Dear CSUN Freshmen,
You are about to embark on the journey of a lifetime. Although that sounds cheesy, it’s true. You are only in college for the first time once in your life. It is a time for growth and new experiences that you will carry with you for the rest of your life. Starting college can be both exciting and overwhelming, but don’t worry. As a former Matador, I am here to offer you advice that will help you navigate these next years at CSUN so you can make it across that stage. So, here are some tips for all you CSUN freshmen!
First, don’t bring a car! I repeat don’t bring a car!
Unless you want to spend an extra 30 minutes looking for parking and risk being late on your first day, leave your car at home. I know we’ve all been fed that narrative of the aspiring college student driving off to college in their little beat up buggy, but trust me when I say Herbie could stay home. It is not worth the humiliation of being stared at by everyone as you try to quietly sneak into class. Besides, everywhere you would need or want to go is within walking distance or at least a bus ride away.
Second, be sure to go to all of the freshman activities including the Freshman Convocation and the Big Show.
The speaker at the convocation is almost always the author of the Freshman Read, the book all freshmen will read as part of their first semester. If you’re lucky you can get your book signed and snap a picture with the author. The Big Show is also required attendance for new freshmen. The concert features some big names in the music scene and it only costs $20. Past performers include Miguel, Diplo, and Kendrick Lamar. How could you not attend this once in a lifetime opportunity?!
Also, make sure that you get to know your professors.
When it comes to academics, it is always a good idea to get along with your instructor. This will come in handy when you need extra guidance in studying for a test or an extension for a paper. Take advantage of office hours and come ask your professors whatever questions you might have. It will make the class a more enjoyable experience for both of you. Plus, it could be a possible networking opportunity if your professor happens to have connections in your chosen field of study.
In the same vein, college can be overwhelming and stressful at times.
The good news is that CSUN has some great places to relax and catch some Z’s. If you’re in need of a study break, rent an individual study room at the Oviatt Library and take a quick power nap or go outside and lay on the Oviatt lawn for a while. If you want an elevated experience, head over to the Oasis Wellness Center for a 30 minute nap in a sleeping pod. Yes, you read that right. I said sleeping pod! You could also head over to the Freudian sip for a caffeine jolt and a good read. But if all else fails, any of CSUN’s benches double as great beds for a break between classes.
Finally, be sure to visit the farmer’s market on Tuesdays and to go to the free events at the USU.
There is always free food and activities that you can partake in and it’s a great way to meet new people. I highly recommend showing some school spirit by attending the sporting events and joining a club! This are experiences that will be with you forever, so make the most of it, CSUN freshmen!
One last piece of advice, don’t stress! It will all fall into place.
You will figure out your major. You will pass that class. You will be okay. College can be overwhelming at times and it can be hard to juggle all of your responsibilities, but remember to have fun. Your first college experience only happens once. Take in every second of it because these are memories you are going to have forever. Enjoy it!
A Former CSUN Matador