Survival Guide to Freshman Year

Tips And Tabs For The College Experience

By Victoria Priola

College, it is the place your parents and teachers have been preparing you for your entire life. All the city tests and stresses you have endured have led to this moment, becoming a college student.

Whether you’re enrolled at The College of Staten Island or anywhere else, getting to college is one step closer to becoming an independent person in society. Making it is easy, the trick is getting through it.

Once you arrive on campus on the first day of the semester, you will be faced with one of the leading complaints of students who drive–limited parking. Getting a parking pass is one thing, finding a spot is another. The best advice in this regard is the old saying, “the early bird gets the worm.”

If you want to find a parking spot relatively close to where you need to go, arrive to campus at least an hour before class time. From 12 through two in the afternoon, it is extremely difficult to maneuver campus.

The prime time to head to school would be around 10 to 11:15 in the morning. Forget about getting a spot in parking lot one, it will never happen. It is best to park in lot three or four. Prepare for a lot of walking.

Another thing to prepare for is class. is said to be a helpful source of information on professors. Students can search for their professor and read the evaluations of previous students.While reading the reviews for professors, remember to incorporate your own judgment.

The CSI Bookstore in the Campus Center and its website are great for finding the books needed for classes. When it comes to selling books, other websites such as Chegg and Textbooks R Us can be useful.

After you have sorted out what you will need for your classes, you will then be able to make some time for activities. The College of Staten Island is very involved with their students.

Every year the Campus Activities Board holds a “Back to School” week where incoming freshmen can become acquainted with the clubs and organizations on campus. Most of the events are held in and around 1C. Hanging around there is a great place to mingle with people of different interests.

“Internships and participation in campus clubs and activities are extremely important. Do well in class, but also do well outside of class and make it matter,” said CSI Alumni Tori Brando.

Do things you’ve always wanted to but never had the chance to. If you already know what you want to get into then go for it. Four years go by in the blink of an eye, make yours count.

Although getting involved is advised, discover your limits. Prioritizing what can fit into your schedule without a mental breakdown occurring is a hidden skill that college will teach you.

Don’t spread yourself too thin. Be prepared for long nights at the library and frequent trips to Starbucks located inside building 1L, the library.  College is not about coddling and it will not get any easier.

Some students don’t know what they’re doing with their lives in or after college. Those who go in with a plan ultimately change it a few times come graduation. It is completely normal to have no idea what to study.

Sometimes in college such as life, one needs to grow into what she is meant to do. College is a time to have the freedom to make your own choices. The College of Staten Island offers a wide variety of majors–the newest addition being Geography.

Geographer Peter Kabachnik says “In social sciences and humanities, the specific major someone has is not as important for most employers as people assume. I encourage students to major in what excites and interests them over what they feel (or a parent feels) sounds like a ‘better’ major”. As long as you utilize the tools and real life skills college experience provides, your time in school will be worthwhile.

College will be whatever you make it. The best time of your life or the worst, it will be a wonderful experience.

CSI student Ruth Li believes that having a positive mindset will enable anything to be accomplished. “When learning something new, set your pride aside”.

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