Top 3 pieces of advice for incoming freshmen at Cal

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You are about to enter a new stage in your life — one with no more curfews and no one looking over your shoulder at any given moment. Freedom, pure and exhilarating, is perhaps the aspect of college you’re most looking forward to. Or maybe it’s the new environment?

Whatever the case, it’s fair to say that things may not pan out entirely the way you expect. And you’ll learn with time that that’s completely OK. As a rising senior and former Golden Bear Orientation leader, here are three tips I’d give to any incoming freshman — including my former self!

Be prepared to manage your time

In college, you have the ability to determine what you’re going to do for however long you’re going to do it. There is no semblance of a seven-period, back-to-back class structure like there is in high school. There’s also no one forcing you to do something if you don’t want to do it.

You manage your own time — whether that pertains to academics, social life or anything in between. Naturally, I recommend getting a planner and crafting a schedule that works for you. Embrace the freedom. Go at your own pace. Do whatever it is you want — and should — do.

After all, there is no one holding you accountable but yourself.

Pursue your passions

I never planned to write for The Daily Californian.

As a student council kid, journalism wasn’t even remotely on my radar in high school. But alas, here I am. I’m also majoring in both media studies and society and environment. The classes I’m taking for each respective major barely contain any overlapping content, but I’m interested in both. Therefore, I’m pursuing both.

In other words, college is a time to explore — explore your interests, your passions and, most importantly, yourself. You don’t have to be the person you were in high school.

Conversely, you can also do exactly what you always thought you’d want to do.
No one cares. College is a place where everyone learns more about themselves, whether that’s learning something new or reaffirming past and current interests.

Join clubs, find new people and test the waters — you won’t regret it!

Take naps and prioritize yourself

It should go without saying that your mental and physical health comes first. But in college, that’s sometimes easier said than done.

Of course, everyone operates differently, but I, for one, am a huge advocate of naps. Though it may be difficult, set aside time in your schedule to sleep. Whether it’s a midafternoon snooze or a full sleep cycle overnight, rest is the best antidote to any ailment.

Granted, all-nighters will happen. Every college student has had their fair share of them. But managing your time is one way you can avoid sleep deprivation, and naps are a good way to avoid its more severe consequences. By taking these tangible steps, you’ll feel recharged, rested and ready to start your freshman year with full confidence. Go Bears!

Ryan Chien is the sports editor. Contact him at [email protected]