First-Year Experience - Finding Your Way
June 14, 2018
SHSU Media Contact: Wes Hamilton
Editor’s note: Every summer, sophomores share some of their experiences and offer advice to SHSU’s newest cohort of freshman. In his “First-Year Series” discussion, Christian Martinez shares how joining the First-Year Experience organization helped him find his on a new campus.
Dear Future Bearkat,
My ﬁrst year at Sam Houston State University was an amazing experience. I would not have wanted to attend any other school but SHSU. Being in the Criminal Justice Living Learning Community, which groups first year students in the same classes and residence halls, was great because I made a lot of friends who had the same interests as me and wanted to further themselves in the ﬁeld.
However, I had some challenges while in college. My ﬁrst couple of weeks I was homesick. Since I’m very close to my mother, it was hard to be away from her. I eventually got over my homesickness because of the friends I made while being at Sam. Without them I don’t know how I could have gotten through it.
My other challenge was time management. I had to ﬁnd time for my academics and my personal life. During the week I had homework or I needed to study, so I would devote a few days out of the week to strictly work on my studies. There were times when I had to cancel on friends because I had work that needed to be done. It all worked out in the end, thanks to working hard on assignments during the week, my weekends were pretty much free.
The Writing Center helped me a lot in my English classes. If I wanted to make sure my paper was solid, it was easy to schedule an appointment and they would look over my paper with me to make sure I was on the right track. The library also helped me do well academically. It was a great place to focus on a paper, or to study for an exam and check out any books that I needed.
I joined an organization called ELITE, which is a student organization for minority men to help them adjust to college. They helped me make sure I was on top of my grades and provided any materials I needed such as scantrons or books.
I made the Dean’s List my ﬁrst year and I qualiﬁed for a textbook scholarship thanks to my good GPA. However, my biggest accomplishment of all was that I had a fun and enjoyable semester. I made friends with some of the best people, I had really good professors who cared for their students and I made so many memories. SHSU was a great choice for me and I think anyone would love it here.
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