4 things I wish I could tell my freshman self after finally transferring to a 4-year

Saddleback College bridge to LRC. Credit: Saddleback Facebook/Contributor: Alexia Tufenkjian

As I’m getting ready to transfer to Cal State Fullerton in the spring, I can’t help but wish that I had known what I know now when it comes to getting through community college. Whether it’s the timing or lessons I learned later on that were no longer as beneficial to me towards the end of my time at Saddleback, I have learned a lot, and hopefully, this will help anyone at any stage of their college career at Saddleback.

I have attended Saddleback College for almost five years now, so I think I have had quite some time to reflect on what I should have and should not have done during my overstay at the community college. Here’s my take on four pieces of advice that I would give my fresh out of high school, 18-year-old self if I could.

1. Let’s start off real here. You’re never “too cool” to get involved.

For some reason, I entered Saddleback College with the mindset that I could not be bothered to get involved in clubs or activities, and I would just ignore them at all costs. The thing is, Saddleback does a great job of trying to get their students connected by hosting an engaging and interactive “Club Rush” on the quad, that takes place on specific dates of the school semester.

I wish I could go back and get to know the clubs one by one and possibly join one for reasons such as professional development, networking opportunities, leadership skills, and more. Why not?

2. Do not rely on following the MAP solely to plan your courses and semesters out. Stop being lazy and meet with a counselor. They’re there FOR YOU!

Your time as a student at Saddleback College is precious. You cannot risk messing up your courses, and good news is you don’t have to. The most crucial advice I could give is to meet with an academic counselor before you register for a whole new semester of classes every semester.

It was about four semesters in when I realized I could not just rely on the MAP from Mysite, and I should probably make sure I’m on the right path. Learn from my mistakes, and you may even transfer sooner than you think, as long as you’re staying on top of things.

3. Stop complaining about parking when the situation could be so much worse elsewhere.

Over the years at Saddleback, I think it’s safe to say that if you can survive the first day of the semester parking situation, you could survive anything. Yes, you’ll be going around and around for at least a good hour or so, but you do eventually find a spot and make it to your class, right?

Another thing to add is that the parking pass is affordable here, whereas just a semester alone parking pass fee at a school like CSUF, for example, can be anywhere up to $285. Next time the parking or parking pass price at Saddleback frustrates you, keep this in mind. It could be a whole lot worse.

4. Don’t be so mute in class because it will most likely come back to bite you.

For some reason, I rarely talk in my classes, but I don’t stop talking when I’m out of them and with people, I’m familiar and comfortable with. If you’re particularly shy when it comes to school, here me out on this one, if you remain quiet all semester and you’re taking a class like public speaking for example where it is mandatory to present, you will eventually be talking sooner or later, so get a head start and get a little familiar with your peers.

From personal experience, when you go from not talking at all in class to suddenly presenting in front of the whole class and the teacher, it’s far more intimidating. Save yourself in advance and get talking!

That concludes the four pieces of advice I would provide my freshman-self with, if possible. I genuinely stand by these and know they are beneficial to your overall experience as a student at Saddleback College. Make sure to incorporate and be mindful of these critical pieces while you can. I genuinely wish you all the best of luck during your years at Saddleback.

You got this, Gauchos!