Thoughts of a Chico Freshman


As an incoming freshman, I had no idea what to expect from Chico State University. We’ve been told things from how isolated the school is from the rest of civilization, to how enormous the parties get. Yes, I heard it all. But not all reputations remain true. You see, Chico State was founded in 1880 90-miles away from Sacramento, and in 1987 Playboy Magazine rated CSU as the #1 party school in the nation. Meaning, it’s been 27 years since that label was brought upon us. Twenty-seven generations have graduated since. Jeez, the majority of Chico’s current alumni weren’t even born yet! Although I have noticed quite a few parties and social gatherings going on, all of them have been under the normal standard parties. Sorry to whomever applied for the parties, it doesn’t get all Project X (2012) around here!

Promotional Frat Party on the first day of school

Chico state is the second-oldest campus, and although it is more than a century old, 3 new facilities were installed in the last 15 years. Facilities such as a Wildcat Recreation Center (WREC) GYM which is equipped with the latest sport/ workout utilities, a swimming pool, two floors of weight lifting machinery, an indoor track, a climbing wall, and various other components. The first time I visited the gym, I was completely blown away. I had not anticipated such large and modern gym coming from a school that is more than a century old. It is open to ALL Chico alumni new and former.

Although the WREC is an indoor facility, CSU has many outdoor sports and clubs. Because of its vast amount of nature all around hiking excursions are programmed almost every 2 weeks. I personally don’t like going out much as I have a love/hate relationship with the sun. Luckily for me half of the year the weather changes from a toastie, by toastie I mean temperatures reaching up to 106°F, to cloudy and rainy days. I don’t mind living in the blazing hot half of the year, as long as the equipped AC continues working inside each facility I will be good.

Part of the first level (WREC)

Because of the vast nature around campus, walking around campus feels like a ride in the park, except there are more youngsters with backpacks than families running around. Trees reaching up to 30 ft are a norm around here. The preservation of the nature around campus continues to be one of many priorities of CSU. The school was originally build in a populated area by an Native American tribe called Mechoopda, since the school’s growth Chico state has continued to preserve and respect the tribe that lived near by. It is admirable for a such large institution to continue to honor and respect the former inhabitants of Chico by commemorating them. In the official freshman welcoming, two members of the Mechoopda tribe came to “bless” our year and reminisce about their own experience as a tribe Chico alumni. I thought it was such a commemorable way to see thriving members of tribe as a way to remind us about the rich history and nature that surrounds ‘our’ new home. Chico State respects its geography and fights to preserve it as well.


As I said before Chico State is know for so many things, but but it saddens me to notice how the school is underrated by so many. I came to Chico thinking it was your typical average school, instead I’ve learned to respect and appreciate the work that our faculty have put into place. Students have come together as well to change this restraining ties that constrict Chico from receiving the potential of a honorable recognition. CSU is the right school for anyone wanting to start fresh and to receive a quality education. Chico State might be one of the oldest schools, but it sure does have one of the most vibrant and soulful campuses in Cal!



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