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“My experience as a college freshman”
Photo courtesy: MSU Denver

By Joseph Rios

When I was 17 years old and entering my senior year of high school I didn’t see myself going to college, I was young and lacked confidence. The high school I attended required that I take a class called Senior Seminar. The class revolved around helping students apply for colleges, and educating us on other things, like applying for financial aid.

Sure enough, I ended up applying for a few schools with support from my family and teachers. I was accepted to a few schools and decided to attend Metropolitan State University of Denver. I largely made this decision because I was infatuated with attending school right in the heart of downtown Denver.

Attending college turned out to be one of the best decisions I have ever made. I discovered a lot of things about myself my freshman year. I learned what I am passionate about, as well as strengths and weaknesses, and things that I needed to work on. And above all I learned that I needed to hold myself accountable.

I recently graduated with a degree in journalism. I discovered a passion for writing during my freshman year, and my first class I was an Intro to Journalism. One of the most beneficial things about college is that you can take classes on a variety of subjects toward your degree. I took African history classes, Native American history classes, studied Latin American literature and even took a history of rock and roll class.

One thing about college that can be great for some and terrible for others is that it forces you to come out of your comfort zone. My degree required that I take a public speaking class. I had to give several speeches my freshman year, something I really didn’t like. However, it improved my public speaking skills and helped me overcome that weakness.

It doesn’t take long to realize, once you’ve started school that you have more freedom than you ever had before. That means if you don’t go to class nobody is going to call your parents. The direction in which your education goes, depends solely on you. You can choose to sleep in, go out with friends, or do makeup work. Whatever excuse you might have for not going to class, it boils down to how you perceive college. For some it’s a time to let loose after feeling confined in the years leading up to it, and for others it’s one of the most important steps you’ll take in shaping your future career.

The freedom is great, but I learned quickly that if I want to graduate, I had to hold myself accountable. That meant going to class (on time), paying attention, taking notes, studying and all of the other things that are required to be successful.

College, like a lot of other things in life, is what you make of it. You will have opportunities to do things you like, study things that you like and meet new people. Take it for what it is and make yourself a priority.





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