The Orion

To Chico State first-year students

Guide+to+being+a+freshman+Photo+credit%3A+Briana+Mcdaniel
Guide to being a freshman Photo credit: Briana Mcdaniel

Guide to being a freshman Photo credit: Briana Mcdaniel

Guide to being a freshman Photo credit: Briana Mcdaniel

Rachel Reyes

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Looking back there is so much I wish I knew. Luckily, there is so much more to learn as a freshman than just the basic dorm life experience. Especially at Chico State.

First and foremost, to those who are unsure about what major they want to declare, don’t feel pressured to have a plan right from the start. Not everyone goes into college knowing what they want to do, and if they do, there’s a high chance that their major will change along the way.

According to the University of La Verne, 50 to 70 percent of students change their major at least once, while most will change majors at least 3 times before they graduate. So don’t feel pressured — there will be time to experience and explore different interests, and the right major will eventually come to you.

Now, how does one experience and explore? Well, easy. Get involved on campus. If there is one thing these past 3 years have taught me, it’s that I wish I was more involved my first year.

People will tell you to enjoy freshman year and to not stress yourself out too much by adding too many things onto your plate. Don’t do this. Fill up that plate.

Not only does gaining experience and becoming involved look great on a resume, it also opens up the door to so many connections and opportunities that will benefit you in the long run. It could be religious groups, sports-related, or anything else.

If you have declared a major, joining clubs that relate to that major will be extremely beneficial. You get to become knowledgeable with the staff of your department since most of the staff members run the clubs and inform students about important deadlines and internship opportunities.

If you’re undeclared, perhaps joining a club or organization will help guide you into choosing that major, or maybe even changing it.

Future schools and bosses will want you to graduate with not only good grades but with a wide-range of experiences as well.

Communication truly is key. This refers to communicating with roommates, professors or even just communicating in class. If there is an issue with your roommate, speak up. If there is an issue in class, speak up.

Speak to your professors. Get to know them and take advantage of office hours. When professors know who you are and see who puts in more effort than others, borderline grades will often change for the better. These last points and impressions will matter.

Freshman year can be extremely fun, but it’s important to remember about your academic life and mental well-being. Knowing these three topics, amongst other things, will help you get through your freshman year a little easier than not knowing it at all.

This is definitely not the only things you need to know, but it is incredibly important to know when you’re first arriving at college. Don’t let your first year overwhelm you, but instead learn to take control and start a new path that will benefit you in the long run. This is only the beginning.

Rachel Reyes can be reached at [email protected] or @rachhreyes on Twitter.

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To Chico State first-year students