THE SANTA CLARA
October 22, 2015
Yesterday, September 19, marked my first full month of college. I remember walking through the doors of Dunne holding boxes that contained memories of who I had been the past 18 years and think ahead to my next four. I remember thinking, I’m on my own now. I was wrong though. At Santa Clara, you’re never really on your own. I wish I had figured this out, among other things, a little sooner, so I have compiled advice for high school seniors stressing about college applications, as well as any nostalgic Broncos.
Buy a Lanyard
Are you going to look like the epitome of a college first year with a lanyard around your neck? Absolutely. Will other first years who think they are “above” the lanyard make fun of yours? Probably, but just wait until they pay a fifty dollar fee after losing their room key. For freshmen who aren’t used to carrying actual keys, get a lanyard!
Use Academic Resources
Why would anyone not want to take advantage of free tutoring on campus? I started using these resources recently, and wish I had used them right away. My first few papers would have been stronger. Always plan ahead to make an appointment or drop in to the help centers. Their purpose is to provide students with extra help in any of their classes, and they are free.
Pursue Your Interests
The first month of school presents first years with a lot of opportunities to get involved with the Santa Clara community. Go to any club, meeting, or event that remotely interests you. Go to the ones that don’t. Because why not? Don’t be afraid to go to events alone even if your roommate or others on your floor are not going. There will be others going by themselves. as well, so you’ll always meet other people at the events.
Don’t Be Intimidated
The perk of being a first year at Santa Clara is that the student body loves its first years. At other schools, the freshies are often treated as the runts of campus, but at Santa Clara, we’re practically royalty. The rest of the students are more than willing to go out of their way to make first years feel comfortable, so do not hesitate to approach older students to ask any questions you have.
Make Your Professors Know You
Even if you don’t really have a good question to ask your professor, go to office hours at least once in the beginning of the year for a meeting. This establishes a connection with them, which is crucial because it’s much easier to fail a student if they have no idea who you are. At the very least, make a point to introduce yourself to your professors after class.
Work Hard, Play Hard
Time management is key in college. You’ll hear a lot of stories of college students pulling all nighters during finals week or before a paper is due. It’s easy to avoid this if you don’t wait until the last minute to start homework. There will be some unavoidable late nights, but sleep should always be a college student’s priority. If you can start managing your time well, you’ll open up more time to spend with friends or to integrate into campus life.
Samantha Perez is a freshman English and political science double major.