What Would You Tell Your Freshman Self?

Story by: Danielle Scullon-Baer 

Alexa Thompson freshman year (left) and senior year (right)

Alexa Thompson looks back on her four years at Chapman and the one thing that stands out now: She didn’t know who she was when she started her college journey.

“Back in my freshman days I wasn’t comfortable with embracing my true self, said Thompson, a broadcast journalism major. “I was afraid to follow what I wanted instead of what everyone else wanted for me.”

Thompson transferred from Santa Barbara City College her sophomore year as a Broadcast journalism major.

Every college experience is unique and every student has a separate journey. But what if these seniors knew then what they know now?

Here’s a look at what some of the 2016 seniors have had to say about what they would tell themselves as freshmen.


Jon Wormser, SCC major:

“Take advantage of every party and sorority or fraternity event, because trust me, Chapman is working to get rid of it. Also, always choose your Chipotle family over your Greek life family.”

Wormser came in as a freshman from Westport, Connecticut and rushed the fraternity SAE that was suspended in the fall of 2014.

Kyle Koeller, political science major:

“Don’t waste time doing the same things every weekend. Be smart. You’re too old to be acting like an idiot.”

However, Koeller acknowledged that a balance between academics and a social life is necessary.

“You’re going to want to look back at your college years and be able to tell your grandchildren some great rocking-chair tales. Do it for the story.”

Alex Kessinger, dance major:

“As a freshman you should be able to jump in with both feet. Join different clubs, become a leader, meet new people, and get your name out there.”

Zack Shucklin, broadcast journalism major:

“Time management is by far the most important skill that you can practice. I say ‘practice’ because I don’t believe organizing your time efficiently is just something you can pick up. Even as a senior, I still don’t have it figured out yet.”

Shucklin has been featured in several student screenings and was a representative for the Beta Theta Ki fraternity for Mr. University.

Melissa Garcia, biology major:

“Get a little less sleep and stay up making memories with friends. But most of all learn not to sweat the small stuff because college is a four-year crash course on real life.”

Garcia realized college should not be taken as seriously as she thought coming in as a freshman.

Brandi Reinheardt, theater major:

“If something makes you nervous, joining an organization, or asking someone on a date, DO IT!!! College is for you to enjoy life before life gets harder. You want to look back and say ‘Hey I did that and gave it my all.’ You’re only an undergrad once, so make it count! Negative or positive you committed to making you a better you. You’re only an undergrad once, so make it count!”

Here’s the deal, folks:

Your freshman year of college will likely be the hardest because of all the decisions you will have to make.

Nonetheless, Thompson realized that she came out of Chapman a completely changed person.

“Dreams don’t work unless you do", she said. “If you want to make your dreams a reality you have to put in the effort. However, playing hard is way more fun when you know at the end of the day that you worked extremely hard. Now I focus on making my dreams a reality and living in the moment.”

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