No Regrets: Finishing Your Freshman Year Strong

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Lorise Diamond
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Looking back on my freshman year, I can honestly say that I have no regrets. There is nothing I would have done differently. As my first day of community college approached, the imagery of my long-term goal, graduating from San Diego State University, loomed as a distant future. Only one thing stood in my way; the first step—earning an Associate degree. Preparing for the first day of class I asked myself, “What kind of student do you want to be?” My heart replied, “The kind who does their best.” I never imagined that degree would come with Honors. Here is my advice on how to finish your freshman year strong.

Pace is important

Whether you entered college straight from high school or are a lifelong learner, slow and steady wins the race. It had been a while since I had been in school. I knew that sitting in a classroom was the easy part. The challenge would be making time to engage. I began with just 2 interesting classes to gauge my comfort level. Each subsequent semester I added another until I reached 14 units. The most units I have taken in a semester is 19, which I only tried once and don’t recommend- only because it ends up being too many finals! Find a course load that feels comfortable for you.

Have fun!

Some prerequisites are not as interesting as others.  Pepper those prereqs with at least one fun class. Having a fun or interesting subject matter helped keep me engaged, especially on days when I didn’t feel like going to campus. Yes, it happens. Be sure to schedule a class that excites you.

Attitude is everything! 

My overall enthusiasm kept me engaged. It carried me through each semester. Most of all, I embrace myself. My dreams are important to me. When friends seem disappointed that I’d rather study than hang out, I let them know that being a good student is my job. My academic success is a direct result of dedication and discipline, which rely on my enthusiastic attitude. Real friends will offer support and even admire your brilliant decision to study. So, wake up, and show up!

Determinedly, I moved forward toward my vision like a heat-seeking missile with a single-minded purpose: minimize distractions and be the best student that I can be.  It worked. I graduated from community college with honors, earning an Associate degree— Communication Studies for Transfer. Now, I’m a senior at SDSU. My vision is much closer to reality, and I still have friends, old and new. Therefore, the final advice I’d offer to freshmen is to envision your optimal future and then let every moment count toward that potential. Make it happen!


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