Take the reins this year: Advice from upperclassmen

In a new environment where no one knows whether you were the most popular or just a wallflower in high school, making the first impression in university is the first step toward finding out who you truly are.

Remember these next few years in one’s undergraduate career go by fast, so don’t worry if you get lost, and get out there and socialize with everyone. This is the perfect opportunity to see what you have to offer to those around you. 

A couple of upperclassmen have shared their best advice to help make the transition easier and to make freshman year stress-free.

CPP students provide advice that will make the new year worthwhile. (Jacqueline Ayala | The Poly Post)

“Be proactive in your education. Whenever possible, use the office hours of your professors as they can help you with anything. Try to build relationships with your professors because they are the ones who will guide you until the day you graduate. Network within your department — you never know who can help you land a job straight out of college. Overall, just be kind to everyone you encounter because everyone is just as stressed as you are and sometimes a friendly smile can go a long way,” said Jesse Alvarado, fifth-year theater student.

“Try to get involved on campus, especially during freshman year. There are many ways to get involved; I am currently a member of Alpha Xi Delta sorority and the Fashion Society. There are so many people out there to help you find your interests and pursue them. If you can’t find a club that interests you, start your own club on campus. There is a club for everything and always try something new. As for academics, my advice would be to ask as many questions and contribute in class as much as possible. Professors will acknowledge it and see that you stand out from your classmates. There is never a wrong answer,” said Allison Nacario, third-year apparel merchandising and management student with an emphasis in apparel production.

“I think the best way to stay organized especially with all your classes is to get a planner. Live by your planner religiously and make sure to stay on top of it. It will help so much. I love using my planner because I know what I need to do for each week, whether it’s work, school or even a trip to Disneyland. Use your planner the way you want .… Make it pretty, color it and keep it organized, and it will help make the transition much easier,” said Elizabeth Swastek, fifth-year marketing student.

“Take some time to get to know your professors whether it is introducing yourself before or after class on the first day. Whenever you can, try to go to their office hours and have a one-on-one with them. Your professors are here to help you and in general they are really nice. Don’t be afraid to seek help from them; they want you to succeed. Professors like it when you show effort in seeking out help and sometimes those who don’t go for help often struggle in their classes,” said Kevin Crotty, fourth-year civil engineering student.

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