My No.1 Piece of Advice: Get Involved!

By Layton Piver, Senior, Mathematics Education

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Layton working for the Fraternity and Sorority Affairs office during Wildcat Welcome

Being a Chico State student is a way of life. We take great pride in our campus, great pride in our community, and great pride in our education. Chico State is a true college town—the opportunities available to students are unparalleled by any other university.

But when I came to Chico in the fall of 2010, I didn’t know that yet. I was just nervous, excited, worried, anxious, and everything in between. I knew only three people coming to Chico for college, and my biggest fears were not being able to meet people, not making friends, not fitting in—all the typical worries and anticipations of an incoming student.

But it took no longer than five minutes for me to meet all of my neighbors in the residence halls, make friends in class, meet others in the dining hall, and make connections with my peers. The big fear of meeting people flew out the window when I realized that everyone else was in the same position as I was.

Challenging myself to meet somebody new every day made me feel welcomed in this new environment. I met a lot of new people and shook a lot of hands, but I still didn’t feel like I had made many deep, personal connections with others. That all changed when I finally got involved on campus and committed myself to others.

By the spring of 2011, I had found my bearings, and this was the semester that Chico became my home. I wanted to get involved on campus, feel connected to the University, and not be just another student. I challenged myself to get involved with as many student organizations as possible and take on as many leadership roles as possible. I knew that when I looked back on my Chico Experience, I would want to know that I got the most out of it.

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At the pasta Olympics for the Italian club, C.I.A.O.

This attitude has carried me through the past few years and has opened up countless opportunities that I would have never thought were possible before coming here. During my stay at Chico State, I’ve been the activities coordinator and treasurer for the Italian club (C.I.A.O.), student mentor and tutor through Project M.A.T.H., donations chair for Up ’til Dawn, social media and outreach chair for Be Chico: Day of Service and Wildcat Way Weekend (Aug. 30–Sept. 2), co-founder of the Wildcat Way, Greek Life paraprofessional, and recruitment chair and president of Alpha Sigma Phi. All of this involvement has helped shape my Chico Experience and has truly made Chico my home.

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Summer Orientation 2013 Peer Advisor group photo

The most memorable experience of all was working for the Summer Orientation program as a peer advisor. I was able to help incoming students get acquainted, share my experience and knowledge with them, and bring my collegiate career full circle. Seeing the excitement and anticipation of these new students makes me wish I had another four years left.

I shared with these new students my No.1 piece of advice: GET INVOLVED!  Don’t wait for your friend or roommate to get involved, don’t wait for a professor to tell you to join a club—get out there and get involved! With over 200 student organizations , there is guaranteed to be something that will spark your interest. I challenge you, as a leader on this campus, to go out there and find that organization. By getting involved in clubs, sports, Greek life, whatever it may be, you’ll find your home and begin to create your own Chico Experience.

What does it mean to “Be Chico”?

AS President Taylor Herren explains:

Taylor Herren and President Zingg riding Wildcat Cruisers
Taylor Herren and President Zingg riding Wildcat Cruisers

Hello, my name is Taylor Herren, and I am honored to be serving Chico State as the Associated Students president for the 2013–2014 academic year. I would like to welcome our new students to California State University, Chico and congratulate our returning students for continuing on with their college education. It is a privilege to be representing each student, especially during a year that is going to be exciting and progressive for this institution. Each of us as students will have many opportunities to build character, provide service, work together, and utilize the exceptional resources and support available on this campus. I am proud to be a part of a university that is dedicated to providing students with an enriching experience that empowers each of us to take an active role in our educational experience.

Chico State is kicking off this academic year with an exciting week of events and activities offered as part of Wildcat Welcome. Students will have the chance to participate in a wide range of activities, including a welcome ceremony, advising and faculty meetings, the #wildcatstyle concert, a late-night movie, an involvement fair, the LeadCat Conference, and several Wildcat Recreation Center-sponsored events.

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The week will come to an end with the Be Chico Day of Service on Sunday, Aug. 25. This will bring together campus and community volunteers to serve at different sites throughout Chico. Events like this showcase the collaborative relationships that exist between the University, the City of Chico, the Chamber of Commerce, local businesses, and service providers and confirm each group’s commitment to giving back to our community.

This service project truly exemplifies what it means to be a Chico State Wildcat and is an ideal way to wrap up a week that is aimed at welcoming students and showing the value that this University puts on civic engagement. As Wildcats, the education we receive is not only about earning a college degree but also becoming engaged members of society. It is about giving back to the place that, as students, we will call home for four years and about showing respect to a community that lends itself so that each of us can learn and grow during our time at college.

“Being Chico” means that you are leader in this community and that you put an effort towards positively impacting the place you live. Last year was marked with many achievements, and our previous student body set a legacy that we will aspire to live up to throughout the upcoming year. I am certain that we, as the students this year, will exceed the expectations that have been set for us and continue to embody the Wildcat Way.

Click here to sign up to volunteer!

10 Ways to Survive Move-in Day

g By Gerardo Nicolas, Senior Resident Advisor

Hello and welcome to Chico State. First-year student move-in day is one of the best days of the year for the Residence Life staff and for the campus. It’s the beginning of a new year and new classes. The Chico community is happy to see you!

Here are some tips to make your transition as smooth as possible:

1.  Eat a good breakfast

Everyone is nervous about moving in and being away from home—maybe for the first time—but moving in is a big process that takes lots of energy.

2. Pack the car the day before

Trust me, you aren’t going to have the patience you’ll need to fit everything in your car. Packing doesn’t just mean loading up the trunk. Be sure to fill up your gas tank and check your tire pressure. It’s small things like this that become harder and more expensive to do once you’re on your own.

3.  Priority packing

Organize your belongings in boxes by priority. The most important items, such as medicines, toiletries, valuable jewelry, paperwork, etc., should be packed in clearly marked boxes.

4. Find a campus map and hold onto it

You will find yourself needing this a lot your first week on campus. You’ll probably want to go to the Wildcat Store and get a T-shirt or sweatpants, find your classes, and attend freshmen meetings. Unless you can find your way around campus with your eyes closed, keep a map handy. You don’t want to be late or miss all of the important info they throw out on move-in day. (Campus maps are available on the Chico State Mobile App)

5. Keep your cool

You know that kid snapping at his 50-year-old parents as they carry boxes upstairs, walking in front of them and ignoring their existence, or just plain acting like a brat? Yeah, don’t be that person. The people who move you in (1) are your biggest supporters in life, (2) have probably done more for you than you have for them, and (3) are most likely paying a lot, if not all, of your tuition. Move-in day is really stressful and can cause a lot of people to crack, but if you’re feeling overwhelmed, just take a minute to sit down and soak in the reward for all of your past hard work.

6. Bring tools with you

Although the front desk of your community has tools for you to check out, it is not guaranteed that they will have some ready for you when you arrive. You might also take a dolly to haul heavy items (especially if you know you have to climb stairs).

7. Find out where the nearest home improvement and household good stores are.

It would be best to know these locations before move-in. Then if you need something for your room, you will not have to take the time looking for these stores on move-in day.’

8. Go to all of your scheduled events

Every minute of your move-in day is usually scheduled—for a reason. There is a lot to cover, and all of it is important. Go to the things you’re assigned to go to, be there on time, and take notes. Chances are your brain will be overloaded by the time the day is over, and those notes will come in handy later.

9. Make friends!

Why? Well, just imagine what move-in day would be like without all of those scheduled events. Students would be lost, unsure of where to go, and would probably end up just hanging out in their new rooms. Which is nice but not always the best way to meet a lot of people and get to know the school. So, even if you think the event after dinner sounds totally boring, go. Keep in mind that the first few days are when a lot of students meet each other, so it’s critical to get out of your comfort zone and join the crowd. After all, you didn’t go to school just to be alone, right?

10. Last but not least: Know it’s okay to be sad.

You’re in college now! Hooray! Your parents have left, the day is over, and you’re finally all settled down in your new bed. Some students feel overwhelmingly happy; some feel overwhelmingly sad and scared; some students feel all of these things at the same time. Be patient with yourself and know that you are making a big life adjustment. All of your emotions are totally normal. You worked hard to get where you are, and while it may be scary, it can still be fantastic at the same time. Congratulate yourself on a job well done, be a little sad if you want to, and get ready to start your new college life—after a good night’s sleep, of course.

Wildcat Welcome (#ChicoWW)

It’s that time of year again—when we look forward to welcoming a brand new batch of Wildcats into our family. To greet our new students, an exciting Wildcat Welcome has been planned for Aug. 22–25. The events at the new student orientation are all designed with one thing in mind: to help Chico State students be safe and successful. This year includes many more ways to for new students immerse themselves in our school and community, a healthy start to their Chico Experience.

Many of the new events grew out of the Call for Community Action summits earlier this year, where campus and community members got together to figure out ways to reduce alcohol abuse in Chico. “We listened to the students, community members, and professionals who attended those meetings and have implemented their ideas,” said Mary Wallmark, Student Life and Leadership program coordinator and chair of Wildcat Welcome.

Here’s a preview of some of the activities to look forward to during Wildcat Welcome:

*Wildcat Transfer-Mation: Thursday, Aug. 22, 10 a.m.–1 p.m., BMU Auditorium

Transfer students represent 42 percent of our incoming students for fall 2013. This event will help them make a smooth transition into the Chico Experience by connecting with other transfer students, current students, and staff. They will attend mini-orientations while enjoying snacks, activities, and prize drawings.

*Wildcat Class Photo: Friday Aug. 23rd, 9:45 a.m.- 10:15 a.m., Field 6 & 7

Students, faculty, and staff will become a part of history Chico State history by participating in the Class of 2017 commemorative photo! This photo shoot allows students to celebrate the beginning of their Chico Experience with the campus community.

*Wrec It!: Friday, August 23rd @ 11am- 2pm at the WREC

The Wildcat Recreation Center provides many healthy options for students. They can find information about sports and activities options at WREC It—along with prizes, giveaways, and a pool party! (students only)

*Friday Night Concert #wildcatstyle: Friday, August 23rd @  7pm at the City Park Plaza

Say hello to your community, Wildcats! This is one of Chico’s summer Friday Night Concerts, but with a twist. Complimentary dinner will be available to incoming students from any one of 20 local food vendors. This fun Friday night activity is an opportunity for students and Chico locals to connect.

*Be Chico Day: Sunday, August 25th @ 10am – 12pm

Chico State is known as a leader in community service. And this year, students will begin their Chico State career a demonstration of the “Wildcat Way.” This cleanup of downtown and campus neighborhoods is a partnership with the Chico Chamber of Commerce. The Day of Service is a change for students to show that they “Respect Chico.”

 For the full list of events and more information visit Chico State Wildcat Welcome’s Facebook Page