Like many of you reading this, I am a fresh face on campus — though not as a freshman, but rather as a junior transfer student. Hailing from San Antonio and earning an associate degree in business this past spring by way of Northwest Vista College, I felt ready for my new journey as a student at Texas A&M. However, to my surprise, I was completely overwhelmed in the first few days of the semester.
Having only lived in the area for just a couple of weeks before the start of the semester, I had to learn to navigate my way through Bryan and College Station. Furthermore, during the first week of the semester, I found myself lost among the sprawling grounds of the massive A&M campus, which is a town in itself. I should also confess that this is my first time living on my own and prior to moving to BCS, I had very little knowledge of the area. My grandfather, Bill Campbell, Class of 1971, hoped all of his children and grandchildren would become Aggies, and after an eight-year hiatus from the education system (I graduated from high school in 2010), I aspired to be the first of his kin to do so.
The excitement of moving out of my parent's house to come attend A&M was so fascinating, but that excitement quickly became overwhelming anxiety. From the swarms of students filtering throughout the buildings, the whizzing of a passing cyclist and the bombardment of student group flyers, I started thinking about what I had gotten myself into: Hundreds of students sitting all around in FINC 341, all with hopes and dreams similar to my own. Hundreds of others crowded into MGMT 211 awaiting the challenges soon to be presented. As a transfer student, I was accustomed to classrooms of twenty to thirty students, and even though my community campus had a large student body, it pales in comparison to A&M.
Also, just like many of you, I am paying monthly rent along with an assortment of bills, which keeps my activities outside of school limited, with little focus on my time as a student and more time working a part-time job. A new school, a new job and new personal conflicts have made things fairly daunting, though it would be foolish to believe that I am the only one facing these challenges, and it is for this reason I began seeing through the veil of anxiety. So, to my fellow transfer peers, along with my freshman peers and all of those sprinkled in between, I present to you a few ways to ease yourself along throughout the rest of the semester.
- Instead of being overwhelmed by the size of the campus, I began walking to all of my classes, regardless of their distance. This allowed me the opportunity to appreciate the surroundings at A&M and how fortunate we are to be walking such hallowed grounds. The fresh air is also nice after a long class, although I think we could all do without the heat!
- Don’t be afraid to get to know your peers. Just introduce yourself and who knows, the Aggie network is deep and strong, maybe you’ll work with that individual someday!
- If you have to work while attending school, create a plan of action with your managers. Make it clear that school is priority one and coordinate your availability to reflect that.
- I like to tell my fiancée that all the work and all the challenges we face in College Station are temporary, and through the experience, we can create permanence. Remember, we all worked hard to get here. We’ve earned an incredible opportunity, and that shouldn't get overshadowed by our nerves or thoughts of failure.
A few weeks into the semester, and I find myself engaging with many of my fellow students. Although the adjustment from a community college or high school is immense, I have felt extremely welcomed by everyone at A&M and I hope the same can be said for all of you! So get active, get involved and Gig ‘em!