top of page


  • Danrielle Cruda

Skip the Stereotypes, Take the Initiative

When I was completing my senior year of high school, I was anxious about the new stage of life that I was about to embark on. I desperately asked for any advice that my college peers could give me in efforts to lessen my worries. I asked a variety of questions: What dorm essentials do I need to buy? What kind of environment do I have to adjust to? What are the “do’s” and “don'ts” of college?

Of course, now that I am in the Spring semester of my first year at San Jose State, I realize now that none of the answers to these questions are enough to prepare anyone for the reality of moving forward to a new phase of maturity. But, the biggest and most common piece of advice I received was this:

“Take it easy in your first year. Enjoy how simple it will be.”

I attempted to follow it with my personal lifestyle once I entered the Fall semester of my first year in college. As a student who seeks major productivity and academic validation, I saw this fresh beginning as an opportunity to start big. I maintained my work-life balance and made sure to focus on the social aspects in my free time.

I took advantage of my title as a freshman. I knew I wanted to explore all the resources available to me. There is never nothing wrong with taking the initiative, especially when you have so much time and life ahead of you. I saw this as a moment of truly testing the highest amount of potential I can reach – which is unlimited.

There seemed to be a stereotype where first years only had to worry about maintaining a care-free schedule. That expectation wasn’t suitable for me. I wanted to break the standards. I wanted to prove that even the youngest minds are the brightest. With pure excitement, I joined the FilAm organization on campus known as Akbayan, Women in Business, and Marketing Association. I pushed myself to be heavily involved in all clubs and have made the most beautiful group of friends while doing so.

I focused on my participation in the Marketing Association because it proved to be very beneficial and resourceful as a business marketing major. I told myself that only being a general member wasn’t enough and I had to take it a step further. I applied for the Marketing Committee, which is known as the most competitive and difficult committee to enter in the organization. Nonetheless, I joined as one of the only first year Visionaries and constantly exhibited the value of my skills throughout the semester. I continued to break the barriers and interviewed to be the next Creative Director for the Spring semester. Now, I present myself as the only first year on the Spring 2023 Officer Board in the Marketing Association.

I share this story to display the significance of realizing your value, your worth, and your time. While it is crucial to prioritize your college experience as a whole, it is even more crucial to build your own brand to welcome more opportunities for yourself after college. I want to inspire everyone around me to take the initiative. At the end of the day, your potential success and confidence is waiting for you.


bottom of page