Community: A Survival Guide

This is it. You are here, you can feel it. The crowd of people waiting at the lines of SPOP, the noise of students trying to figure things out, and the feeling of confusion fills the air.
Two years ago, I went through the exact same experience. I was now on my own and had to start from ground zero and build my way up again. It was not easy to for me to realize that I was one student among 5,000 others, set to compete against each other. It was perhaps one of the scariest experiences of my life. I had no place of belonging, nobody to help me out, and absolutely no idea how to even start.
Nevertheless, I’ve gone through worse. I hadn’t come here to stop now. I wanted to go on and pave my path the way I wanted to. This drive allowed me to see through all of the shocking changes and find the most important lesson of my life. College would bring the most challenges but would also created an opportunity alongside these challenges. College provided the opportunity for me to prove myself once again, to prove that I do deserve the spot I’m in, and to prove that I deserve an even better future. College created the opportunity for me to be brave; to have the courage to change my major when I saw that my major was not meant for me, to have the courage to follow my passion, and most importantly, to ask for help when I needed.
If anyone were to ask me what is the best advice that I can give a person who is coming to UCI, it would be to make a lot of friends, value your friendships, and always ask for your friends’ help when you need it and help them in return. Truth is you will not be able to survive college by yourself. There are many problems ahead that will try to stop you from continuing on your path. The only way you can succeed is to have a community of support behind you. That’s why you must always challenge yourself to step out of your comfort zone.
Be sure to try new things! College is not just about classes and courses. It is about research and internships; community service, sports, arts and leadership positions. These extracurricular activities will shape the person you can be and the skills to offer in the future. And don’t think for a second that any of this will be easy. College is about hard work. Yes, tiring, exhausting and excruciating work, because while your societal role is defined as a full time college student, you will have to deal with so much more than just academics. You will have to deal with family, financial and relationship issues. You might have breakdowns, stress and frustrations along the way, but what you need to remind yourself of what your goal is and remember that you are going to pass through any hardships.
With all this being said, congratulations, class of 2018! You have officially begun one of the hardest, yet most rewarding journeys of your life. This path will be full of events — some good and some bad. Nonetheless, it is now in your hands to determine how you want it to go.

Parshan Khosravi is a third-year political science major. He can be reached at khosravp@uci.edu.