Freshman year of college is always a challenging year for students. They have to work out the transition from highschool to college and possibly even the transition from one state or country to another. This year, due to COVID-19, freshmen may face even more challenges. Hoa Nguyen, an 18-year-old freshman majoring in Aerospace Engineering: Astronautics, who
is from Elk Grove, Calif. shares her thoughts on how the school year has progressed for her since orientation.
Nguyen says that she “got along very well with my orientation group that day, because… my group participated well.” She adds that a key factor in her enjoyment of orientation was that she “got along very well with my OLs [Orientation Leaders].” Lastly, she says that another factor in the success of her initial orientation experience was that the Orientation Leader was
in the same major as the students in the group and that he “gave out very valuable advice about… studying abroad, or internships, or… how to deal with classes.” She finishes by saying that she enjoyed orientation and “learned a lot that day.”
Nguyen says that, for her, the first few weeks were what she calls “exploring weeks,” where she “got to go around campus, get to know places, get to know the upperclassman, get to know the peers in my classes.” She says that she had fun exploring campus and learning things. During those first few weeks, the University also hosted its Virtual Activity Fair, which
Nguyen says “was very fun,” and which helped her join the clubs she is now involved with.
Nguyen has become involved with a variety of clubs, including the Rocket Development Lab (RDL), the Eagle Space Flight Team (a sub-project of the RDL), EagleSat, the Society of Physics Students (SPS), the Students for Exploration and Development of Space (SEDS), and the Student Outlook Action Resources (SOAR) program. She says that she decided to become involved with this many organizations because “I just want to do as much as I can… right now we’re freshman, we have free time.”
On how the clubs have affected her experience so far, Nguyen says that “Improving would be my absolute answer. Because, you know how much work and how much fun we have in the RDL, right?… I would never get to experience all those things without joining those clubs… every club brings me a very different and unique perspective.”
Originally, Nguyen says, she was “very afraid of not catching up with the work, or not, like, following up with the classes.” However, now that she has had some time to settle in, she says that “I actually have fun in classes, because the professors are very nice, and they are always there, waiting for you to ask questions, so I feel very… supported.” She also adds that her friends and classmates have helped turn classes from a “big stress” into an environment where she learns and has fun
Nguyen mentions that she joined the t-shirt making event about Domestic Violence and that she ordered a t-shirt for OctoberWest, saying that she enjoyed both activities.
In conclusion, Nguyen said of the year, “while I haven’t done much… I will do many things.”