What I Learned During My Transition from Community College to a 4-Year University

All throughout high school I was involved in AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination). This was a college readiness class which took us on various college tours, and introduced us to guest speakers from a variety of four-year institutions. The preparation AVID gave to me, along with the SAT prep classes and the influence of my family, any college other than a four-year was out of the question. 

 

I graduated high school in 2017, and when I found out that I had to go to community college, I couldn’t help but associate it with a negative stigma. What I had always heard from my peers was that students who attend a junior college are unsure, confused, aren’t up to par with with hustle of high academia and will not achieve the same success as someone else who attended a four-year university straight out of high school.

 

I remember that the first counselor meeting I had at my community college put me in complete awe, because I told him my plan was to transfer out of community college in 2 years. He said that it is highly unlikely as the average time at a community college is 3-4 years. From that moment on I knew that no matter what anyone said to me, I had to stay firm on my path to accomplish my goals as soon as possible.

 

Within the two years, I gained a major appreciation for where I was at at the time in my life in regards to being able to take time out for myself and not be surrounded by distractions. It was a time of self reflection and a time to grind like never before. In a community college you will be surrounded by people who are not as motivated as you are, not as driven and not as determined to do whatever they need to do in order to get to where they want to be in life. Consistency and perseverance and a tub of chocolate ice cream to get you through the tough weeks are all vital parts to making your time at a community college a success. I learned that I was wrong to have such a negative view at going to community college because not only are you saving thousands of dollars, you are also receiving one-on-one attention in smaller class sizes from professors that are teaching at other four-year universities. Along with this, the best thing I would recommend would be to find a job on campus! Being at community is hard enough as is, due to the lack of community involvement since it is a commuter school. I knew that as soon as my first semester of college started,  I wanted to start working and build connections with people, so for the two years I was at community I was a barista and cashier at the coffee shop and made really close friends!

 

Once I got accepted into SDSU I was so proud of myself and my determination to get all of my units completed. The most important thing to never neglect is checking in with not only your general education counselor, but your transfer counselor as well and taking advantage of all of the resources (career centers, job centers, etc.) as much as possible!

 

 When I moved into my apartment I had a fear of not knowing where my place was on campus and not being able to find friends. I was also nervous about how I was going to manage a heavy workload of 20 units along with a completely different classroom dynamic.  I am in the middle of my first semester here and the most important thing I have learned so far is to have an open mind and to get involved in any capacity. I am involved in Sanskriti (Indian Student Association), PRSSA (Public Relations Student Association), Aztec Music Group and am grateful to be a writer at HER Campus. 

 

Time Management along with making time for my personal life has been key to creating a balanced lifestyle and acclimating to the rigorous college life after the transition from a community college. Overall, I believe that going to community was the best decision I could have made because it did prepare me for where I am today in both an academic and a personal way. I believe that the next two years at university will only help me grow and explore my skills further and I cannot wait to see what opportunities lie ahead!