Tian Ding

College Survival Guide

Mentor: Brian Ernst

How do you survive in college? When I arrived to UC Santa Barbara as an undergraduate student, there were a couple of orientations and information sessions on various resources, but no one to actually guided me through the process. As a result, I had to rely on myself to learn how to juggle all of my responsibilities as well as cope with stress from various other sources. I’m still searching for the answers as I get closer to graduation. However, I want to help those who follow me by offering something I never received – clear and flexible guidance. The College Survival Guide will revisit my unique experience as an international student, who came to the University of California, Santa Barbara at 17 to start the next phase of my life. By looking back on my experiences as an international student, I plan to create a guide that invites the reader to explore who they are and what choices they might make as a reflection of my own lived experience surviving and thriving at university. My message to you is this: stress is like our own shadow – we neglect it while it is part of ourselves – instead, let’s embrace it and reconcile with it. If you are a new student at UCSB, then this guide is meant to help you navigate through the challenges of college life.