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Chico State

Tips for your first year at Chico State

A group of students show excitement and stand in front of a banner that reads 'Wildcat Welcome.' There are bleachers and some students in the background.
Jason Halley / University Photographer

Welcome to your first year at Chico State! Starting college is an exciting time—and a big transition. You will find new opportunities, experiences, and even some challenges.

Student sit at a desk with a laptop and notebook as he works on projects during his lab.

Here are some tips to help you navigate this journey and make sure you have an A+ college experience.

A group of students stands behind a table with a banner that reads "Men of Chico" while they pose for a photo with the Chico State mascot Willie the Wildcat.
  • Connect with classmates. Chico State is known for its small classroom sizes and friendly environment. Join—or form—a study group to create a support system for the semester.
  • Show up to class. Did you know skipping class is the #1 reason why students fail? It may be obvious, but it’s important to show up and engage.
  • Make new friends. You’re in for a fun time with more than 200 student organizations to join. Whether you’re interested in sports, film, dancing, or community service, we are confident you will find your place and people on campus.  
Student holds a paper bag on the left and a can on the right as she stands in front of shelves with non-perishable foods inside the Wildcat Food Pantry.
  • Get to know your professors. Our faculty members are not only experts in their fields but are also invested in their students’ success. Stop by during office hours to ask questions, get advice, and seek out opportunities.
  • Find places to study. Set down a blanket on Kendall Lawn or grab a bench along Big Chico Creek for a scenic and serene study sesh. If you prefer to be indoors, Meriam Library offers spaces for group or solo studying on four floors, and the ARTS and Science Buildings have cozy spaces with big windows for a picturesque place to hit the books. 
Two students sit on a hammock while studying. One student has a laptop on her lap while the other student holds a textbook.
  • Make time for downtime. Being a college student is a full-time job, which means it’s important to make time to decompress. Take an exercise class at the Wildcat Recreation Center, go for a walk in Bidwell Park, or drop by The Well to reserve a nap pod. Whatever your version of self-care looks like, make sure you take breaks from the hustle of college life.
Two students walking in the street during an evening farmers market. One students hold a bouquet of colorful flowers in one hand and the other student holds a paper bag.
  • Explore your new city. Downtown Chico has a lively food and shopping scene and is just steps away from campus. If you’d like to explore farther, use your Wildcat ID to ride the city bus for free.  

College is a time for growth and exploration. Remember to be kind to yourself, get involved, ask for help, and overall, embrace the experience.