The Daily Aztec

Here’s why you shouldn’t stress, freshmen

by Shayne Jones

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An unread message from the San Diego State University Office of Admissions flashes ostentatiously into your Google inbox. Hand trembling in anticipation, you scroll toward the illuminated portal holding the keys to your future, you click, and…

Congratulations-you’ve-been-accepted-to-SDSU’s-class-of-2022-and-you-can’t-even-read-the-rest-because-your-anxious-mom-has-been-hovering-over-your-shoulder-the-whole-time-and-she-shrieks-and-says-honey-you-did-it-and-now-you’re-on-your-way-to-Bed-Bathand-Beyond-to-pick-out-a-comforter-for-your-new-dorm-room-where-you’ll-be-living-with-a-complete-stranger-and-now-you’re-at-orientation-learning-the-Aztec-fight-song-next-to-your-new-classmates-oh-that-guy-is-pretty-cute-fast-forward-to-the-first-day-classes-and…

WOAH. Slow down. You haven’t even had a chance to take a breath and digest the titanic metamorphosis that your life is undergoing right now. You’re a frickin college student. On your frickin own. For the first time, like, ever.

It’s not that you’re not excited, because you are. No more “where are you?” texts from your mom at 12:01 a.m. when your curfew was 12:00 a.m. No more parties where you have to lie and say “yeah don’t worry, dad, the parents will be home.”

You don’t have to deal with any of that anymore. But you just can’t seem to shake the quiet anxiety that bubbles up when you think about where you’re going to sit on your first day of Psych 101 in the 500-student lecture hall, or the dizzying blur of unfamiliar faces that will whisk past you at the union during your first passing period.

You’re independent, and you’ve been preparing for this day for practically your entire adolescent life, but this is still, nevertheless, uncharted territory.

Hi. My name is Shayne Jones, I am a transfer student, and I have had the unexpected fortuity of experiencing this special freshman phenomenon not just once, not twice, but three times during my college career.

I come to you with two years of previous college experience, but just as much uncertainty concerning the journey that is about to unfold in front of me.

My freshman year of college commenced at the University of Washington in Seattle, WA, where I joined a sorority (because that’s what you’re supposed to do in college, right?), discovered  it wasn’t for me, dealt with the crappy Seattle Gloom, did some serious soul-searching and decided to bow out and begin anew at DeAnza College in Cupertino, California. I spent two quarters there, keeping my head down as I plowed through GE’s and worked to pass the mundane existence of community college life.

Fast forward to today, about a week away from my Transfer Orientation at SDSU. I’m sitting in a Starbucks near my house drinking a Nitro Cold Brew and brainstorming “advice” that I could bestow upon the bright-eyed and bushy-tailed young-adults of 2018’s Freshman class, and this is what I have come up with:

Your college years, no matter how you choose to spend them, will undoubtedly be the most unexpected of your life. You are going to learn things about yourself that you never imagined discovering. You will have fleeting moments when you hate yourself. But you will have many more un-fleeting moments of complete euphoria when you realize you adore the person that you’re becoming. Sometime during your college career, your ‘path’ may completely change direction. Whether that manifests in the form of a major-change, significant other, a trip abroad, or even a change of schools, it’s going to catch you off guard. But if and when that happens, you must always, always go with your gut. As exhausted an adage as it is, I cannot stress it enough.

I was thrown for a loop when I realized that I would be transferring schools smack dab in the middle of my four years, but I have come to know that it is the best thing that will ever happen to me.

You are about to board a roller coaster that will make you laugh, cry, smile, scream and maybe even throw up at times (thanks, Rage Cage). And it’s not going to be all smooth sailing; but that’s the beauty of college.

Don’t stress, it’ll all happen the way it’s supposed to. Just take a deep breath, lean back and enjoy the ride.

Sometime during your college career, your ‘path’ may completely change direction. Whether that manifests in the form of a major-change, significant other, a trip abroad, or even a change of schools, it’s going to catch you off guard. But if and when that happens, you must always, always go with your gut. As exhausted an adage as it is, I cannot stress it enough.

I was thrown for a loop when I realized that I would be transferring schools smack dab in the middle of my four years, but I have come to know that it is the best thing that will ever happen to me.

Don’t stress, it’ll all happen the way it’s supposed to. Just take a deep breath, lean back and enjoy the ride.

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