Hanna Crowley/Mustang News

Starting college marks a huge milestone in one’s life — the transition between childhood and adulthood. During this time, young adults explore their interests, perfect their study habits, contemplate professional careers, make connections and ultimately mold themselves into who they want to be.

As winter quarter begins, Cal Poly freshmen recap their first quarter at Cal Poly and think about what this transition has looked like for them thus far.

One of these transitions for freshmen is living on campus.

“I love living in Sierra Madre,” business administration freshman Noah Stulberg said. “It’s definitely not clean and I’ve been mostly sick since I’ve been at school. Some nights it’s really loud and I have an 8 a.m. four times a week, but I’ll give up some sleep to have fun.”

While adjusting to a new living situation, many freshmen are forced to reform their study habits as well.

“I actually have to study for tests and midterms, which I didn’t do much of in high school,” Stulberg said. “I always bring papers to the Writing and Rhetoric Center now and have friends look them over. Everyone here is super focused on their studies, which is dope because if everyone else is grinding on their school work, then I’m more motivated.”

But studying isn’t the only thing students have to worry about. With classes, extracurricular activities and managing a healthy lifestyle, freshmen have no choice but to
plan accordingly.

“Monday evening I go over everything I have to do. I’m usually pretty good at spacing things out and getting stuff done,” general engineering freshman Kyle Lark said. “It does take a conscious effort for me to know what I have to do to be successful though.”

With so much to balance at once, sometimes maintaining physical health can become challenging for freshmen.

“The ‘freshman 15’ is real but the whole campus being at a 45 degree slope does help,” Lark said. “I walk probably five miles a day just getting to and from class.”

While some students squeeze exercise in between classes, others make a more conscious effort to block off time in their schedules for working out.

“I play water polo and do Army ROTC. It’s really just about planning ahead,” architectural engineering freshman Zoey Fox said.

No matter how hectic or busy schedules get, there is a variety of ways to include a bit of exercise into everyday routines. The important part is adapting exercise to fit your needs and schedule.
It would be naive to assume Cal Poly freshmen are always being productive, though. Party culture is also present.

“Parties are a lot more fun now than in high school,” Stulberg said. “You can meet new people to hit up to go on a hike or get food. There’s definitely a binge drinking culture but a lot of people experience that before college.”

While the experiences of this year’s freshman class are as eclectic and diverse as the class itself, their wealth of knowledge is sure to be useful for next year’s incoming freshman class.

“It’s important to know what makes you happy and active and prosperous, because at the end of the day, that’s what gets you the good grades,” Fox said.

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