Honest About College

by: Ale Cruz

College is coming up, whether you just graduated or just became a senior, it's a trending topic. I just finished my first year of college at a public university in my hometown where I am majoring in Graphic Design and hopefully minoring in Computer Science. It wasn't my first or second or even third choice, but I've learned to appreciate what this year has taught me.

Not getting into your dream school sucks, it does. My dream school rejected me and I wasn't able to afford my second dream school, but I am lucky to be at a school where I have my tuition covered 100% each year and where they offer the major that I wanted. It's not easy and it did take me a while, but I am grateful to be able to continue my education.

It is a whole new setting, take your time to adjust. Grab a college map and explore! Take a guided tour before arriving, if you are able to. Research about places nearby, talk to your tour guides about their favorite places at the university. My first day at college, I carried around all my art supplies that I had bought and had no wifi or cellphone service, and ended up eating fries at Jack in the Box. It doesn't get much worse.

Your college course planner isn't set in stone! This is college, take what you need to take for graduation but strive for what you like. Talk to your major advisors. As an art major attending a public university, I am required to take general ed classes, so I took courses that interested me. I also wanted to try out computer science since I never had the chance to in high school, and now I'm on my way to minor in it!

Commuting might be hard at first, but everything works out. If you have a car, buy the parking passes early and plan what parking structure will be more convenient. If you don't drive yet (like me!), check public transportation or arrange times and places of where to get picked up.

Sometimes college takes more than 4 years. It’s okay! Make sure to plan ahead your finances and consider taking classes at community college. Your plans may change, things happen, but don't let that stop you from getting that diploma! Always check with an advisor before taking time off, they'll be able to help so that the process is smooth.