Sol on the Street: After a year in a pandemic, what advice do college students have for incoming college freshman?

May 10, 2021 /

May 2021 marks the final month of high school for many high school seniors in Kern County, bringing a four-year long experience to an end.

A brand new four-year experience is about to begin to those who chose to take the college path. Current high school seniors have learned many lessons and thankfully some mistakes were avoided due to advice given by others who previously attended high school or from those who experienced similar situations as them.

To help incoming college freshman, we reached out to a few students who graduated from Kern County high schools last school year for advice they would like to share with incoming college freshmen, now that their freshman year of college is ending. Here is what they had to say:

Q: What advice would you like to share with incoming college freshmen and what additional advice would you also like to share if remote learning continues next school year?

A: Try not to stress too much. Your mental health comes before anything else. Take it easy, and do not procrastinate. Learn to be uncomfortable because it is going to happen a lot. Also, I would like to add that if remote learning continues, enjoy it. It sucks to not learn in person but there is nothing you can really do about it, so enjoy being around your family and your high school friends because there is a possible chance you will never get to see them again.

— Jesus Murguia, UC Riverside, class of 2024

A: My advice for college freshmen is to pick up a studying habit that personally fits you if remote learning continues; it would tremendously help with the amount of work given in college. By figuring out how to plan ahead and study ahead, you will have a lot of time to focus on other things. Also, your mental health comes first, so always try to take an effort to do something that pleases the mind since school may be stressful.

— Samantha Blanco, San Jose State, class of 2023

A: My best advice I could give is to be present. Do not be shy to reach out to other students, especially with remote learning. Building a strong group of friends, within or outside of your major, is extremely beneficial to you. And additionally, knowing when to ask questions. Many other students come from school districts with phenomenal test scores, so rather than fearing the students, learn to ask them questions, for these students will be the biggest help to you and your academic pursuits. If remote learning persists, my advice is to establish a routine. Remote learning can feel as if you are not really going to school, and this is extremely dangerous, especially in college. Creating a new routine whether it be learning your class schedule and planning when to do your homework, or scheduling breaks. This can help you with adjusting to remote learning while leaving time for mental health breaks.

— Tarissa Almeida, UC Los Angeles, class of 24

A: My advice to incoming college freshmen is to simply try to make the best out of the circumstances that we are all in. Time management is huge in college and now is the perfect time to practice it. Also, do not be afraid to reach out to classmates whether it is through email, zoom chat, or in person, just try to talk to them. We should all help each other out during this tough time.

— Ashley Rios, Cal State Bakersfield, class of 2024

A: I advise incoming college freshmen to reach out for help from any offered tutor. I know that this advice is always repeated, but reaching out for help personally saved my calculus series’ grade. It can be insanely helpful when you do not have any friends in the course and feel stuck. If remote learning continues, I advise you to make a list for the day in which you organize what you want to get done for the day, including every task like breakfast and shopping. COVID-19 Has made doing anything dreadful, but having an organized plan makes academic tasks doable and easier.

— Elizabeth Angulo, UC Davis, class of 2024

A: I advise incoming college freshmen to take advantage of campus resources. I am a member of the Educational Opportunity Program and they have helped guide me through my first year. I am also a member of the Community Health Student Organization and they have introduced me to internships and volunteering opportunities at places where I can make a difference. If remote learning continues, I would advise students to stay organized. My first semester was online and it was a disaster until I bought a planner and began to make a schedule. So definitely stay organized but also take breaks. Always make sure to go outside and listen to some music in between classes.

— Jacquline Valdez, San Jose State, class of 2024

A: A piece of advice that I would give to an incoming freshman is to learn how to roll with the punches. A lot of things that are out of your control will happen, so it is crucial to put yourself at ease, take things day by day, and reflect on what you are thankful for that day and how it has impacted you. A lot of unexpected things are bound to happen in your educational journey, some may be bumpy and others may not, but it will impact you in a way that will make your college experience unforgettable. If remote learning continues, I would advise to create a schedule. Creating and sticking to a schedule will be vital to your college success, especially if things continue virtually. Being stuck at home might make your train of thought go off the rails, but with a schedule, you will have something to stick to on a daily basis and it will make the time fly by. It will also help you if you are wanting to join any organizations, work a job, or pursue internship research opportunities.

— Cristian Reyes, Cal Poly SLO, class of 2024

A: A piece of advice I would give to incoming freshmen is to try not to put too much pressure on yourself if you are struggling because others feel the same way. It is a new environment and it can take time to adjust, so it is fine to take it at your own speed. If we continue with all my learning, go to class and do all the Rings. It is so easy to slack off but it is very difficult to catch up.

— Marian Cardenas, Fresno State, class of 2024

A: It is a new start in your chapter. A different environment and change. You have the opportunity to see what you want to pursue and be in life. I recommend trying your very best in every assignment in class. Work hard, no matter what. If remote learning continues, try your best to stay productive and make time for the people and things that you love. You got this.

— Karent Hernandez, Fresno State, class of 2024

A: Some advice I would give to incoming college freshmen is to not procrastinate. College is hard because I procrastinate myself, so the work piles up. Also if you are ever lost in class, do not hesitate to email your professor for help because they will be more than happy to help you out. Lastly, try to register early for your classes so you have more options to choose from.

— Laila Uriate, Cal State Bakersfield, class of 2024

A: The advice that I would give an incoming freshman is to take classes that you are interested in. When registering for classes, choose classes that you are genuinely interested in since it makes you want to go to class and learn. Also, never be afraid to ask professors questions or go to their office hours. Even if you think your question is stupid, it most likely is not and professors are more than welcome to answer them. If remote learning continues, try to stick to a schedule. Having a schedule will help you not only attend class but to do assignments. Sometimes school work and assignments can make you feel burnt out, but remember that sometimes you just need to give yourself a break.  This can be done by just taking a short walk or even grabbing a snack. Just remember that no matter the situation you got this.

— Edith Solis, Saint Xavier University, class of 2024