Looking around campus, not many would be able to differentiate a transfer student from a new freshman at UC Davis. Despite this, I was very conscious of the fact that I was a transfer. It was only a couple days into the quarter when I realized it did not matter.
This fall, over 10,000 transfer students were admitted into Davis, with approximately 93% being from a California community college. Coming in from community college, many transfers feel anxious about classes and whether or not they will be able to adjust to the “college life” they have not yet experienced. Many have never left home and fear the transition will result in a lack of friends, and possibly a disadvantage of not knowing the area as well as others.
Although these are the same feelings I shared on my first day, they quickly dissipated as I made my way around campus. Through speaking with other transfers, three fears became clear:
1. The fear of biking
Most (if not all) transfers fear finding not only their way to class, but finding their way via a bike to be quite intimidating. Whether it’s figuring out how to function a U-lock or figuring out how not to get run over in a bike circle, transfers find navigating campus often overwhelming the first couple of days.
2. The fear of not being included
Many of those who have transferred to UC Davis are leaving behind a community of people they have bonded with at their respective community college or other school. A lot also feel those who have been at Davis since their freshman year might not be as open to making friends two years into their stay in Davis, since they have likely already established a social circle.
3. The fear of being away from home
Although usually more mature and older in age, transfers feel the same separation freshman often feel while adjusting to college life. Often, many choose community college as a means to provide for their family or for other reasons, which might make leaving all the more difficult. Although technology has bridged the gap significantly, the feeling of being homesick still prevails.
Despite having these fears, transfer students have managed to integrate themselves onto campus quite well. And although transferring schools is a major adjustment, many have expressed how Davis has now become a second home. The most prominent statement you might hear from transfers is how nice everyone is on campus. Feeling integrated and heard, transfers are ready to navigate their way around Davis for the next couple of years.
So if you’re a transfer student, don’t worry — your fears and concerns are valid. We all feel them. Thankfully, UC Davis is now our second home.