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College Dreams Blog

College Dreams Blog

No matter who you are or how you’ve prepared for college, you’re bound to have a long list of questions. Our student ambassadors had college dreams just like you do and they worked hard to achieve them. Read their stories below and share your own with us on Facebook and Twitter!

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Alexis Frutos - photo

Self-Care While Finishing Last Minute College Applications

Posted by Alexis Frutos

Applying for college is stressful. On October 1st the applications for CSU opened on Cal State Apply and the upcoming deadline, November 30th is approaching fast. During this time of strict deadlines and nerves it is easy to feel overwhelmed. As someone who went through the process of applying to multiple institutions, I learned from experience the importance of self-care during the application process. Self-care can take a multitude of forms, because really it’s just caring for yourself to reduce your stress as much as possible. Here are a few tips I have to make this time a little bit easier.

  • Understand the process of applying for college, is a stressful one and that’s ok. Part of dealing with stress is accepting it and understanding where it comes from. In the context of college applications, it’s a new obstacle in your life and anything new can feel overwhelming.
  • Step away from the computer when you need to (it’s not always procrastination). This piece of advice may counter previous tips you’ve heard but taking mental breaks while filling out college applications is necessary. Also, there are features on Cal State Apply that enable you to save your application progress then return to it when you’re ready. So, take a few minutes to an hour and use this time to recenter. Go for a walk, eat a snack, then return. This will help your overall focus.
  • Talk about your concerns with people who’ve been through the process or are going through it. It may sound repetitive, but talking through your concerns helps. Whether that be with a friend, a school counselor, or a teacher it’s important to reach out to them. These people understand what you’re going through so they can offer affirmation, advice and support.

Even with the application deadline so close you can still take time to practice self-care using these tips.


Alexis Frutos - photo

How to be prepared for Your First Day of College

Posted by Alexis Frutos

The first day of college can be intimidating. As a new college student, you may overwhelm yourself making sure you have every color pen, highlighter, sticky note and folder but miss out on other important things. As your college insider, I want to share some things you will need to be prepared for the first day of class.

  • Print your class syllabus.

A syllabus is a guide for both you and your professor that has the entire class planned out with due dates, readings, and overall what you’ll be learning throughout the semester or quarter.For your first day of class, a significant amount of time is spent going over expectations presented on the syllabus. To prepare for this, professors will usually email it to you a few weeks early which brings me to my next point.

  • Check that email like it’s 1998.

Professors use email the most to communicate with students, even before class starts. Sometimes (not always) professors will ask you to read the introduction or first chapter of a textbook. So don’t put away those shiny new highlighters and colorful sticky notes because you might need them.

  • Be prepared to sit through a lecture.

This tip is tentative because not all professors lecture the first day but a lot of them do. And as a student, you should always go to class expecting to learn something new.


Annie Cao - photo

Why You Should Live on Campus

Posted by Annie Cao

For many students, living on campus is a big part of their college experience. There are pros and cons to living in dorms, but from my personal experience, it was definitely worth it!

 

Pros

 

  1. There’s no commute to school; you can roll out of bed and go to class.
  2. Club meetings and school events are just a short walk away, so it’s easy to become involved in campus activities.
  3. It’s a great way to make friends and find study partners, especially if you live farther from home. One building can house 100 – 200 students alone, so imagine how many people you can meet just by going to the dining hall or doing your laundry. Some of my closest friends today are people I met in my dorm.
  4. There are many convenient facilities, such as a dining hall, a laundry room, and study areas.

 

Cons

 

  1. Many students may be worried that living on campus can be expensive, but financial aid is a great resource to help pay for it.
  2. There may be a loss of privacy since most likely, you’ll be sharing a room with someone and the bathroom with other students.

 

Living in a dorm is a different experience for everyone, and some campuses may offer other features and resources. I had a really positive experience living in my dorm because I felt more focused in school since I lived on campus, I was able to get more involved in clubs, I made new friends, and most importantly, I was able to become more independent living on my own.

 

Overall, I’d recommend living on campus if you plan to go to school away from home!


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