Looking into San Francisco State University campus life? In this tell-all interview of two current 3rd-year students, they will reveal exactly what SFSU is all about.
To give some background SFSU is a public CSU that runs on a semester system. It is about a 20-minute drive to the heart of San Francisco depending on the traffic. The location makes SFSU a unique choice of a school with it being so close to a popular tourist location/tech hub.
Destiny Gomez, a Pre-Law major, and Cenie Arellano, a Business Admin major, both believe there is a place for everyone at the university. To them, SFSU is more than just their college, but the start of their adult lives.
Why did you choose SFSU?
For Cenie it was a mix of reasons why she chose SFSU, “When I was in high school I knew I always wanted to go to college, but I didn’t know where or for what. I kind of was just waiting for an opportunity that seemed right for me to present itself and then take a leap of faith. Maybe that sounds kind of dumb or ignorant, but at that age, I felt like I didn’t know any better and I am the oldest in my family so I had no one to really guide me on how to find the right fit for me.”
She also noted that she wanted to venture far from home and moving to a big city was definitely a determining factor in her decision. After attending the school for 2 years now, her answer on why she would choose SFSU again over other schools has changed. “I guess if you asked me today why I chose SFSU it would be simple, the academics, the opportunities, and the people. As a business marketing major, going to a school in the city gives you endless opportunities to get involved in a broad variety of business scenes.”
It is so much more than just the location that makes SFSU the right school for Cenie, and she believes that for other students of different majors, there are places for them with equal opportunities.
As for Destiny, she also mentioned living in a big city as one of the main reasons why she chose SFSU. “The architecture in San Francisco is so beautiful and growing up in LA I had never had the chance to experience colder weather, year-round. Therefore the change in atmosphere and architecture really drew me to the school not only the programs offered.” When she initially applied to SFSU, she went in as a Broadcast major which is a very well-developed program at the university. However, as a Pre-Law major she also believes the academics are great.
What is campus life like?
SFSU campus life is unique, diverse, and filled with opportunities. Cenie stated that John Paul library, Cafe 101, and the Cesar Chavez building as hubs for students to hang out, study, and meet with different clubs. “There are so many different organizations to get involved in that it is almost impossible to find a place that isn’t meant for you,” Cenie exclaimed. The campus is small, 142 acres, which makes it very common to run into people you know when walking from class to class.
Destiny also mentioned that the campus is super easy to navigate because of the size, and allows students to form connections quickly. Both students mentioned that although it may be a commuter school, there is always something going on. Cenie stated, “I think it is safe to say the school is like the city, always busy.” However, if you are ever tired of staying on campus you are in SF and there are endless things to do and see.
Did you stay in the dorms your freshman year? How hard is it to find housing off-campus?
Both Cenie and Destiny were able to stay in the dorms during their freshman year, specifically the Village dorms. If you move in you could stay in Village, Mary Ward, or The Towers dorms. Both students believe dorming is essential to have an easier adjustment to SFSU life. Destiny stated, “I believe dorming is really vital in adjusting to the city as well as forming friendships if you are not born and raised in SF, to this day I am so grateful for the amazing people I met in the dorms.”
Cenie agreed, “I feel like dorming on campus your freshman year is the best thing you can do for yourself. The best thing about it is that everyone is going through the same life change as you so you are able to learn and grow with each other.”
As for how hard off-campus housing is, Cenie and Destiny believe as long as you do your research you will be fine. Consider the safety of the neighborhood, how close it is to bus stops/train stations, and of course how affordable it is. Destiny mentioned, “There are many Facebook groups for San Francisco State that students can request to join.”
What are some of the popular organizations on-campus? Are you part of any?
One of the biggest parts of SFSU campus life is the organizations. Whatever you could be interested in career-wise or hobby-wise, you will most likely find a club that centers around that topic. Cenie noted that some of the popular organizations that stand out to her are “Greek life, Associated Students, SF State Cares, P.A.C.E, the Women’s Center, and PINK SFSU.” Cenie is the VP of Marketing for Alpha Phi and loves the organization as well as the opportunities it has given her.
She mentioned @PINK_SFSU which is “an organization where the brand PINK hires Campus Representatives from their university to plan events, run multiple social accounts, give back to important causes, host giveaways, participate in merchandise planning, and much more!”
Cenie is one of the current PINK representatives which has helped enhance her professional development and given her the chance to learn more about customer service and running a business. “These organizations that I am a part of have helped me shape into the person I am today. Not only do I feel like I have something that I’m passionate about, but it has given me real-life tools to bring to my future career. I am forever grateful for everything Alpha Phi and PINK has given to me now and for the future.”
Destiny brought up the Animation club on campus. It allows her to be able to network with other people interested in animation as well as professional animators. Her club meetings even had guest speakers who were able to speak about their experience in the field.
What’s one piece of advice you would give to incoming freshmen?
The most important advice these two students can give is to be prepared and put yourself out there. Destiny recommends that you go ahead and check out all your lecture halls before classes started so you don’t get lost. This can help you organize and map out your semester easily. She also said to make sure to prepare a list of questions to ask when choosing a college, whether that is SFSU or not.
Cenie believes that you should not give in to self-doubt, and just sign up for whatever organization or program that interests you. If you hang out with like-minded and successful individuals, you can grow. “I wish that someone would have told me to push myself as a freshman and to be fearless so I guess that is my advice to you! Be fearless and push your limits because you are just scratching the surface of what you are capable of achieving.”
Summary of San Francisco State University Campus Life
Overall, if you are interested in the big city, looking for many opportunities, and can handle some gloom, this is the school for you.