It was my last year of high school, and I had decided to attend CSU East Bay in the fall after graduating. However, I was getting more and more anxious, thinking about how I was going to leave home at the end of September.
I was the first in my family to go to college, so it was going to be hard leaving my hometown and family, who I am really close with. What made me more nervous was that I was one of the few people in my high school who was moving to a different city to study. Essentially, I would have a fresh, clean start.
But the moment I moved onto campus, I quickly found a new community who made me forget my homesickness. Quickly, I started to make friends with my classmates and became part of a club on campus called “Pioneer Promoters,” where I helped out with campus events and tours.
Now, I am a student ambassador on campus, where I show families of prospective students just how amazing CSU East Bay is, the school that I call home. I would not have been able to get to know this great community if I never challenged myself to come out of my shell.
My name is Luis and I’m a graduate student of the Master of Business Administration (MBA) program at Stanislaus State. As a bilingual student, I want to share the importance of knowing two languages. Spanish was my first language, and I consider myself fortunate to have learned it first as it allowed me to be fluent in both Spanish and English.
So why is it really important to learn another language?
- Being bilingual can impress employers and make you a better candidate for the job. Some employers even list being bilingual as a preferred qualification, so much so that they may scan resumes to look for the ability to speak another language.
- You’ll be able to communicate with people from other countries when you travel. You won’t need to buy a book to translate English to Spanish, French, Portuguese, or another language. With abundant study abroad programs at the CSU, being bilingual will be especially beneficial.
- You’ll gain knowledge! You may become proficient in your new language and even choose to become a professor of that language or simply share your knowledge with others about your new language.
Learning another language isn’t easy. But with practice, especially by talking to others who speak the language, you’ll be able to learn. Take language classes at your CSU campus and join clubs to practice!
If you already speak another language, I still recommend taking advanced classes to learn more about the language and culture. There’s a good chance you’ll learn something you didn’t know before, and you’ll become even more proficient at speaking or writing. Or you could always learn another language and become trilingual!
College can be scary because it’s the start of a new journey; however, becoming involved on campus can help ease the transition. You’ll make new friends, you’ll be able to network with people within and outside your major, and you’ll learn a lot about your campus and its resources!
Here are some tips:
Join clubs that interest you and/or are related to your major.
Many schools have a week at the beginning of each semester where clubs can recruit new members; for instance, CSULB has over 200 organizations you can join. With that many clubs available, there’s bound to be at least one that fits your preferences. Organizations range from sororities and fraternities, multicultural clubs, intramural sports, volunteering, and clubs that are for specific majors.
Joining clubs that you like can help you make friends with people you might not be able to meet otherwise. In my experience, this helped a lot since I had to move for college and make new friends. Clubs that relate to your major will help you network with faculty and peers in your field. It’s also great for future connections and you might end up liking your major even more.
Go to the events your campus offers (they’re usually free!)
Besides going to the outings that student organizations might offer, campuses have a lot of free events during the day or in the evenings. For example, they might show screenings of a movie and there are always sporting events that are free if you’re a student. Your school might even give out free merchandise.
Take advantage of your school resources.
Many students never really learn about the resources their school offers. However, there are so many resources on campus that are all meant to help students. There’s academic tutoring available to help students, psychological services if you’re feeling stressed and need someone to talk to, and a recreation center for exercising and playing sports. Visiting professors during office hours and meeting with your advisors are also great resources to help you along with school.
So don’t hesitate to get involved on campus and make the most of what college has to offer you!