Moving away from home, having no rules and being on your own: sounds like heaven, right? That’s what I thought when I decided to move away from southern California to the Bay Area for school at CSU East Bay. Soon I found out that I was right—at least partially. I had a blast my first year until I started to miss my family. You see, I have two younger brothers that I started to miss, a mom that would cook amazing Mexican food, and a dad that always knew what to say.
The first quarter was the hardest time. I missed my mom’s home-cooked meals and instead cooked for myself or ate a cup of noodles. I had to learn to sleep well before class and I had to adjust to working so I could afford to have a social life. In other words, I was completely on my own.
It was a huge change, but I definitely needed the experience. Being on my own made me grow and mature. When you are getting ready to graduate from college—which might be a bit far off—and you look back on your time in college as time to have grown as a person, you will be so excited and ready to move on to the next chapter of your life. Yes, you might get scared, and you might be lonely from time to time, but that’s the beauty about growing up: You overcome these obstacles and find ways to comfort yourself or find support in those around you.
I promise you: you will never experience another year of school as exciting as your freshman year for so many reasons, not just being on your own away from your family.
P.S.: Once you leave, your family always spoils you whenever you come home to visit. Good luck!
Studying might not seem like the most important part of college, but it does play a big role in college life. You’ll take several classes at a time in college, and if you take two similar classes, you might not have to spend as much time studying. One semester, I took five psychology classes dealing with similar issues, so I didn’t have to study as much—however, I did study! Then I had a semester where I was taking an art class, a music class, a psychology class, a math class, and a Chicano studies class, and I had to study every day because I had to learn about different issues in each class.
Studying isn’t most fun thing to do on a Friday night, and it’s especially not fun the night before a big test. It is best if you study ahead of time. It’s true when they say to study a little each night—I try to do it, and it has helped me a lot in my classes. What I have found helpful is studying with a group. That way, if I don’t know something, someone can help me out and later on when I go over it by myself I understand the material better. Studying will help you do great in classes!
I remember one of the most stressful times of my senior year was waiting to hear back from which colleges I had been accepted to. From November to early March, I spent my days anticipating when I would get that letter or that e-mail. I started worrying about whether I would be able to get into college, whether my GPA was high enough, what I would do if I hadn’t been accepted to any colleges, and so much more. I’m sure many of you are feeling the same way right now. I am here to give you good news! Here are some ways you can get your mind off things while being productive:
- Look for scholarships online and or through your high school counselor
- Volunteer at a local organization
- Pick up a good book to read
- Join a club (either on-campus or off-campus)
Whatever you do, don’t just sit and waste your time! Go out and learn something!