Having finished my 2nd semester at Fresno State University, I can certainly say I finally know my way around the campus and the California State University system. So here’s a piece of of advice to students that may plan to transfer to or start their first semester of college at Fresno State University (you really should go to a Community College first to save a lot of money to get certain, “simple” classes out of the way first!).

Do not overburden yourself with more than 4 classes or 12 units at all, and prepare yourself for big projects that some teachers may expect you to work on as soon as the semester starts. Virtually all classes will require projects, which are usually in the form as an essay, with strict rules depending on the teacher. A research paper may require primary sources, library sources (yes, physical paper, or scans of physical paper), and scientific journals/research articles ONLY, and might be restricted to a specific citation style (lest the teacher grants you a zero).

Projects like these can be very intimidating, and failure to turn one in will result in a failure of the class even if you have a passing grade or higher. As tough as that is, these assignments don’t have to be perfect. You merely have to demonstrate understanding and your own effort and try to meet the requirements (even halfway can be OK); at least early in your life at FSU. The projects themselves don’t destroy your grade if you do most of your assignments, but will destroy all your efforts in that class if you don’t even try.

Think of these projects as a way to prepare you for really serious thesising, which is generally a requirement for when you obtaining your Bachelors, Masters, or Doctorate degree in something.