Speaking From Experience

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Alexis Phayakapong
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Writing this as I am finishing my Spring semester of my second year of my college career is incredibly euphoric. The person who I have grown into today has been through many ups and downs: academically, mentally, emotionally, socially, you name it! My experiences these last few years have opened my eyes and made me want to find a way to (hopefully) inspire someone to be a bit more aware about things you will encounter as a college student. Of course everyone is going down different paths with their respective majors but in all honesty, there is so much overlap with us all because college is a diverse playing field that you learn to navigate.

My main piece of advice is to make sure that you are as open as possible your freshman year. Be open to new ideas, new food choices, new landscapes, and most importantly, seeing yourself and others differently. You have been surrounded by the same people for years and you feel like you might know who you are and what you are capable of – however, by being open to new ideas you might be surprised to find a new side of yourself! What college has taught me is that you can never be too sure of the future. Not everything is predictable or concrete. There will always be things that surprise you.

Some of the greatest memories that I have made have been because I put my anxieties to the side for a moment and just tried something new. At first, I felt like I did not belong on my campus because I just could not seem to make friends with the right people and being that I am multi-racial, I felt like I was underrepresented. However, what kept me motivated at SDSU were the professors, and my hometown friends encouraging me to find the right people in which to surround myself.

I continued to pursue what I love: fashion, brunch and marketing. I applied for the Marketing Committee and delightfully was accepted. I finally found a place to really expand my reach throughout the student body.

I struggled with making sure I was investing my time at the right place. Who you decide to live with in the dorms is a big decision, and therefore it’s also important to keep an open mind about your potential roommate options.  There will be different people in your life –  classmates, people you hang out with, and true unconditional friendship that consist of meaningful conversations.  Having all three in one individual is rare so it’s important that you are able to differentiate between them all.

Let people learn who they are as you learn who you are, and let that be enough. That goes with friendships, diets, relationships, and most of all, academics. I let issues in my dorm life take too much of a toll on me that it affected my learning in Business Calculus, which resulted in me retaking the course this past Fall. Although I had to retake the course, I am proud to say that I learned the material, went to office hours and retained it so much more this Fall than I would have had I just tried to pass the course.

Failures and good experiences are just a few ingredients that are bound to be included for your Freshman year but I will leave you with a quote from my favorite Comm 101 professor, Master Rapp: “Be vulnerable. Allow yourself that much, without vulnerability, you will not allow love into your life and that is the biggest inconvenience you could do to yourself.”


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