Success in College: A Journey of Self-Discovery and Growth

Fresno State President Saul Jimenez Sandoval

As students get closer to graduation after four years at Fresno State, many can’t help but feel a sense of accomplishment and nostalgia.

Some may also have a feeling of apprehension for what lies ahead because once you graduate, you no longer have the “I’m a student” excuse to slack off. 

For many, college is a rollercoaster ride of challenges and triumphs, where students gains skills and insights on how to succeed and thrive, especially if you’re pursuing a science major.

The most important thing about college is it’s a journey of self-discovery. It’s an opportunity to explore your interests, expand your horizons, and develop the skills necessary for success.

Here are some tips for first-year students, particularly those in science majors:

  1. Stay Organized: College life can be hectic, and science majors often have demanding course loads. Invest in a planner or use digital tools to keep track of assignments, deadlines, and important dates. Staying organized will help you manage your time effectively.
  2. Build Strong Relationships: Your professors are valuable resources. Attend office hours, ask questions, and seek their guidance. Establishing a rapport with them can lead to research opportunities and useful recommendations for your future.
  3. Join Study Groups: Science majors often require collaborative learning. Joining or forming study groups can help you grasp complex concepts, share notes, and prepare for exams effectively.
  4. Utilize Campus Resources: Fresno State offers many resources such the Academic Resource Center (ARC), Center for Access to Science for All (CASA) which provide tutoring centers, academic advisors, scholarships and many other resources. Take advantage of these services to enhance your academic performance and personal growth.
  5. Time Management: Balancing academics, extracurricular activities, and a social life can be challenging. Develop practical time management skills to ensure you have enough time for everything. Prioritize your responsibilities and learn to say no when necessary. This is easy said then done. But it’s up to you to figure it out.
  6. Stay Healthy: Your physical and mental well-being are crucial. Make time for regular exercise, Fresno State Recreational Center offers students a place exercise and participate in intramural sports maintain a balanced diet, and get adequate sleep. Seek support if you’re struggling with stress or mental health issues. The university offers free health and counseling services through the Student Heath and Counseling Center.

    Mirror Lake in Yosemite National Park
    Mirror Lake at Yosemite National Park| Photo by Maurice Ndole
  7. Get Involved: Join clubs, organizations, or research opportunities related to your major. Being active on campus adds to your college experience, provides networking opportunities, and enhances your resume.
  8. Plan Your Career: Start thinking about your career goals early on. Attend career fairs, seek internships, and consider participating in undergraduate research projects. The experience you gain outside the classroom can be as crucial as your coursework. The Career Development Center located at USU 306, provides students and staff with career guidance and support such as interview success tips, lessons about creating resumes and cover letters among others. Visit the career development website for news and information about Fresno’s job market and upcoming events. 
  9. Embrace Failure: College is a place for learning and growth, and failure is a part of that process. Don’t be discouraged by setbacks; use them as opportunities to learn and improve.
  10. Enjoy the Journey: College is about more than just academics. Make lasting memories by attending sporting events and cultural festivals and exploring the beautiful areas around Fresno, such as Yosemite National Park. The Fresno State Student Affairs and Enrollment Management department plans numerous events every semester for students to get involved. 

Success in college, especially in a science major, is about finding balance, staying committed, and embracing growth opportunities. College is a transformative experience, and by following these tips, you can make the most of your time at Fresno State and set yourself up for a fulfilling career.