Advice From A Graduating Senior


xrcjm4xtrIt’s my last semester at Sacramento State as well as my last blog post on this fine WordPress blog run by our colleges very own radio station KSSU. Since I’ve spent the last just north of 3 years at Sacramento State I have learned a thing or two about the workings of the campus as well as college in general. I would like the share things that I’ve learned over the course of my experience. I would like to begin by stating that my experience may not mirror everyone’s, but I’ll try to make this as general as possible.

It’s Expensive

It may not cost as much as a lot of larger universities out there, but it isn’t cheap to strive for higher learning. This may be one of the earliest and possibly more painful lessons you’ll receive while striving for a undergrad or Graduate degree. Now to the important part, the money that goes into Sac State doesn’t just evaporate. You aren’t just paying for access to a few classrooms and the experience of pulling caffeine fueled all-nighters. I mean you are paying for that, but there are also a lot of services Sacramento State offers to it’s students that can and should be taken advantage of.

  • Professors
    • These people are smart and want to help you. If you’re having an issue consider them a great resource to reach out to, but they don’t need to be the first or last resource.
  • Peers
    • Although you aren’t paying for your peers, they are there. Social Networking is one of the most powerful things you can do while in College. You’re taking classes with a bunch of people who have the same interests as you and likely are looking to work in the same field you are, if they aren’t already. In the words of Rush “Take yourself a friend”
  • Books
    • You will have to purchase your books on top of your student fees, but those aren’t the only books you have access to. The Library isn’t just for decoration, there are lots and lots of books stacking the shelves of the library. If you happen to be more of a keyboard and monitor kind of person I get where you’re coming from. We also have access to “OneSearch” a Library resource that gives you access to Scholarly Journals and articles to aid you in your papers.
  • Space to Study
    • Following the Libraries massive amount of books, It is also an excellent place to study. As is the University Union, the second floor and third floor are basically just full of tables and chairs with people studying. The Airc is also another great resource, except for some occasions (usually holidays) the airc is open 24 hours a day which can be great if you find yourself working on stuff to early morning a lot. The Airc also has a lot of outlets making it great if you need to work on a laptop. If you’re having trouble finding somewhere to study in any of these places, which can and does happen around midterms and finals. Rest assured some class rooms are generally left open for students to study in as well. Just try to pick up after yourself if you want it to remain an option.
  • Volunteer!
    • There are a lot of fun ways that you can get involved with the campus; the Radio Station(KSSU: One of us, One of us), The Hornet(Newspaper), or Unique(Most of the events on campus: movies, concerts, etc..) just to name the few I know of.
  • Career Center
    • So most of us go to college hoping it will help us grow professionally, this concept isn’t lost to the university. We have a Career Center that exists for helping people find jobs, work on your resume, LinkedIn, Interviewing Skills, and managing the Career fair are just a few things they have to offer. Definitely worth checking them out.

Social Networking

That Important thing I mentioned before under Peers, Sacramento State is a great place to get to know people who are in your field of study as well outside of it. We have an enormous amount of organizations on campus, and likely anything kind of group of people you could be looking for. These range from Academic clubs centered around your Major, personally I belong to ACM, and MISA, both of which are concerned with introducing you to recruiters and helping people build professional networks. Some are more concerned with helping each-other learn new things, The Data Science Club, and the Neuroscience Alliance are both good examples of this, and so is the ACM for that matter. Others are just for fun, like KSSU, and many more organizations like it. I’ve heard of Netflix clubs, 3d game development clubs, robotics clubs, Film Appreciation Clubs, Anime and Manga Clubs, Quiditch Clubs, and this is just what I can think of off the top of my head.

There are many options out there for people to explore, and if Clubs aren’t your style just get to know the people in your classes. I know it’s easy to close up in your classes, after all this is a commuter campus, but people are one of your largest resources, and they will make coming to your classes a much more enjoyable experience.

The Dreaded All-Nighter

This something we all hate, and it’s something that more than likely you will experience at-least once or twice. Whether it was lack of preparation, or trying to fix something before a deadline, these things happen. It’s not fun, but sometimes you just have to buckle down and get things done. Personally I’ve gone this route more times than I care to remember, but I have picked up a few tips for dealing with them.

  • Avoid it at all costs
    • You will be far more productive if you have had a full night of sleep, if this is something you can possibly put off then do it.
    • If you’re last minute cramming for a test you will perform better with a full night of sleep.
      • If you’re completely unprepared for an exam this may not feel like an option, this is a judgement call that obviously I can’t make for you.
  • If you must
    • If you’ve decided you must pull an all nighter, I highly recommend sleeping as much as you possibly can throughout the night, and getting in the sleep you missed as soon as you can afterwards. Sleep deprivation is really bad for you, and despite most people not getting enough sleep it can cause more problems then it would seem to solve.
  • Coffee
    • If you’ve gone this far i’m guessing you’re dead-set on it. Coffee is your friend, but it’s not your only friend. If you are into Limitless Inspired nootropic stacks I would suggest pairing it up with L-theanine, it’s an over the counter supplement that can be found in Caffeine Pills and Tea. L-theanine will help keep you from the jittery side effects, as well as providing anti-anxiety effects. Don’t let the name fool you, this stuff is naturally occurring in Tea and can be bought over the counter. Alternatively you could just drink a bunch of tea. 🙂
  • Water
    • It’s important to stay hydrated, Coffee  may provide you with Caffeine but staying hydrated can do more to help you feel awake and alert.
  • Food
    • Food is energy, it can help but be careful this is a slippery slope.
  • Go for a walk
    • Light exercise to help keep your blood flowing to help you continue working on stuff till you can get some sleep.
  • Don’t drive
    • don’t even look at your car, you are impaired. This should really be avoided at all costs.
  • Get some Sleep
    • As soon as possible, try to get as much sleep as you can to make up what you lost.

I hate all-nighters, if you decide to go that route proceed with caution. Also the amount of sleep you get will determine your effectiveness for the rest of the day. Under 4 hours I feel like a useless marionette of myself, if I’m looking at you i’m generally just thinking about how nice my bed is. Over 6 hours is enough to be productive throughout the day, but close to 8 is preferred to be at the top of my game. 4-6 can be productive, but I’d really recommend on striving for 6 or more if at all possible.

ECS

If you’re in the college of Computer Science and Engineering, and Construction Management I guess now. You can get an account to access our Servers as well as our labs that are loaded with software to help you do your assignments. There are computers available to all Sac State students in the library, but there are tools that you may find yourself needing beyond the software installed there. This also gives us access to special servers as well as deals on software.

University Union

This is where most events occurs on campus, and it’s also where Information is. Information is a very useful resource, they have a stack of maps and if you’re having trouble finding something they will help you. They are located next to the food courts, and they have been very helpful for me on many occasions.

The Well

The well is Sacramento State’s Gym, but they also have a small medical office and pharmacy in the building. It’s a great resource worth taking advantage of.

 

My name is Chris Diel, and this is my last Blog for the KSSU Blog.

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