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FRESHMAN FOCUS: Alan Gallardo, ’19, works while at Sac State, attends concert for music class

Alan Gallardo, ’19, majors in health science at California State University, Sacramento.

Q: Why did you choose Sac State?

A: It was the best economic decision for me. Going to Sac State, I could stay at home as well as maintain my job as a receiver at Pacific Seafood (1420 National Dr.) and be partially independent.

Q: What do you do as a receiver at Pacific Seafood?

A: Pacific Seafood provides protein, including seafood, beef, pork and poultry. My job at the company is to receive all of the products, count them to make sure everything is there, make sure we got the correct order and make sure the quality of everything is good. After that, I scan everything to add it to our inventory. I usually work about 32 hours a week and sometimes more.

Q: What is it like working while in college?

A: From my experience, it isn’t as bad as most people think it is. Sometimes it can be really busy — I’ll have a long day at work and then come home and have to do a bunch of schoolwork. Other days, however, it’s nowhere near as bad. People make it seem like it’s something that not many people have the ability to do, but it’s definitely doable. 

Q: How do you manage work and school?

A: I usually just try to get my work done as soon as possible, (making) my days a lot easier. My goal for a regular day is to be able to come home and have to do little to no work.

Q: How has the experience been so far?

A: The year so far hasn’t been bad, but right now it has been strange with classes canceled and everything switching to online. Overall, my first year of college has been pretty great. I’ve made friends and formed a study group. 

Q: What classes are you taking?

A: I am taking four classes: Intro to Biological Concepts, Anthropology, Music in World Cultures and Communications.

Q: What is your favorite class?

A: My favorite class right now is either Music In World Cultures or Anthropology. I really like my anthropology class because I’ve been learning how to view cultures differently. In that class, we learn how to study other cultures and pay more attention to details. 

My Music in World Cultures is also really cool because it focuses on all cultures and also because I really enjoy music. I’d say that 80 to 90% of the time, I am listening to music, and taking this class helps me broaden the music I listen to.

Q: What is your least favorite class?

A: I’d say my least favorite class would have to be communications because my professor isn’t as nice of a teacher as he is a person. He’s really cool regularly, but when it comes to teaching, he’s very strict.

Q: What is your smallest class?

A: My music and my anthropology classes both have about 30 to 40 people.

Q: What is your largest class?

A: That would be my biology class, which has over 200 students, but it’s a hybrid class. The physical class we go to only has about 60 students. The rest of the students just do the class on their computer.

Q: How has the workload been?

A: Surprisingly, there hasn’t been a ton of work. In fact, I think I’ve only had one written assignment in my anthropology class. My bio class involves a lot of studying – roughly two to three hours a night. My music class has three writing assignments per semester, and one of them is attending a concert and analyzing it. We have to take notes and write an essay on our perspective (about) it.

Q: Are you part of any clubs?

A: At the moment, no. The only extracurricular thing I was doing before the COVID-19 outbreak was going to the gym about three times a week. My routine was usually waking up at 5 in the morning, getting ready, getting to the gym at 6, getting to my 8 o’clock class and then working for the rest of the day.

Q: What is your housing situation?

A: I live at home with my parents, which has been good, but overall, if I were living in the dorms, it would give me more of the college experience. Some of the students at Sac State have been going back home and being extra cautious since the start of the outbreak. 

Q: How has the transition from high school to college been?

A: I haven’t felt much of a difference. Country Day prepared me very well. I’m obviously not doing the same thing that I was at Country Day, but mentally it really helped. Teachers like Ms. Bauman and Mr. Wells really helped me develop and prepare for college.

Q: Have you made any freshman mistakes?

A: I’d say the only big mistake I have made is I didn’t pay too much attention during some of my classes at first. At the start, you think you’re not missing that much, but then the work starts to come in, and you realize that you’re falling behind. So always pay attention during your classes.

Q: Any advice for the class of 2020?

A: Don’t slack off, and always go to class. If you don’t go to class, you will miss the material, and your professors will be less lenient in helping you. So always do your work, pay attention and go to class.

Five-star or subpar?

Quality of classes: ★★★

Student-teacher interaction: ★★★★

Location: ★★★★

Food: ★★★★

Social scene: ★★★★

Clubs: ★★★★★

School spirit: ★★★★★

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