GE credits overlap into my graduation requirements and major courses so a lot of classes I don’t have to take as many classes and I still get the same amount of credit. So going to your adviser is really helpful. This year has helped me realize that I am more of a morning person and I like to be done in the early afternoon. So I know next semester to plan my schedule for mostly morning classes. Overall college is going great and I hope it continues to stay like this.

My First College Experience

This past summer preparing for college has been very overwhelming for me; buying dorm stuff, school supplies, purchasing books. Its just all required a great deal of effort. Oh, and money. Over the summer, I have been mainly focusing on getting things ready for my classes this upcoming fall. My biggest fear is being unprepared for the beginning of this semester. I want to avoid that as much as possible. As of now, having a car is a huge diadvantage due to the amount of the parking permit. Two hundred dollars for a parking permit…. Just for the semester! This burnt a huge hole in my pocket lol. As of now, I have been checked into my dorm for a few days and I really enjoy it. Having a little privacy and being away from home is just what I needed. The dorm is bigger than I expected and I have quite a bit of room. The restrooms and showers aren’t as bad as I imagined either! They really are very private and almost always empty considering how small the hall is. My roomate and I have been buying a lot of quick snacks and food for when we get lazy and hungry. I’m also still in the process of straigtening up my dorm and putting away clothes. I hope to stay organized this year so my experience wouldn’t be such a bad one. I’m very excited for classes to actually begin. I am at the same time overwhelmed by the fact that classes will begin , but more so excited. I am ready to meat more people and possibly join some clubs or organization. Meeting new people is always hard for one whos not from around the area so I’m going to make it a goal of mine to do so. I hope my experience this year and for the next few years be a great one. You’ve been a great help, thanks again edFund!

The Beginning

Before I graduated high school I decided to work every now or then. My plan was to enjoy my vacations before college came along. Throughout summer, I worked for six days at the Golden Gate Fields where I got paid a good decent amount. With the money I received I bought a couple of things for my apartment and most importantly school. A few of the supplies I bought were my backpack, materials such as pencils and notebooks. I was extremely grateful to have been able to purchase all the supplies. It was for sure one less thing for my parents to worry about and it was one more thing I got to do independently.

Soon enough it was my move in day, August 21st. I was nervous, yet excited to have my own place. My parents have always been supportive, but the week before my arrival to Sacramento they were sad. I felt bad leaving my household, but it was necessary for my studies. So far they have visited me twice and there is nothing better than seeing the smiles on my parents faces.

There is exactly a week before school begins and I am beyond ready to begin. I am confident that I will do well. In fact, all I have to do is see which books I will actually need for my classes. Other than that, I have everything I need. My roommate is attending Sac State as well and a few of my friends from back home will be moving in this week to Sacramento. So far so good! I have met a few people during my stay here in Sacramento and I am one step closer to building friendships with many more college students.

Once school starts I plan to study as much as possible and prepare myself for quizzes. This is it. I have to do my very best of my ability, yet not be too hard on myself. As of now, I have one job interview and I can not wait. I really do hope I get this job because I would like to get used to my schedule and time frame. Something I did was go look for the location of my job interview so, that when the day comes I am not lost and will be on time. I noticed that the job interview is in a good location. I might not be completely familiar with Sacramento, but the more I go out to explore the more places I know are around me.

The day before school begins I plan to organize my backpack and double check that I have all that I might need. Sacramento State is known for not using books as much as other schools which is a good thing. In that case I might be saving money. If the outcome is the opposite of that theory than I have enough money saved to purchase the books I will need for the Fall.

Ready for College

In order to prepare for college I’ve been working to save money towards financial aid. I have also been consulting with family members who have recently graduated from college and asking them about their experiences, how living on campus was, and any tips they had for me. I got really good advice such as how to juggle working and going to school, how to separate your class schedule so it doesn’t stress me out and I don’t become overwhelmed, and also how to enjoy college life but stay on top it. They told me things weren’t going to be easy but that I’d get over it. They didn’t sugar coat anything like relationships, parties, ect. But not to worry because if I miss a party it’s not the end of the world but it will be if I don’t turn my work in on time. Aside from talking to peers I’ve kept up to date with my school about my financial aid, housing status, and anything else that may be of importance to me. I’m very excited to be on my own for once in my life. I don’t worry about being homesick or anything because I’m not too far from home but I’m far enough to where I feel like “okay no more mommy I need this daddy I need that.” I feel like going to college is going to force me to grow up and make decisions I normally wouldn’t have to make and I’m very excited to take those challenges on. I am nervous that I may get a little side track but I know with determination and perseverance ill pick myself back up and get right back on track. Before my first day of school I’d like to have all my required materials and everything I need so I can make a smooth transition from home to school.

College Experience: First Few Weeks

My first few weeks of school were amazing; it was nothing like high school. I met a lot of people. They even had events where we can interact with other students. I did not realize how independent you are supposed to be until I actually started school. It’s like you really have to do things on your own, especially if you are not close to home. The good part about college is that you do not have to ask permission to go out and do things, you can just do it. The bad part about being on your own is that you actually have to cook for yourself and you don’t have people to remind you to do your homework. College is what turns you into an adult. You have to be independent or you will fall behind, like you have to talk to teachers on your own, they will not come and talk to you. 

I expected college to be a lot harder than what it is. All you have to do is stay on top of your work and do not party every weekend unless you did all your work first. Even though college may seem all fun and what not, you have to stay on top of your work or you can get kicked out. I think it will get a lot harder but if it gets too hard, I will go to tutoring and ask the teachers for help because I plan on being a successful young man and I do not think that is possible without a college education. 

The thing I like the most about Sac State is that everyone who I met that lived in the dorms is so friendly. If you walk past their room and the door is open, they will most likely call you back and invite you in so you can get to know them if you don’t already. I love college; it is way more exciting than high school. I learned that hard work pays off which means sometimes you might have to sacrifice going out to stay in and study.

-Jamarrio, Sacramento State ’16 

Looking Back: Second Year in College vs First Year in College

My name is Nyree and I graduated from John F. Kennedy High School in 2009. When I first left off for college I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. I thought it might be tough but I was mostly excited to be going off on my own and getting started on my education. Back in high school I was sort of tired of seeing the same people for four years and I thought as soon as I got to college everything would change. I’d have a bunch of friends, life would be fun, and things would over all be great. I wasn’t entirely wrong.

After starting my first semester I realized college wasn’t so different from high school. The only real difference is that some classes (like in high school) can be more challenging than others, you have to be independent, meaning you must turn your work in on time, get to class on time, remember to look at your syllabus for assignments, and you have more freedom. I also realized that you don’t instantly make friends in college. Just like high school, there are different people all around you and it’s up to you to find people to interact with. Personally, it was difficult for me because I’m a shy person but it has taught me to push myself out of my comfort zone.

Academically, I learned to change my sense of time management and organization, which is one to the most important things you need in college. It’s not too different from what you’ve been doing all of your life, but you have to get it down in a way that works for you in order to manage your classes and your personal life. For instance, in a week you may have to read 20 or more pages for a class discussion. Instead of reading all of the pages at once, I break all of the pages up over a few days so that I don’t overwhelm myself. A few other things I do is buy a 5 subject notebook so that all of my class notes are always together, use a laptop to take notes in class where it’s acceptable because it’s easier and more time efficient to study from, and investing in technology. I own an Amazon Kindle not only for leisure, but because I can buy some of my textbooks cheaper and be able to download my notes to it and study on the go.

Now that I’m in my second year of college I feel more comfortable with myself, my capabilities, and the direction I’m headed. I know my campus pretty well, I know the best ways for me to study, I know where to go for help when I need it, and if I make a mistake I don’t stress myself out over it. In school I’ve always been one of the brightest students in my class so I take any type of failure pretty harshly. Last semester I took a really challenging course and I failed it. At first I was really down about it because I tried so hard. However I realized my failure wasn’t necessarily important. What was important was that after leaving that class at the end of the semester I learned a ton of things that I didn’t know coming in. My mind was challenged in so many ways and I’m appreciative of the things I learned. I also learned that that class subject doesn’t interest me the way I thought it did. That’ s one of the beautiful things about college. This is the time to learn anything and everything and make mistakes so that you can learn and grow.

Most of things I know now about college I had to learn myself. It’s not a bad thing but I do wish somebody would’ve painted me a more realistic picture of what it would be like. I would’ve liked to know exactly how financial aid works, what picking classes would be like, and hearing more about other’s first time in college so I could get a better perspective. Through out school adults always tell you that when you get to college no one is going to hold your hand. That’s true, but there are many people that are wiling to walk beside you. Professors and counselors want to see you succeed but it’s up to you to reach out to them and do what needs to be done. That’s another thing I wished I would’ve learned. That there are people that will help you.

My spring semester will be ending in about three months and for the summer I would like to do something I haven’t done before. I would love to travel somewhere far or even close to home. I just want to see more than my usual surroundings. I also plan on taking a few classes at a community college for leisure and possibly doing community service. Last summer I relaxed the whole time. It was nice having a break but this summer I don’t want to waste it. College is the only time in life you have so much freedom to change and learn, I plan on taking full advantage of it and creating lasting memories.

– Nyree, Sacramento State ’13