Today@Sam Article

Management Major Shares 'First-Year' Lessons In Acclimating To Campus Life

July 29, 2016
SHSU Media Contact: Jennifer Gauntt

Editor's note: Every summer, sophomores share some of their experiences and offer advice to SHSU's newest cohort of freshmen. In his “First-Year Series” piece, Leonel Ochoa, a management major from Freeport, shares how taking advantage of campus resources positively impacted his grades, social life and overall well-being. You also can read about Destiny Caldwell’s experience here, Mara Barnette’s here, and Brian Aldaco's here.

Leonel Ochoa
As the treasurer for the Bearkat Democrats, management major Leonel Ochoa participated in debates against the College Republicans, as seen above in a previous event, in which he discussed immigration in the Academic Building IV Olson Auditorium. —Photo by Brynn Castro

Dear newest Bearkat,

Congrats on getting accepted to one of the best colleges in the Texas! While you take the next step into your journey, I would like to share what I learned in my first year about what SHSU has to offer.

At Sam Houston State University, it is easy to become friends or meet new people. I remember my first day; I thought I wouldn’t get along with anyone, but eventually I met people because everyone here is really friendly. 

In the middle of the social aspects of college, it is easy to forget all the responsibilities you have to do. I found that having sticky notes and a calendar came in handy. Having these helped me be more aware of the new responsibilities I had, reminding me about doing laundry, attending weekly meetings for my organizations, and, of course, homework. 

Another lesson I learned was about procrastination; I would advise you to not wait until 11 p.m. to do your homework when it is due at midnight. I once forgot that I had an online quiz at 10:40 p.m. and the quiz was due at 11 p.m. Luckily, I was fortunate to pass the quiz, but not with the grade I wished I would have had. You might want to avoid doing homework at night because your computer may have issues or Blackboard can be down during that time, which may affect your grade. I also recommend to make sure you study ahead of time, instead the night before, because when you wake up that morning, you may be too tired and won’t want to wake up in time for your exam. Studying a couple of days before the exam will benefit you; I use flash cards, which help me memorize the material more easily, and when my hardest exam came, I was able to make an A. Making sure you take care of responsibilities first is the best way to earn a high GPA. 

Being a first-time college student can be sometimes stressful. For me, attending Freshman Learning Community events, gave me a few “stress breaks” throughout each week. I highly recommend that you become part of the Freshman Learning Communities, or another organization for students from your major. One of the reasons I loved being in FLC was the great lectures from my professors and the small class sizes; I also had classes with mostly the same students who are in the same major as I am, which makes it easier to interact with them. 

Furthermore, being in Freshman Learning Communities exposed me to other university resources, such as the University 1301 course, which is very helpful if you are an incoming freshman. It taught me how to deal with time management, how to properly study for exams, and gave me tips to improve my skills so I can put them on my resume. In addition, SHSU offers the Writing Center, which is there to help you on how to improve your essays or research papers. For one of my research papers, I visited the Writing Center about four times, but it all paid off at the end because I received an A. So you should not be embarrassed to go a couple of times; the students and faculty are there to help you make the best quality work for any writing assignment. Not only does it offer writing help, but also if you’re struggling with math, SHSU has an Academic Success Center with staff that will help you step by step for each problem. 

College is a great opportunity to network with others and gain leadership roles and skills, as well as to receive a good education, and I can assure you that you made the right choice in picking SHSU to be your new home.   

I hope to see you all soon, class of 2020! Eat’Em Up Kats!

Leonel Ochoa


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