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Read what some of our alumns had to share about their first year in college! 
Looking back at our first year...

"My college experience was one of independence and self discovery. I was so used to having my parents involved in every single aspect of my life that once I moved away I had no idea what to do with my new freedom. College is a time of discovery, I found out who I was as a person and what I was capable of doing alone. I had the opportunity to explore new places in different cities around the bay and was no longer afraid to be alone. That does not necessarily mean I was always alone I made close friends who also happened to live with me. We went on trips together and they introduced me to different cultures and new types of foods".


- Cal State East Bay


"The college experience for me at the beginning wasn't as it was cracked up to be. It was difficult for me to find friends or people to connect with it was just a pretty hard transition, but the following semester was easier. I hung out more with friends and enjoyed the activities and programs that the school offered. I was able to travel to places that I've never been to before. I've always had an open mind regarding anything, and when I went to a college that was very open, liberal, pretty much like Santa Cruz, I was able to approach many things with ease and support. One of the many things that I should've appreciated(?) was Mexican food, that thing is hard to find when you're in Indiana, but I missed the beach and sun, that was something I



                                                                                                              -Earlham College



"There aren't many words to describe my college experience but I would say the word breathtaking may do the experience justice. Besides learning to appreciate the very minimal free time I have also learned to be more accepting of change and unexpected happenings. There are so many opportunities that I have been given and I am slowly learning to say yes to most of them if not all. Being far from home forced me to become independent, and it has been one of the best decisions I've made. Not only did the college itself have an immense impact on my everyday life but so have the people that attend and teach there. I am constantly changing and I know it is for the best. Who knew Michigan would be such an amazing place, a home away from home".



-Calvin College


"My first year college experience made me realize how important change and adaptability are to one's transition into college. At first, I was super excited, but of course the homesickness kicked in. Being in Pennsylvania made me realize that home will always be California because of its people, environment, and overall more liberal lifestyle. As much as I thought I was "prepared" I realized that I still had a lot of leaning to do and was ok with the whole notion of "being uncomfortable is ok because one really learns that way".In the beginning everything was changing so, it was scary because I didn't want to lose myself in that transition and adaptability period. Thankfully, I met an awesome group of people during my first year with whom I built great memories with. I am looking forward to my sophomore year because now I know what to expect and can improve my approach to any situation I am in. I have one more month left before I head back east, so I am enjoying even the smallest things while I am home! Dreading going back to a hot humid weather and waking up to 40 degrees and below weather".


-Franklin and Marshall College



"Living on the opposite side of country has made me miss the little luxuries California's Central Coast has to offer. I missed burritos from El Frijolito, days at the beach, fresh and delicious produce, and conchitas from El Nopal. Being away for several months at a time gave me a new appreciation for all of the love and support I have at home, as well as new relationships formed at school. Now that I am home with friends, family, mentors, and delicious food — I really miss my Clark family. In this image, I am outside of my favorite class, Visualizing Human Rights. This class was by far the most challenging class I’ve taken my first year, but also the most inspiring and rewarding. Being in my first semester, I thought I was going to fail this class due to the intimidating vocabulary, rigorous course work, and the fact this class had only been taught at a graduate level until last fall. After spending hours on a single reading and attending office hours, this was the class I had the highest grade in! After recharging under the Californian sun surrounded by loved ones, I am excited to begin my Sophomore year at Clark".


-Clark University


My college experience so far has been rough. Obviously, the first year is always the hardest and it surely was. I feel like I have become more independent and self relying . Having accomplished my first year in college has allowed me to feel more confident and ready to take on anything.


- San Diego State University



Alumni as Partners