How to conquer your freshman year at CWU

Deacon Tuttle, Columnist

When I first glared into the eyes of the Wildcat statue, a seismic shift had already occurred. I was actually in college. Stepping foot into the SURC, reality struck me in the face. I’m positive that several people either had this experience already or are pushing through that now, but don’t worry, college is worth it. 

People say college is the time where you truly find yourself. Whether that is in your education, career, significant other, hobbies, passions or friends and family, this is present in the stories of those around us. However, there can also come extreme stress, anxiety, uncertainty and broken relationships. 

Let me provide you with a few ways to ensure that your college experience gets off on the right foot.

CWU thrives off of the communal sense it brings. The options to meet diverse people in every sense of the word is incredibly exhilarating. Start with finding your people in the college community. 

I was grateful to find my home on campus in Resonate Church my first week. Instantly, they welcomed me with open arms and a sense of belonging. Search for people that speak to you on a personal level. This is the time in life to truly find long-lasting bonds with people encountering the same struggles and triumphs as yourself. Don’t be afraid to step out and be you.

There are a plethora of ways to meet others on campus or off. The CWU Connect app has a social tab that allows for instant communication with other students to chat. Additionally, viewing the well over a hundred clubs offered on campus is a fantastic option and I highly recommend it. Of course, COVID-19 has changed the specifics of such offerings but these resources are still available to utilize. 

Managing your workload is a key component in college life, and when compared to high school it is far more independent. Branching out of your regular living space and finding a consistent location to hammer out assignments is most effective for me. 

My preferred places include the James E. Brooks Library and the SURC upstairs, but I can’t forget to mention 1891 Bistro either, which has been closed because of COVID-19. 

Personally, to avoid procrastination I break down my homework into bite-sized bits. I don’t wait until the last second and submit everything in one fell-swoop or do it the day my professors assign it. Rather, I examine Canvas and choose one chunk of homework and I prioritize that. I complete it roughly 24 hours in advance. Segmenting by subject or date are my preferred methods. Hopefully, these tips can help mediate some issues on that front. 

While most of us come to college to further our education, by no means does it indicate we can’t create incredibly fun memories along the way. Balancing the serious and dedicated work side with the spontaneous and creative side of life is essential. 

Last year, my fondest memories included participating in CWU’s events around campus both large and small. Entering 1891 Bistro to be at open mic night and listening to students singing or reading poetry made my day.  I cherished going to the movie theater with my best friends to watch either classic or new films such as Knives Out. Also there was the ability to attend football, rugby, and basketball games while being an active member of the student body. 

Most of these situations have altered due to our current fight against COVID-19, but that doesn’t mean we are out of luck. Visit the CWU event page for daily updates because there is always something to do, whether it is in your wheelhouse or not. I implore everyone to connect with our community through activities because you will truly flourish when you become active with other Wildcats. 

When I first came to campus, I was reserved and perhaps even apprehensive. I knew that feeling would change but I didn’t think It would be practically instantaneous. My story and what I have endured so far are simply through my lenses, but I hope that these tips and insights can provide a semblance of clarity for those seeking it. I found my new home at CWU and I hope you can too.