Well since Rosa Garibo went over some of the information about SCU, I will just talk a little bit more about this past quarter. I took four classes and one lab; Math 12 (Calculus), Physics 31, Mech 10 with Lab (Mechanical Engineering class that Civil Engineers also require), and my C&I (Cultures and Ideas: Ideas in a Changing World) which is a class we are required to take for 2 quarters.
I was very excited to finally take an engineering class, but I was definitely not excited about physics which was without a doubt the hardest class this quarter for me. My GPA has not been great because I feel like I am still adjusting to college. Yesterday I was glad to see I had not failed physics. I went from getting upset whenever I did not get an A in high school to feeling relieved with a C-. For an engineer, falling behind just one class could really hurt you. We only get one elective our 4 years, basically our 4 years are planned out for us without having much space to take "fun" classes. What I was afraid of was failing physics and not being able to take 32 and 33 this Spring and Fall quarter, which would mean I would have to take summer classes (which is unfortunately $2,000 per class) or overload. I am currently waiting on the rest of my grades.
I will talk a little more about how engineers go about registering for classes. Since I did not receive credit for AP classes, I am one of the last to register. I am a freshman engineer without AP credits nor the best GPA, so these past two quarters I've had my appointment the last day of registration. It's stressful to see the classes with the best professors and hours fill up. Most of the professors here are very nice and are excellent at teaching, but as in every other college, there are exceptions. This is why if the upcoming freshmen have AP credits, they should make sure the colleges receive the scores. As you progress, the engineering classes get smaller and smaller according to the different branches students decide to follow: Civil, Mechanical, Electrical, Computer, and Bio.
If you decide to go as undeclared, it is best if you declare what engineer you want to be as soon as possible to make sure there is space for you in the required classes. Make friends with other engineers! You WILL need help in homework or simply trying to borrow a book. It is going to be tough to get used to the quarter system. We have 3 final weeks, most classes having 2 midterms per quarter without counting projects or essays. Without you know it, you are already halfway through the quarter and have to start preparing for finals.
Even though schoolwork takes the majority of your time, there is always time to hang out with friends, or go to the parties nearby. The campus is pretty small, but that does not mean there is nothing fun going on around. Basketball games get filled with the Ruff Riders cheering for the team, Baseball season just started two weeks ago, and dances go on every quarter.
I am not sure if I had mentioned this in a previous email but the building I live in is a suite-style. It has 4 singles and 1 double with 2 bathrooms. Fortunately, I got paired up with a girl that does not mind me having people around. Not everyone has that luck.
SCU is an expensive university, and does not always give out the best financial aid package throughout the 4 years. I plan on doing work-study next year to help out my parents since I did not apply for any scholarships this year. But I have talked to many that had not thought of SCU as their first choice until they saw their financial aid.
Overall, I love SCU. It is crazy to look back and see I am just 10 weeks away from finishing my freshman year. Again, if anyone wants to go visit the campus or even stay overnight I will gladly give them a tour and have them stay in my suite. It would be nice to have more people from our district attending SCU next year.
Enjoy your last months in high school and be sure that college will be 10 times better!