Survival of the fittest student

As the Fall 2018 semester comes to an end, Eastern New Mexico University freshman are a mixture of .

Jacqueline Pereda of Clovis is majoring in biology pre-med.

Pereda said she thinks this semester went well for her, minus a few changes she made to her daily lifestyle.

“There were somethings that I needed to change in order to adjust to the college life,” Pereda said.

Pereda commutes from Clovis to Portales every day for classes at Eastern.

“I commute here, and I leave an hour earlier from my house. I used to wake up at 6:30 a.m. last year; now I’ve been waking up at 5 a.m.,” Pereda said.

Pereda’s first semester of college taught her about being more independent. She moved out of her parent’s house during the summer and continues to gain more experience with being independent every day.

“My experience attending college for the first time has been full of different emotions like stress, tiredness, and fun,” Pereda said, who said she often found herself having to juggle personal things and homework while still being tired from waking up so early. But she managed to stay on top of things while still tending to the needs of her daughter.

“Overall, my experience was fun. It was a whole new experience for me, and I loved being able to feel and be treated like an adult,” Pereda said.

When coming into college, Pereda said she worried that she wouldn’t be able to keep her grades up, because she didn’t have any previous college experience. But to her surprise, she has been able to maintain a GPA that she’s proud of.

“This last semester was full of new experiences, and I want to be able to enjoy them (again).”

Nicolas Martinez of Espanola is majoring in Wildlife and Fisheries Sciences.

Martinez said his first semester at college was all right, but he wishes he could have done better in one of his classes.

Martinez said Eastern was a new environment for him, and he didn’t know anybody. But that changed when he was invited to be a member of the Kappa Sigma fraternity.

Martinez lives in the dorms and for him, having such a small living area was difficult. Living in the dorms is somewhat considered part of the “college experience,” but living with a roommate and being limited on space can be an adjustment that many students struggle with, he said.

Denise Chapman of Lubbock, Texas, is majoring in business administration.

Chapman said her first semester at college went great, and she’s excited for what the rest of her college experience has for her.

“Coming to ENMU has been the best decision I’ve made. I’ve made a lot of friends and a lot of memories here,” Chapman said.

For Chapman, the biggest adjustment she made when coming to college was staying organized and having good time management.

“I had never used a planner before, but it was a necessity when I came to college. I needed to organize my schedule and have my days planned out,” Chapman said.

She said the amount of homework that she’s acquired at college was a lot compared to her high school homework.

“I spent a lot of my time this semester in the library, because it was one of the only places that I was able to sit down, focus, and get my homework done,” Chapman said.

Chapman said college was filled with a lot of new experiences. She learned to be more independent, and in college, you’re in charge of yourself. Nobody is going to force you to attend class or do your homework; you have to do all that stuff on your own, she added.

Chapman said she made a lot of new friends this semester, and she hopes they’ll remain friends long after their college careers are over.

“I was nervous when I first got to Eastern and making new friends seemed nearly impossible until I met a group of girls that have similar interests,” Chapman said.

All of the students said they will be returning to ENMU in the spring.

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