Advice For Transfer Students, From Transfer Students

In Fall 2018, out of the total 21,812 students that attended Cal Poly as undergraduates, 867 of them were incoming transfer students. The incoming transfer students made up 3.8 percent of all students. 

Many of those students said they felt unsupported by the university and have found ways to support one another, through organizations such as the Association of Transfer Students. Below is advice from a few transfer students for transfer students:

“As a transfer student you are thrown into the mix of students, you are put into higher education classes and are expected to succeed. Yet, the harsh reality is that transfer students need more support. Navigate the quarter system, seek for help, and do not expect help will come to you. Try and attend different events from your college. Make friends with the professors and administrators. Make yourself known in school.”

Yesenia Beas, psychology senior

“There are plenty of transfers who are coming into uncharted territory. Just put yourself out there. Join clubs, go to transfer night, and enjoy your time at Cal Poly.”

Aaron Van Rossum, Electrical Engineering senior, Veteran

Be more open minded and don’t be too stuck in your own bubble. It’s not very diverse here at Cal Poly and it’s easy to not feel welcome when you come here. Don’t be scared to be yourself and express yourself the way you are.”

Jaylen MorganCommunication Studies senior

“As a transfer student I felt like I had to put myself out there more than a freshman student. I was lucky enough to get involved with orientation and help progress the transfer WOW experience. It was only a step in the right direction and I hope that with re transfer student participation within orientation it can really change so that new transfer students can feel welcomed as soon as they start at Cal Poly.”

Ali Alvarez, City and Regional Planning senior

“ Make friends, ask questions, get involved, and network! Your time here will go by quicker than you think, so enjoy every moment of it.”

Cristhian A. Valle Fuentes, business administration senior

 “Resilience is often needed in the unique trajectory of transferring. Each student comes to Cal Poly at different times from different places. It may have been smooth or turbulent. We come with advantages like focus, direction, endurance, and academic experience. This is coupled with the shared disadvantage of once again starting somewhere new, where you are new, but not new. Somewhere everyone else is already established, with friends, in their departments, within the school itself. In tackling this, transfers have to work harder and faster to accomplish in 2-3 years what those who originate at Cal Poly have 4 to 5 to 6 years to do. Finding internships, jobs, forging working and mentoring relationships with professors all must be done immediately or probably not at all. If going on to some version of graduate level schooling next is the goal, our application process starts essentially immediately after our last one. It is as if we just completed a transfer process to start another one all over. It is a never ending stream of movement through new environments. There never is a real chance to breathe, it is all movement.”

Jason Cagan, Philosophy senior

“Your professors are there to guide you! Go to office hours! Professors are busy people, they don’t have time to answer trivial questions during the time they offer office hours. When (not if) you go to office hours, prepare your questions. Make a concise list and try to find the answers before you go to office hours. Not only will you actually have your questions answered, but you’re saving everyone’s time and learning on a deeper level while doing so. Your professors will notice this and it may be the reason they write a letter of recommendation for you.”

Sabir Utamsing, materials engineering senior

“Some advice I would give to incoming transfer students is that they should join in solidarity and fight for the same rights and privileges that incoming freshmen have. They should never give up in their quest for improvement and success.”

Jim Sievers, political science alumnus

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *