The transition from high school to college can be unsettling. Choosing a major, gaining the infamous freshman fifteen, being surrounded by new people, not being able to find the buildings your classes are in and the first week of finals can make freshman year seem worse than it really is. The Knight News chose to interview some current sophomores to see how their perspectives have changed a whole year later.
“It’s your responsibility to go home every night, to read the textbook, to do the problems, to use all the resources you can, so I wish that’s something I had known. The professors will only get you 75 percent of the way; the 25 percent is all you and you need that 25 percent more than you think,” sophomore biology major Siddharth Malviya said when asked about his takeaways from his first year.
Taking note of some changed habits as a result of his experiences, Malviya said he’s now a bit of a workaholic. When asked if he had already decided on a major when he started freshman year, or if he decided along the way, Malviya answered that he already knew it was going to be biology, since he planned on doing a pre-med track and he has family in the healthcare industry.
When asked if there was any club or person he felt helped him get through freshman year, Malviya responded that while he wasn’t working with the paper his first semester because he was focused on classes, he had gone to high school with Vallaire Wallace, the current Editor-in-Chief of The Knight News, and had seen her name in an article. Having formerly written for his high school newspaper, this inspired to him to get involved, and he joined The Knight News his second semester.
It made him feel like a part of something important, and he is now an executive editor at The Knight News. Being asked about any future goals he’d like to accomplish during his time at Queens College, Malviya said he’d like to publish a research paper, study abroad and see the The Knight News win an award. When asked for any advice he’d give to current freshmen, Malviya said that they should prioritize more the classes that are relevant to their major and to not let failures devour them.
According to website Inside Higher Ed, “Almost a third of first-time college students choose a major and then change it at least once within three years.” While Malviya remains steadfast in his choice to major in biology, this was not the case for sophomore computer science major George Aguilar. Aguilar was formerly a biology major, doing a pre-med track his freshman year. His goal had been to become a surgeon.
When asked about his own insights from his first year, Aguilar answered, “I wish I had started to make connections with my department freshman year, because networking is important.” Aguilar feels that Project Excel, which he described as a peer mentoring club that helps students regardless of their major, helped him survive his freshman year.
Given a similar question, sophomore physics major Victoria Lombardi said, “I would change how I managed my time and what classes I took [and] when…I took very intense classes freshman year, and I wish I knew to spread it out or take one hard class at a time.”
In terms of personal growth since her previous year, Lombardi stated that she feels more independent, as she was more sheltered in her freshman year. She particularly noted that the organization FYI helped her to make friends. A future goal Lombardi would like to accomplish during her time at Queens College would be to join a club’s executive board.