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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Cal Poly chapter.

As a freshman at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, your first days of class can be intimidating. By now, you’ve experienced SLO Days, WOW and gotten lots of advice along the way. In the midst of all the confusion, you may have forgotten all the advice from parents, WOW leaders and friends, so here’s a compilation of everything you need to know to succeed during your freshman year at Cal Poly.


1. Take full advantage of the 24 hour study room at Kennedy Library.

Located on the first floor of the Kennedy Library is Hub24, a study space that can be accessed by students 24/7, and has over 50 PC and Mac computers for students to use at any time. All you need to get in is your student ID, so don’t forget it!


2. Cal Poly has meals for food inseure students.

It’s no secret that college is expensive. Sometimes, you may not be able to afford all the food you need for the next few days or maybe even weeks. The Health Center has a food pantry that is free to all students and you can go in, take what you need and leave with no questions asked. Also, you can get 10 meal vouchers each quarter, good at all restaurants on campus!


3. Your major doesn’t dictate what clubs you can join.

While it’s good to become involved with clubs related to your major or college, you might end up meeting some of your best friends in a club that has nothing to do with your major. With over 300 organizations on campus, you’re sure to find a club that’s a great fit for you!


4. Get to know your professors… and make sure they know you.

During the first week of class, take time to go to your professor, shake their hand and introduce yourself. They will remember this interaction and will be more willing to help you when you need it. Maintain the relationship – drop by your professor’s office hours, not just during midterms and finals. One day, you may need a letter of recommendation, and you’ll be much more likely to get it from an instructor who knows you well.


5. “Learn by Doing” isn’t just a motto… it’s a lifestyle.

Within days of starting classes at Cal Poly, you will find yourself immersed in activities, labs and programs specially designed to give students the most enriching, hands-on experience possible. Not sure which one is best for you? Visit your academic counselor and talk to professors about the programs you’re interested in, and how you can get involved!


6. Take full advantage of the rec center.

The Cal Poly Rec Center is one of the “Coolest in the Country” according to Men’s Health magazine, and for good reason! The rec center has a number of facilities, including an indoor track, three fitness studios, two pools, a climbing park, and more! It are also home to PolyEscapes, a program that takes students on a number of outdoor adventures throughout the year, such as hiking in the Sierras and kayaking at Avila Beach.


7. Cal Poly is ranked the best public, master’s-level university in the West by U.S. News & World Report’s annual America’s Best Colleges guidebook for the 26th straight year.

That is a big reputation to live up to and it can be intimidating especially as a freshman, but remember, you’re going to make mistakes in college. Everyone does, and when you do, the best thing you can do is learn from it and move on.


8. Make the most of these years – you can never get them back.

The quality of the next four years of your life are going to depend on one thing – you. You determine your success at Cal Poly with each choice you make during your time here, so be aware of the consequences of your decisions.


Cal Poly is an amazing school and we are so excited to have you! Ride High Mustangs!


Audrey is a senior studying agricultural sciences at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo. After graduating, she plans to get a teaching credential and master's in Agricultural Education, and pursue a career as an agricultural science teacher and FFA advisor. Outside of school, she works as a teaching assistant at a local high school. In her free time, she can be found square dancing, rocking out to Taylor Swift, or whipping up tasty treats and (attempting) to take a decent photo of them for Instagram. Facebook: Audrey Lent Twitter: @TheAudreyLent Instagram: @Audrey_Lent