My school year has gone really great so far! I was a little worried at first coming to an entirely new environment, but I am glad I decided to come to UCSC. One of my main worries before coming here was adjusting to this new environment and rooming with complete strangers, but luckily for me, I got two very nice and respectful roommates and so far we haven't run into any problems with each other. I feel like rooming with them has made my adjustment to this school a lot easier. Not only that but there are a lot of services offered that are great to take advantage of, such as the small group sessions for my Calculus and Chemistry class that offer help with homework and general questions outside of the big classroom setting.
Another thing that took a while to get used to was not having to go to all of my classes every day, in high school I had all my classes Monday through Friday from 7:00 am-2:00 pm and now I have chunks of free time in between my lectures that I can use to start the readings or to get started on the night's homework. Not only were those time slots hard to get used to but the large lecture halls were an adjustment, coming from a small classroom setting into a large lecture hall with 300 students was a little stressful at first, but now I barely even notice how large the lecture hall is. The workload has been demanding and at times it may be a little overwhelming, but when that happens I go for a short walk into the forest to reflect on my goals and to refocus myself, then I am good to go again. I just have to remain focused and I should be able to do well.
Over summer I applied to be a part of a club geared towards Latinx students in STEM majors, I was very lucky and was accepted into the program which has been extremely helpful. I was paired with an EOP counselor and a Peer mentor which just check up on me every once in a while to check my progress. In this program, they offer a lot of information as to how to become involved with things such as undergraduate research, which is something I am very interested in. In my next meeting with my peer mentor, I am going to ask her more about the type of research she's done and how she began the whole process.