My Freshman Year Experience at Eastern

Jennifer Zuniga   Staff Writer

Being millions of miles away from home, Atlanta, Georgia, I put everything on the line in pursuit of a higher education at Eastern. While I was in high school, all the wonders of what college would consist of circulated my mind. I had so many questions, such as, how are the classes? How much work are the professors going to assign? What kinds of things would I encounter living in a traditional residence hall shared with other people?
The beginning of the school year was full of many exciting yet nerve-wracking moments. Everything was new and fresh to the environment including me and other students. Getting the opportunity to meet incredible people who continue to play a role in my life has dramatically helped me settle down in a new state.
As a new freshman, I made the mistake of taking 8 a.m. classes Monday through Friday. If there’s one thing that I’ve learned about taking early classes, it is to never to take them unless it’s your last option. My mindset was “I went to school for years being able to wake up early.” That’s where I went wrong. If I could give any advice to an incoming freshman it would be that college isn’t the same as high school when it comes to time management. With high school being time structured, it was easier to better adjust time outside of school. However, in college, students are able to create their own schedule without any structure. Throughout the year, I tried to figure out ways to construct my daily schedule, but have yet to learn better ways to manage my time. Being the person that I am, I wanted to make time for everything: my academics, clubs and activities, gym, eating time, my social life, and so on. I didn’t realize the level of responsibility I needed coming into college.
At the beginning of the school year, I wanted to major in Communication. However, as time passed, I was introduced to the New Media Studies and the English major. Since they were both captivating, I decided to change my major. Talking to upperclassmen, I realized it is totally okay with changing your major as a freshman since you are not deep into your credits. As of right now, I am confined to my two majors. However, if down the road I decide to take another path, I know that I will be fine since college is all about learning who you are as an individual.
Prior to coming here, I knew that I wanted to be active at school by joining clubs and organizations that sparked my interest. As well as getting myself involved around the town by doing community service. I was able to define my role on campus through the many extracurricular activities I took part in, such as The Campus Lantern, OLAS (Organization of Latin American Students), and RHA (Residence Hall Association). Plus, time goes by faster when you are active.
Coming to Eastern has allowed me to go to places that I could only dream about. I can now say that I have been to Massachusetts, New York, Rhode Island, and Maine. This wouldn’t have been possible if I had not came to Eastern.
As this is a new chapter in my life, being a college student has allowed me to step outside my comfort zone by walking into the unknown, figuring out how to better manage my time, and trying new activities. I’m excited to see where the next three years will take me.

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