Freshman Survival Guide: How to Stay Sane and Not Fail Your Classes

Tips to Handle Stress

We all deal with stress. It’s a six letter word that can never be pushed aside. Especially when it’s your first year in college. Students who passed their first year have these tips for freshmen.

It’s important to take it easy and go at your own pace. We tend to feel pressure to finish everything fast whether it’s to register for classes or to graduate.

“Spread out your classes. Counselors sometimes show you all your classes and all the classes you need to take. Don’t rush into it. Don’t take it all at once. If you need your time, take your time,” sophomore psychology major, Jorge Barcelo said.

Take the time to unwind and loosen up because when the stress is heavy, our brains need relief.

“I also take a day or a week for myself to relax, listen to music, to catch up on things I need to do, and then take a moment to re-energize myself for the rest of the week,” Barcelo said.

Another way students cope with stress is to have friends or a support group to keep them motivated and sane. Spend quality time with other students who relate because it can help ease your mind from homework and exams.

“Having friends has been the most help because when you don’t know anyone, it is stressful,” sophomore Dominic Nguyen said. / Faith Hernandez

Study with a friend on campus to alleviate the workload. / Aron Hernandez / el Don

Homework Advice

Adapting to your classes and building effective study habits is a challenge.

It is recommended by psychology experts to do individual study first in order to better grasp the material.

“I just sit in my room, I sit there until I get it done, I think about my grade, the money my mom has to pay for my classes. If I don’t go she’ll yell at me,” nursing major Briana Serna said.

Other students like to approach their study time with a plan already in mind. It helps to break apart long term goals into smaller, attainable steps according to a 2015 article found in the American Psychological Association.

“Well I usually take an hour of just focusing on my homework or if there’s a quiz coming up, I’ll just study the stuff that I know will be on it,” junior Andrew Webb said.

Making time to study is also crucial to doing well in class. Keep a calendar or a schedule to organize your priorities then get your to-do’s done.

“A lot of the time student forget things to begin with but if it’s right there on the schedule it helps them visualize it better and they’re more likely to stick to it,” math professor at SAC, Amit Mishal said.

Avoid the learning curve with these tips:

  • Find a place to study that accommodates to your needs, it could be the library or somewhere more comfortable, like your house.
  • Do not overload your brain with information, so take breaks, but don’t lose the vibe.
  • Play music in the background.
  • Find the time you think is best to study. This can be in the morning when your mind is fresh, or at night when you can get rest afterwards. / Aron Hernandez

Loaded asada fries sold by Dos Mexicanos. / Nikki Nelsen / el Don

Get Your Munch On

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With so much to deal with as an incoming college student, making sure to stay fed is important.

According to students, they spend anywhere from $15 to $45 a week on just food and drinks while at school. Common places freshmen eat are across campus in the Bristol Marketplace where they can get Chipotle, Subway and Taco Bell.

“I usually bring my own lunch or I go across the street for Taco Bell. I spend about $20 to $30 a week on food,” freshman biology major Manny Alcazar said.

Students can buy snacks at The Don Express, a one stop shop that resembles a corner store. Carrying everything from cup of noodle soups, cookies, condoms and eye drops.

In the spring 2018 semester, the Don Express added healthier options like carrots and apple slices to accommodate students’ health. The Campus Store located in the Village is also a viable option for nourishment.

Other places to eat include two food trucks located by the Village, Dos Mexicanos and el Pepino Loco. The former is a Mexican style food truck with dishes like asada fries and mulitas, a quesadilla filled with the meat of your choice. The latter serves up Mexican botanas, spanish for snacks, such as hot cheetos on elote and other spicy snacks.

“The tacos [at Dos Mexicanos] were really good. They did something different, they put lechuga on them. They’re not too expensive and I got full off of two,” junior nursing major, Alondra O. said.

Another spot to grab something to eat on campus is the portable coffee shop called The Drip, located next to the library. They sell hot, iced and blended coffee, espresso, teas, smoothies and pastries at affordable prices with drinks that range from two to six dollars.

“The pricing is pretty reasonable. I like to leave the cookies on the table in the sun when it’s hot so they get soft, gooey and really good,” freshman computer science major Laura Soto said. / Karen Rodriguez

The Don Express: Monday through Thursday 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The Campus Store: Monday through Thursday 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Follow on instagram @sac.campusstores

The Drip hours: Monday through Thursday 7:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Friday 7:30 a.m. to noon.

Dos Mexicanos hours: Monday through Thursday 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Follow on instagram @dosmexicanosgrill

El Pepino Loco hours: Monday through Thursday 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Follow on instagram @elpepinoloco_714

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