Back to school: a day in the life of a freshman

Bianca Santillan

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Pablo De La Cruz, freshman, a communications major, stands on the steps of his new apartment near campus. He is excited to be able to walk to his classes. Photo credit: Elizabeth Ohanian / Daily Sundial

Pablo De La Cruz, freshman, a communications major, stands on the steps of his new apartment near campus. He is excited to be able to walk to his classes. Photo credit: Elizabeth Ohanian / Daily Sundial

It is 7:30 Monday morning and the alarm goes off. Pablo De la Cruz wakes up as an official college student of California State University, Northridge.

Weeks shy of his 18th birthday, the communications major prepared his outfit and school essentials the night before: they lay beside his bed and are ready to go when he is. Filled with nerves and anticipation, he bustles through his morning routine. He checks his hair one last time and heads out of his apartment door accompanied by only his backpack and scooter.

De la Cruz is one of 5,900 incoming freshman this semester. It is largest freshmen class in the history of CSUN, estimates Elizabeth Adams, vice president of undergraduate affairs. The spaces of green scenery in the middle of campus are now covered with the traffic of students, many of which who are carrying a printed copy of the campus map. Looks of both excitement and confusion were seen in the crowd.

“It’s my first time living alone and it’s pretty chill right now,” said De la Cruz. “Besides orientation I have not met another freshman. I just don’t know what to expect.”

On campus, De la Cruz scoots past the Oviatt lawn and reaches his destination: Bayramian Hall. He weaves through the floor oversaturated with students waiting to receive news on their financial aid and takes the elevator up to the third floor. Five minutes before 9 a.m., he is faced with the overwhelming task of finding a seat among the sea of students.

“I was thinking I was going to get a good seat, but actually the class was pretty full,” said De la Cruz. “I ended up sitting in the [second to last row]. Next time I’ll just come earlier and get a seat in the middle.”

Though math is not his favorite subject, he enjoyed listening to his professor’s advice on ‘not limiting yourself and living your life.’ Sitting in front of the sundial fountain outside of his previous class, De la Cruz begins to take his professor’s words into mind.  He plans to try out for the track team and join a club on campus, but will wait to see what his first semester sculps out to be.

On his way to lunch, he runs into a former high school friend and invites him to his apartment across from the dorms for lunch. He makes sandwiches and is quite pleased with his skills.

“We just caught up over summer and kicked back in my apartment,” said De la Cruz. “When it got closer to 2 o’clock we both had to head back to school to make it to our second class.”

This time, allowing himself sufficient time to find his preferred seat, De la Cruz climbed all three flights of stairs and waited in the hall with his soon-to-be classmates. Excited to see what Journalism 100 brings to him, he starts the line in front of the door and walks in.

But his experience ended in a bit of disappointment when his professor went on talking about his life and did not go into much detail of the class. However, the upsetting event did not stomp on his first day in college.

“My first day was great and went smoothly. I didn’t get lost and it was pretty much what I expected it to be,” said  De La Cruz. “I’m going to stay on campus a little while longer and [take advantage] of the free wifi.”