In a big university, it can be hard to navigate the many different things worth doing during your time at school. Juggling classes, homework and a social life is not easy, so it is important to make the most of what little free time you may have. Here is a list of the five things that you must do while at California State University, Long Beach.
1.) Join the Student Recreation and Wellness Center.
The SRWC opened during my junior year at California State University, Long Beach and it was one of the greatest things that happened for me. Located conveniently on campus, next to easily accessible parking lots, the SRWC is more than just a state of the art gym it has basketball courts, a swimming pool, a wealth of fitness classes and health and wellness programs, and new, high quality gym equipment.
It is free for any students currently enrolled in classes at CSULB, and incorporating the SWRC into your weekly routine is definitely worthwhile. Grab a friend and go on the weekend or hop in for a quick workout after class or on one of your breaks between classes you won’t regret it and your body will thank you!
2.) Live in the dorms your freshman year.
If you are not a commuter and have the option to live away from home, I highly recommend applying for on campus housing for your first year of school. Not only is it more convenient, especially when orienting yourself to the adjustments of life in college, it is the best way to make friends. You will meet people in the dorms that you will stay friends with, people that you are likely to move off campus with the following year, and people that become your support network during the rough times when you are missing home
Living in the dorms contributes to the total college experience and although the rooms are small, the showers are gross, and the dining hall is sub-par, this still is not an opportunity you want to miss.
3.) Get involved in your department/major.
Having a strong community of people who you learn with is SO important. As a dance major, I spent a huge part of my day with the other dancers in the department. We took classes together (dance and academic classes), rehearsed together, and spent far too many hours in the studios after hours working on assignments and towards performances. These girls literally saw me sweat, cry, and relish my successes/failures on a very frequent basis and the hardest part of leaving school was leaving this community.
While it is also very important to have friends outside of class, the friends in your department/major are crucial to enjoying your day to day life on campus. These are the people who you will collaborate with, graduate with, and maybe even in the future, work with professionally. Getting involved in everything the dance department had to offer kept me focused, grounded, and gave me a profound sense of purpose while I was in school.
If you’re interested in California State University, Long beach, check out our article on Top 5 Ways to Have Fun on the Weekend at CSULB.
4.) Take a class that incorporates physical activity as one of your required electives.
As a dance major this didn’t really apply to me, but I had a lot of friends who took classes like Fencing, Yoga, Badminton, and Hip Hop for one of their general education elective requirements. Because these are credited classes, you may still have light homework and tests related to the subject matter, but these course options are a great way to incorporate regular exercise into your school schedule, meet new people and build relationships based on a shared interest, and actually learn the fundamentals of these activities/sports.
You will feel like you are cheating the university when you receive units for a class you thoroughly enjoyed and a sport you probably would have played anyway.
5.) Ask for the help and services you need to succeed.
At the risk of sounding a bit cliché and preachy, I will say that getting help from the university via your specific department can absolutely change how you feel about school and your academics. There are so many different resources available and lets face it school can be really stressful and hard, so why not make it easier?
My college boyfriend really made use of the learning resources on campus and as a result, he got extra time on exams and an earlier registration date for classes. No matter how dorky or inconvenient it may seem, it is worth it to seek out the people who are willing to help you.
Isabel Rosenstock graduated from California State University, Long Beach in 2012 with a B.F.A. in Dance/Performance. Based in San Francisco, she is working as a freelance dance artist and a figurative model for painters/sculptors. In addition to her work as a dancer/model, Isabel enjoys writing, traveling, and working with children.