California State University of Bakersfield President Dr. Horace Mitchell, gave his last new student convocation address to the CSUB Class of 2021.
"I want to congratulate you on two things, first on your academic performance that led you here, and second on making the exceptional decision to come to CSUB," Mitchell said during his speech to new students.
With the decision made to come to CSUB, Zhanessa Manalansan is feeling a little nervous for her first day of classes.
The first-year political science student from San Diego applied to three other schools but chose CSUB because Bakersfield seemed like the friendliest environment.
"I'm really getting out of my comfort zone, trying to meet new people," Manalansan said.
Manalansan wants to be a defense attorney for juveniles. "A lot of kids where I come from stray away and get into gangs," Manalansan said. "I want to help them."
Manalansan isn't the only one interested in helping the troubled youth of the community. Michael Beltran is going back to school to progress in his career towards becoming a substance abuse counselor.
Beltran refers to himself as "the 40-year-old freshman" and was inspired to work with juveniles because of his personal history with juvenile homes.
"I was feeling nervous about the first day of school because of my past and not going to school when I was younger," Beltran said. "But just now I was soaking in everything the president was saying."
Beltran said he's already planting the seed of a college education for the eldest of his three sons, Rocco who is six years old.
"I want to be able to provide that for him," Beltran said.
Tomorrow won't be the first day of school for everyone, for Tyler Storey a 21-year-old finance transfer student from El-Camino College, it marks the halfway point.
"It's sad leaving people behind, but ultimately I'm here to focus on my studies," Storey said.
Storey hopes to get a masters degree and starting off his career in the next five years.
"I don't know a soul here, but that's not going to stop me from accomplishing my goals," Storey said.