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Congratulations to all the newly accepted college students! Although your senior year was not the ideal year you expected to have, new beginnings start in college. I am about to finish my first year at UC Riverside and I learned a lot of new things that I wish I knew before starting college. Here are some tips for you too. 

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1.  There is an abundance of resources for you

Something that my high school teachers would repeatedly say was, “college professors will never extend help to you.” They would say this because professors see numerous students every year and they want to move quickly through the material. Although part of this is true, college is mostly independent work and professors can sometimes move fast, but there is always help. Professors gladly have office hours and most are available by appointment. Take advantage of your professors’ office hours. They are there to help you. Also, there are  lots of tutoring opportunities through student resource centers. Aside from academics, there are other personal resources for you as well. Look into them at your specific school. At UC Riverside, there is the Women’s Resource Center, R’closet, HPAC, and more. Take full advantage of these resources! 

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2.  Don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone

College can be an intimidating place and there are a lot of unfamiliar faces. It’s difficult to meet new people and try new things if you do not step out of your comfort zone. As a shy kid myself, I realized I needed to put myself out there to do what I truly desired. I hesitated to join a new club, but I did and now it’s something I love. I am currently applying for new jobs and new executive board positions, something I thought my timid self would never do. Do not be afraid to step out of your comfort zone and go after what you want. College is all about exploring and this is the time for some independence. Make the most of it! 

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3.  Revisit your study habits and time management skills

I got through high school relatively easy with the study habits and time management skills I had. Unfortunately, they were not useful to me at all in college. I fell behind in my classes my first two quarters and I wasn’t receiving the grades I wanted. I started to have imposter syndrome and thought about switching my major more than a million times. However, all I needed to do was to calm down and look at what was causing the problem. Now, I organize my time with iCalendar and flashcards have been the best study method for me. It’s important to think about your own habits because they may need adjusting like with mine.

Most importantly, soak in your new college life. It looks like by the next school year we will be in-person which is exciting! These next few years is said to be the most fun years, so make the most of every moment.


Alyssa Monroy

UC Riverside '24

A cellular, molecular, and developmental biology major and public policy minor that loves science, beauty, and writing.
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