Letters To: Transfer Students

There used to be a stigma attached to starting your college life at a community college. You could argue there still is one. The pressure in high school was all about latching onto a four-year college right away. Preferably out of town, at a university by the coast.

The usual feeling is that only kids who attend a community college are losers who don’t know what to do with their life. Yet many college students who arrive at Chico State are transfers from such schools.

For many students, an immediate move to a four-year college is impractical for many reasons. Don’t get me started on tuition costs. This is one of the most important decisions of your life, and if you are at all uneasy about your career path or major, it isn’t really the smartest thing to commit to a university right away.

Community college is a great way to crash land out of the bizarre, twisted bubble of high school. For many, it is a wake-up call to reality and the making of life decisions to grow as an adult.

Personally, I’m one of those annoying people who’s known what they wanted to do with their major since way before college, but it was part of the plan for me to spend time at a community college. I took classes I might not have taken at a state college, which I feel helped better realize my strengths and weaknesses in a financially more secure place.

Time at a community college can leave real differences in how you function once you hit those upper division classes. With that in mind, here are the three main tips that you should know once you have made it to a four-year college:

1. Stop skipping classes.

You have maybe two to four sick days you can use, and after that, your grade is in your hands. At your community college, it sometimes felt like there were little to no consequences for taking a day off. Well, that was then, this is your major now. If that student was you, it can’t happen here.

2. Make some friends.

You are about to become so busy. As pressure builds at a state college, you may see your social life rapidly deteriorating. Try to carve out time to meet people at college, especially within your major. You may be seeing a lot of these people in the next two years.

3. You will love finally taking everything in your major.

If you have truly had enough time to be certain of what you want to do the majority of your career, the experience of your classes being based around one subject will be a relief like no other. Finally, you’re studying your passion.

The experience of transferring from a community college is distinctly different from starting at a university from the first semester. There are excellent benefits to your development as a student, and that you learn so much that better enables you to utilize your time at Chico State.

Just remember to explore the many more options available to you at the state level, and don’t be afraid to meet others in your major and rely on the professors in your upper division. Being a transfer student proves that you have had time to commit and become certain of the path you want to take in your education, so use the remainder of your time in university wisely!

Natalie Hanson can be reached at [email protected] or @NatalieH_Orion on Twitter.