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The California State University

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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Evelyn - photo

Some Things Take a Couple of Years to Learn

Posted by Evelyn

As a freshman, going into college is new and exciting. You are bound to get lost on a campus as huge as CSULB, you buy all your textbooks before the first day of class, and you pay attention to all your teachers. I have learned a lot since then and here are some of them:


  1. Wait until after the first week to buy your textbooks. Your teachers don’t expect you to have it anyways and some teachers don’t even require that you have one.
  2. Get to explore your campus because then you learn shortcuts on getting to your classes.
  3. Make at least one friend in your classes; you never know when you’ll need their notes.
  4. Get advising done at least once a year to make sure you are on track!
  5. Don’t ever lose the passion and excitement for school. College will be one of the greatest times of your life!

Jade - photo

Make the Most of Your Summer

Posted by Jade

Summer provides the perfect opportunity for you to challenge yourself and grow while also having fun and taking a load off. Here are a few ideas for you to occupy your summer time with:


Work. Employment is one of the most practical ways to build your resume and impress colleges. There are often seasonal jobs such as residential summer camps that look for help specifically during the summer months. The more a job challenges you, the more it builds the skills that colleges and future employers are interested in seeing in applicants.


Volunteer/Intern. Community service is another great way to gain some valuable work and leadership experience. Colleges and employers appreciate knowing that a person is well-rounded and cares about making the world better. There are so many local opportunities available and since it is a matter of volunteering time, you can make your own schedules and decide how much time you can and want to give. Getting exposure to a potential career through internships is another great way to get your foot in the door as far as employment goes. Much like volunteering, internship schedules are usually more flexible, so you should still have time to enjoy your summer.


Summer Enrichment Programs. Enrichment programs can be another valuable and educational summer experience. Look into programs offered by local youth groups or area colleges and universities. Many of these organizations have residential or day camps for students focused on specific topics and a variety of areas of interest. These programs are a good way to explore and gain experience in fields you may want to study in college.


Visit Campuses. It almost goes without saying that campus visits should be a part of any college-going student’s summer plans. These visits are a priority when considering which colleges to apply to. Taking a few campus tours should definitely be included in your plans.


Set Goals. Set realistic goals, like finishing a book over the summer or applying for two scholarships. Also, the SAT and/or ACT are an important part of the admissions equation at most of the country’s highly selective colleges. The summer is a great time to work through an exam preparation book or take a test prep class. Setting goals is a good way to stay proactive and motivated about what you want to accomplish.


HAVE FUN! I feel like this point cannot be emphasized enough. Engage in activities that delight you, allow you to relax, and keep your spirits high and hopeful for the future. I wish someone had told me that it was important to have fun when I was pushing my way towards college. What a difference it could have made.

Arzoo - photo

The Few Secrets Around Campus

Posted by Arzoo

Starting as a freshman I did not know the few secrets that everyone else knew. I had no one to guide me to a smoother transition from high school to college. By my sophomore year I found out ways to purchase my books almost less than half the price than the bookstore on campus. Some times there are bookstores nearby where they sell used textbooks a lot cheaper than the actual bookstore. An average book can cost around $100, but if you buy a used copy you can save half that amount. There are also other options such as renting on campus or online. Students can also buy books from or, which sells the book at a fraction of the actual price and you can sell the book once your course is complete.


Another beneficial secret is a website called This website will tell you from the students perspective how professors really are academically from majority of the universities. It can be a huge help when you need to know if a certain professor is too difficult or curves their exams.




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