Advice from Past and Current Scholars

We understand that college is a completely different world from high school. That is why we've invited our past and current scholars to share their experiences and advice on various topics to help you in your college journey. Click on the topic below to learn what advice our scholars have for you.

Transitioning from high school to college life

Navigating your first year

Arizbeth Posada, a past San Antonio Area Foundation scholarship recipient, shares her first year college experience through a Q & A. Posada graduated from Trinity University with a double major in communications and marketing. She currently works at the Area Foundation as a communications specialist.

Q: Think about your first impressions of being on a campus: What surprised you? Which things were exactly as you expected?

A: I went into my freshman year expecting to be surrounded by a very different culture and found it to be true. It took me awhile to adjust to everyone, but eventually I found myself enjoying the campus and making meaningful connections.

One of the things that surprised me was enjoying the small sized classrooms. I had originally thought it wouldn’t make much of a difference to my learning experience, but I was wrong. I tended to get bored in the larger classrooms where interaction was minimal.

Q: What was one challenge you experienced during your first year of college? How did you handle it?

A: My biggest challenge during my first year was time management. What helped me stay on track was investing in a customizable agenda with plenty of writing space. I wrote down everything from assignments to work hours to reminders to take a break! If you purchase one, I suggest making sure you are comfortable with the weight and size. You might find yourself carrying this everywhere.

Q: What did you wish you had known when you first started college?

A: I wish I had known healthier habits. Many times, I would skip lunch or stay up very late. It can really take a toll on you after a while. I found I always did best on exams when I ate and slept well versus trying to study all night.

Q: Which school resources were the most helpful to you?

A: I found professors to be the most helpful resource. I would recommend taking advantage of any open-door hours they may have. Most are willing to help not only with their course, but any advice you may need.

Q: What is one piece of advice you would give to students?

A: Plan and keep track of your degree plan starting now, even if you are unsure of what major you want to declare. Use your first two years to fulfill any required common curriculum and use these courses to explore your passion and interests. Come senior year, you will be thankful to have everything in order.

Prioritizing your time in college

Prioritizing your time in college

Jose Treviño, a past scholarship recipient, shares how he learned to manage his time and how he stayed focused while in college. Treviño received a bachelor’s in environmental sciences from the University of Texas at Rio Grande Valley. He is a published author in the International Journal of Life Sciences Research for his research using natural agents to make cloudy fresh water clear.

Q: What tools do you use to help you stay organized?

A: A must, to me, is to get some type of organizer whether physical or digital and be detailed with anything and everything that you must do for the day, week, month, year, and years. Always think things through, do not just think short term, rather long term as well because it helps to have something to look forward to and work toward.

Q: How do you prepare for mid-terms and finals week?

A: I make sure that I get plenty of rest those weeks because it’s good to study, work on papers, projects, and presentations, but resting your mind and body is also a must. In addition, I try to pace myself and make sure to have an objective(s) everyday of what I hope to accomplish, that way I can feel good knowing that I am making progress those weeks and build up confidence for those strenuous mid-terms and finals. 

Q: What is one piece of advice you would give to students?

A: You should enjoy the little detours to the fullest because that’s where you’ll find the things more important than what you want. In life its more about the journey than the destination.

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