As Cypress College first year students navigate a new normal on campus this fall semester, ESC Faculty Mentor & English Professor, Nora Simões, validated the importance of utilizing student services.
The last time this class of students felt the same normalcy on campus was when they were freshmen in high school. Now, on top of having to sift through a mountain of information regarding their fall classes, they must begin accustoming themselves to the college they’ve chosen to continue their academic career.
These past few weeks have shown freshmen a whole new ball game. Especially for Larissa Samano who said, “It’s a breath of fresh air. Things have calmed down and I hope it stays that way. I just want to have an as normal experience without anything getting in the way.”
There are, however , other commitments students have that get in the way of smoothly settling into the semester. Freshman Mallory Sidoti takes into account being a student-athlete. “Heading into college is already stressful as it is, and now I have to find time for my studies while also working on getting better at my sport,” Sidoti said.
To help with this kind of pressure, there is a wide array of student support services, resources, and programs on campus provided to ensure academic success for all students.
Inside the English Success Center, Professor Simões advised first-year students to utilize these resources. “You’re all searching for validity and support, so you are not alone but you need to take initiative and action to connect […] Intentionally connect with classmates, see if you could study at the ESC together, learn about the clubs. Just find out what services are available to you because there are a lot”, said Professor Simões.
Access to these services may be at students’ fingertips, but what good are they if students aren’t conscious of their importance? Every semester, professors may impart information about the student services at the very end of their syllabus, and it’s plausible this will be the only mention of the resources throughout the semester.
It is especially important now, post-Covid, that students utilize these resources provided as the effects of Covid have left students burnt out, and physically and mentally depleted.
“[Student resources] are the big difference between having a fully immersive and successful learning experience versus feeling like a chicken without a head. They’ll enhance your college experience on a psychosocial level,” said Professor Simoes. “No matter what, there is someone to help you with tutoring, etc. There is a program for everybody and they can make all the difference.”
The cycle of being stressed about a math or English grade, worried about financial aid, or uncertain about the transferring process can dissipate in no time with assistance from these services.
Professor Simões listed the three reasons she believes the student resources aren’t taken advantage of as they should. “We need instructor buy-in, to begin with, and for instructors to require students to come to places like the ESC. The programs need to be properly advertised for students to know about them, too. And, really, students need to change their attitude about the services. They’re free, use them.”
You can familiarize yourself with the different student services from academic help to support programs on the Cypress College Website under College Students and Student Services.
Reach out – there is no harm in doing so. If you’re still feeling a bit like a deer in headlights, let Professor Simões remind you with a final adieu, “Buen Cypress. We Take This Journey Together.”