Dear Freshman Year Self

Let’s face it– the first year of college can often be challenging and unpredictable. We are thrown into a new environment and have to acclimate ourselves to the changes that come along with classes, relationships and adulting in general. A few graduating seniors and a college professor share some advice they wish freshmen would know.

Fourth-year education major Daniel Granger outlined his unique experience. 

“As someone who went to community college over zoom for two years and college over zoom for a year, I can tell you that Point Loma is a gift that we should never take for granted.” 

Granger described how to deal with the inevitable trials that occur with the college experience. 

“Trust the process and more importantly trust God through it all,” Granger said “When trials happen, something will come out of it. When the pandemic happened during my sophomore year of college, I didn’t realize that it would lead me to eventually transfer to Loma.”

Fourth-year biochemistry major, Nathan Dickman, developed tactics that have helped him with time management. 

“Cut things out of your day that waste time.” Dickman said. “I never have Snapchat, Facebook, Tiktok, or any other social media downloaded unless it is school related. You can waste hours mindlessly scrolling, which can negatively impact your mental health. Instead, you could focus your time on cultivating a hobby or building memories with friends.”

He specifically spoke on the value of picking up a hobby like becoming involved in a school club.

“Find a club you really like that resonates with you and start observing how the current faculty are running it. Take notes on what you’d like to see improved and get involved with making that happen,” Dickman said. 

If students aren’t interested in joining a club, or would rather make money, Dickman said students should try to get an on-campus job 

“That’s much-needed income and more importantly, you can build relationships on those base-level jobs that can be used to run for club offices, ASB, RA, ministry, etc. It’s a free opportunity to make connections that will benefit you later.”

Freshman-year housing and registration can be quite stressful. Fourth-year christian studies major Cai Silva advised students, “Don’t worry if you don’t get into all of the classes you need. It always works out at the end.” 

Silva learned a lot about navigating the unexpected during his time at school. 

“The challenges will make you stronger. It is okay if you do not have the answers to all of your questions. Take one step at a time,” Silva said.“Surround yourself with friends that embrace honesty and bring you closer to Jesus.” 

Assistant Professor of kinesiology, Rich Hills, explained the importance of incoming students adopting and maintaining healthy lifestyle choices early on, which can “help individuals handle stress better, create positive feelings of overall well being and can change a person’s outlook on life.”

Hills affirmed that choices affect the body. 

“The changes are biochemical, helping nearly all bodily functions, hormone control and mental health,” Hills said. “Other lifestyle choices such as mindfulness, adequate sleep and balanced nutrition all play important roles in the big picture. When these are not prioritized, individual’s usually experience more sickness, injury and stress accumulation.”  

Getting used to college can be a struggle, but each student on campus has experienced it and many have acquired knowledge from persevering through the challenges and unknowns.

Written By: Megan Lonsdale