Transfer business administration junior Samuel Dea-huang sat down on his first day of classes, anticipating meeting new people. However, looking around the classroom and seeing numerous students talking with friends from previous years, Dea-huang said he realized being a transfer student might be harder than he expected.
Dea-huang said he could only imagine what meeting new people was like for other transfer students in their classes.
“It is a little daunting taking upper division courses and you see a lot of other people that have been here already who have their friends,” Dea-huang said. “They are going to be less likely to talk to you, so it is easier for a lot of transfers to feel more isolated.”
Dea-huang said the transfer students’ Week of Welcome (WOW) program made his social life feel more concrete.
“If I did not have WOW in person, I do not think I would have fully felt like I transitioned into Cal Poly,” Dea-huang said. “It was nice that there was a little transition period of having fun and meeting new people before classes started.”
Dea-huang said the transition from Las Positas Community College to Cal Poly was easy because no one made an effort to make new friends in community college.
“I do not feel weird talking to people that I see around campus and it feels like there is more of a community here [at Cal Poly],” Dea-huang said. “Everything just feels right here [at Cal Poly].”
Transfer business administration junior Oyunkhand Tserennadmid said her social life is much better compared to last year online.
“I do not think I made one friend last year online,” Tserennadmid said, “Meeting new people through my classes, club meetings and WOW has been really nice and it helped me with my mental health.”
Tserennadmid said she feels behind compared to other Cal Poly juniors because of the lack of resources in community college.
“It is hard because we [transfer students] are trying to catch up with everyone else and it was hard for me to fit in,” Tserennadmid said. “I have never really had a college experience since all of it was online, so shifting here was huge and Cal Poly made it easier [for me] with WOW and events.”
Transfer journalism junior Gabriel Dorr currently resides in the transfer dorms on campus and said that it was not hard to meet new people.
“We get along a lot easier because people are all in a similar situation as transfers,” Dorr said. “Being able to go hang out with friends you can really relate to is really nice.”
Dorr said he is more focused on school as a transfer student, so being social is not a problem for him.
“I feel more engaged as a transfer student than if I was a first or second year,” Dorr said. “I think I have been pretty lucky with my experience so far and everyone here is really nice.”
However, for transfer software engineering senior Bat Battur, who transferred to Cal Poly last year from Cuesta Community College, not having WOW in-person was a disappointment because he said he did not meet many new people.
“We had to pay for [WOW] on zoom and I saw this year’s orientation groups going around campus and it just looked much better than last year’s,” Battur said.
Battur said he is planning on graduating this spring and he is trying to manage his time well since it is his first and last year on–campus.
“If I was at Cal Poly from the beginning, I would have many more connections with peers, and being under [the] pressure of time is hard,” Battur said. “If I was not a transfer student, I think that my college experience would have been much better because I would have had more time to make friends.”
Battur offered words of advice for future transfers about meeting new people:
“Do not be afraid and just be open to reaching out to people and trying new things because you only have a limited amount of time,” Battur said. “Just enjoy your time here and make the most of what you get.”