Transfer students are both coming to into Cal Poly with advantages and disadvantages that are unique to them. As a transfer student you are both a freshman and a junior at the same time. A lot of the advice that you’ll get during SLO Days and Week of Welcome (WOW) is geared toward freshman. These students are typically younger than a transfer student and are in a different headspace when it comes to college. Here a couple tips directly from transfer students who were also coming into Cal Poly.
Kacey Cadwell, an agricultural sciences graduate and transfer from Irvine Valley College has literally thrown herself into Cal Poly. Cadwell is involved in New Student Transition Programs, where she has been a WOW leader, a facilitator for WOW training and will be leading a group of transfer student for Week of Welcome for the second time. She said “My advice, although it’s probably been said many times, is to get involved in other programs and accept all opportunities you are given.”
Cadwell herself recalls hearing the common phrase “school is going to fly by” and uses it to remind her to “embrace the opportunities and create friendships with people that could last a lifetime.” As a transfer student, you get two to three years to create a new chapter and then you’ll be walking across the stage to receive a diploma. Cadwell is pursuing her master’s and teaching credentials, so she’s getting extra time to continue to create opportunities.
Louise Ibuna, software engineering junior and transfer from Allan Hancock College said that coming in as a community college student gives you a fresh perspective when it comes to age. “Some people think college is limited to 18-22 year olds. But when you start off as a community college student, you realize people come from different walks of life. Regardless of where others come from, their opportunity of pursuing higher education is still there.”
An advocate for taking one’s time in the speed force that is the quarter system, she appreciates the connection that transfer students share and said, “you’ll meet a lot of young individuals who are close to getting their degrees than you are. Don’t let it take you seriously. Take your time in graduating, but don’t waste it.”
Lastly Miguel Becerra, mechanical engineering senior and transfer from East Los Angeles College said that an open mind and collaboration are key to transfer students because, “we tend to do a lot of group work at Poly, which can be overwhelming for those that like to work alone. I know I was a bit overwhelmed when it came to having to work with others.”
He said that through collaboration, he grew and was provided many opportunities. “At the end, I gained so much knowledge and insight by working with others. I improved my methods of working by learning from others, I gained experience in communication, and I made new friends. Working in teams at Poly will open many doors for you, from meeting new people to getting that extra push that you need to be successful in your classes.”
These three students shared from their own personal experiences and they’re all different. The transfer student experience isn’t the same as an incoming freshman and that’s part of the experience. As a transfer student you get to write and make your own rules for the next two years. The choice is up to each student and with the quarter system, it’ll fly by.