Shout-out to Freshmen

Hello! My name is Catherine Quan-Kep and I am a veterinary medicine major. I was attending Madison Area Technical College in Madison, WI, but now I’m in the transfer process for Cal Poly Pomona. My ultimate goal is to become a veterinarian for domesticated animals and horses. Caring for and spending times with animals has always been a passion of mine. My other passions and hobbies are dancing, theaters arts, movies, music, and healthy living.
For many incoming freshmen, the experience of starting college can be thrilling and intimidating. This is a time where you’re leaving home, family, and friends, and going into unfamiliar territory. You’re now faced with an intense work load as well as getting to know your new community. Many questions arise, like where are your classes? Should you join a club? How do you balance your studies and your social life? Are you ready for this?
Questions, doubts, concerns, and while all of it is nerve-wrecking just realize that this is normal. You’ll see that there are many other freshmen and even upperclassmen that are going through very similar situations. Everyone is experiencing some sort of change, whether it is just starting college, moving out of a dorm and into an apartment, or changing your major. Never expect things to stay the same. You’ll eventually find that you’ll be transitioning throughout your college career. This will be scary at times, but try to look at it as growing pains and growing pains always past.
Stay positive. No matter how unfamiliar or unexpected the change may be, staying positive will get you through it. That is one of the greatest things you can do because it’ll keep you going. It’ll give you the motivation to conquer your challenges and ease the stress that comes with it. To reinforce this mindset, try to take advantage of the many opportunities on campus. College will present you with a wide variety of extracurricular and entertainment. Join a club that you’re passionate about. Go to the library and read a good book. Hang out with friends. Make sure to do something you like for some amount of the day. Consider this time as emotional or mental maintenance for yourself so you can be ready to take on the next stressor that you’re faced with.
Overall, always keep in mind that you’re in college to get a degree, but don’t forget about all the exciting and fun aspects of this new experience. There are so many great opportunities that are available to you. Be willing to take advantage of them because these opportunities can lead to great things. You’re also there to meet new people, learn new things, and improve and mature as an individual. This time in your life is crucial to where you ultimately want to be in the future. Accept all of the unfamiliarities with open arms so you can later say “been there, done that” with a feeling of accomplishment. Remember, there are many others in the same boat with you, having the same questions and concerns. You are not alone and are as capable and ready as every other college student. Good luck!

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