8 Advices for College Freshmen

Hey, it’s A!

 

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It is FINALLY August! We’re almost done with summer vacation, can you believe it?Recently, I’ve been reading and watching a lot of videos directed towards freshmen or “prepas”. Most of the advices people are giving you can be spot on accurate but some of them are jokes that may make you feel more nervous. I’m here to tell you to relax and breathe in. To be honest, I was kinda more excited rather than nervous. I could finally be myself because having a uniform for 12 years limited my will to reveal my true colors. Throughout the crazy adventure of being a “prepa” last year, I will give you some tips and advices that are crucial as a freshmen. Maybe you won’t understand what I’m saying at first but eventually you’ll know.

1. Know Your Campus

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This is something you should know by now. Luckily, in Sagrado, we’re so techy savvy that you can download the campus map on your phone. Make sure on the first day your eyes are not glued to the phone, believe me, we notice. My advice: on orientation day, have your schedule in hand and walk around the campus to see where are your classes. Trust me, your life will be so much easier. Even though Sagrado isn’t that big of a campus, make sure you don’t enter into the wrong classroom and five minutes later you realize you’re not in a communications class but in humanities (that’s what happened to me on the second day of freshmen year).  Therefore, it is crucial to know your campus so you will not look lost around the other students that are hunting to point out the “prepas”.

2. The First Friends You’ll Make Won’t Stick Around That Much

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I made a lot of friends on the first day, heck, I had a squad. Over the following weeks, we were all busy and never had time to meet up. They were all very good friends and we had our laughs but they weren’t my type of friends that I can hang out and talk to them every day. There will be people that you just don’t connect with and that’s okay. I spent my first year, meeting a lot of cool people but I still haven’t found a crowd that I can meet up after classes. BOTTOM LINE: Choose wisely your friends! “Dime con quién andas, y te diré quién eres” It can be frustrating, I know, I’ve been there, but soon you’ll have people that you can vibe with. Also, if you see me walk by on the campus, don’t hesitate to say hi!

3. SYLLABUS ARE ESSENTIAL

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Don’t throw that syllabus away! It’s not like in high school where they list you the materials you need to buy and all the boring stuff. College syllabuses have dates of your homework listed and/or upcoming exams. Don’t come crying to the professor that you did not know about the homework (there’s nothing more annoying than a lloripari in front of all your classmates).

4. Every Semester You’re a Freshman

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To be completely honest with you, everybody is a freshman every semester. Why? Because there are new classes, you’ll meet new people and you have to present yourself in EVERY class. Therefore, EVERYTHING is new EVERY semester. In one semester maybe you get to have a class with a friend but in the next one you’re probably in a classroom with absolute strangers. I think that’s the beauty of college: to force shy people to come out of their shells and socialize. So, really, don’t feel like a “prepa” because you’ll feel that way every semester.

5. You Don’t Need 5 Notebooks

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You don’t need to spend a lot on school supplies, you won’t really use them. College is a place where you sit in different random spots with a laptop. You won’t even need two notebooks! A lot of your classes will consist of powerpoints that professors send you by email. Just a laptop, a notebook with divisions and an agenda. Tip: if you’re an extremely lazy person and do not want to write notes, you can record the class. That way if you space out, you can always listen to it later. In that way, your cellphone is your best bud!

6. Be Open-Mind

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In college you will meet a lot of people with very different ideals. You may find catholic believers as well as atheist, people from Cabo Rojo as well as Mexicans, people who are devoted to politics as well as the arts. You will get to know people that can have a totally different view of life and perhaps you may not agree with them. This is why we need to be open for anybody’s opinion and criticism! You will learn a lot just by listening to somebody who has a total different opinion.

7. Tren Urbano and Public Buses Will Be Your BFF

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Guys and gals like me who do not have a car neither live on the campus may find a hard time trying to commute to college. The good thing about most colleges in Puerto Rico is that in every train stop you’re blocks away from the university. I rarely took the train and much less the bus. Now, I literally depend on these transportations to go anywhere in the metro area. This makes you somewhat independent and you’re less likely to ask for “pon”. Tip: on the first few days, check what estimated time the train or the bus arrives at the station and count the minutes it gets to arrive to college on time for your classes. Since I live in Bayamón, my commute to college is an estimated 25 minutes. There are no excuses for you to be late to class!

8. Relax and Enjoy

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There’s a myth still roaming in this world that high school is suppose to be the golden years. I say, that’s a big lie! High school was all about unnecessary drama and gossip. In my opinion, I did not like high school at all. I was excited to begin a new chapter and finally get to be myself. Now, I’m going to my second year of college and I simply love it. Sure, there were some classes where I literally wanted to yank my “greñas” out  and almost lost my sanity (*cough* photography *cough*) but I learned a lot of things in that class. I will not guarantee you that everyday in college is amazing, you will have days where you just want it to end but who doesn’t have those types of days?! I’ve been told that college years are the best years of your life and so far, they are right.

Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there! The idea of being alone on the first day may sound terrifying but you’ll make friends, I promise. College has done wonders for me. How so? I slowly shifted to who I wanted to be. A year ago, I was extremely shy, dependent on my parents and I rarely talked about my art. Now, I am slightly outspoken, independent and I don’t stop talking about my art. Maybe that is why I love college so much because it has opened doors for me to be myself. I’m sure you’ll love it too! If you need anything, if you’re free around the campus, you can reach me through twitter and instagram, I will answer as soon as possible. I’ll be seeing you on August 14th, “prepas”!

-A

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