Adjusting to Life at SDSU

Adjusting to college life is a process that everyone attending college has experienced. Everyone’s process is unique and deserves to be heard. Here’s a look at how three freshmen, with very different backgrounds, have experienced the adjustment to college at San Diego State University. 

Name: Heleen Khan

Age: 18

Major: Biology

Hometown: San Diego, CA

HC: Why SDSU?

Heleen Khan (HK): It was an easy decision. SDSU is a really good school and I am very family-oriented.

HC: First thing you noticed about State?

HK: It is so crowded! My high school was way smaller. At State I see new, friendly faces everyday and everyone is so willing to help each other out in class. Oh, and parking is terrible.

HC: Hardest part about the transition?

HK: Driving everyday because I am a commuter. Also, the responsibility aspect of having to go to all my classes and make sure I remind myself college isn’t free so I have to do good.

HC: Easiest part about the transition?

HK: I love that I can go home at the end of the day. I will be at school all day studying and it’s nice being able to get away from it all.

HC: Has college changed you?

HK: Being here has made me more appreciative of everything that comes my way. I interact with a lot more people than I did before and have become friendlier. 

HC: Do you have any advice for future freshman?

HK: Make sure you take the right classes! I took an extra math class last semester. 

Interact with people in your major; it is nice having friends in your class. Embrace the transition into college life, and if you’re commuting don’t complain, just stick with it.

Name: Karina Maralit

Age: 18

Major: Speech Language Hearing Sciences

Hometown: Fresno, CA

HC: Why SDSU?

Karina Maralit (KM): When I was applying for schools I didn’t actually think I would move away from home, but when I visited the school I decided I was ready for change. 

HC: First thing you noticed at State?

KM: Everyone is so pretty! I heard about that before coming here and when I came I was like ok, yeah it’s true.

HC: Hardest part about the transition?

KM: My roommate situation was really hard. I thought that making friends was going to be the easiest part, but it wasn’t. It is so different when you make good friends. 

HC: Has college changed you?

KM: I learned how to be mature in certain situations. I never thought I would have roommate problems and that is something that completely changed my experience. Also, I appreciate where I grew up, my community, and the people who raised me so much more.

HC: Do you have any advice for future freshman?

KM: Learn how to poop in public because when you have a communal restroom it is so hard! Also, be willing to step out of your comfort zone. Don’t think that you are alone in what you are feeling because there are always people going through the same things you are, and be patient with yourself. 

Name: Aishwaryaa Dev

Age: 18

Major: Arts- Applied Design

Hometown: New Delhi, India

HC: Why SDSU?

Aishwaryaa Dev (AD): That’s easy! It is really good for my major and the weather. I have never lived so close the beach. My family is really close. They were sad, but they wanted me to go to a place where I could get a better education. The United States is where dreams come true. 

HC: First thing you noticed at State?

AD: The people, the culture is totally different. Everybody is chilled out here, it is very cool. 

HC: Hardest part about the transition?

AD: Becoming an American. I didn’t know about the culture so I couldn’t prepare myself for it. All I knew is what I saw on TV and Hollywood movies. For example, it is very normal to greet people walking by. People say, “Hello, how are you doing?” They make small talk. Where I come from everyone is very reserved. You don’t say hi to strangers on the street. Here it is a courtesy to smile at everyone. It is really cool! Someone smiles at you, you smile back, and then you smile for the next five minutes. You can’t learn that on the Internet.

HC: Easiest part about the transition?

AD: The academics. I didn’t know what to expect, but I learned that if you do your work and come to class on time the professors are understanding. I love the general education classes I am taking because I get to take classes in subjects that have nothing to do with what I am studying. If I was back home I would be limited to taking classes relative to my major. 

HC: How are you doing with the transition?

AD: Homesickness sucks! I miss the food from my country, but I just remind myself that I’m in a really great place and I am lucky.

HC: What would you like to bring back to India that you have learned here?

AD: The helpfulness. I would like people to help each other out and share information. It is the way problems get solved. 

HC: In what ways do you think you have changed?

AD: I have matured. I have learned so many things and learned how to make my own decisions. I am more understanding of other people. Nothing can rise to the level of openness that this experience is. I am free here.